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Literacy Specialist
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Literacy Specialist

In the Department of Curriculum & Teaching

Degree > Masters of Arts

Masters of Arts

Students may enroll in the program full-time or part-time. The basic curriculum for M.A. students includes:

Core: Required of all students (23 points)
  • C&T 4138        Teaching literacy in the early years (2-3)
  • C&T 4139        Constructing critical readers (2-3)
  • C&T 4151        Teaching of writing (2-3)
  • C&T 4200        Fieldwork in curriculum and teaching (6) (3 credits fall; 3 credits spring)
  • HBSK 4072     Theory and techniques of reading assessment and intervention (3)
  • C&T 4140        Literature for younger children (2-3) or
  • C&T 4141        Literature for older children (2-3)
  • C&T 5037        Literacy, culture, and the teaching of reading (2-3)
Master’s Action Research Project: Required of all students (1 point)
  • C&T 4502    Master’s project (1)
  • Completion of Master’s Action Research Project
Out of Program Selectives: Required of all students (4-6 points)
To satisfy the college breadth requirement, students must complete two Teachers College courses in addition to HBSK 4072, which is part of the core. (A course for this purpose is defined as one in which a minimum of 2 points is earned outside the program).
  • A&HE 4052    Adolescents and literature (3)
  • A&HL 4001    Sociolinguistics and education (3)
  • A&HT 4077    TESOL classroom practices (3)
  • ITSF 4013      Literacy and development (2-3)
  • ITSF 4015      Introduction to computers, language, and literacy (2-3)
  • ITSF 4028      Teaching literacy in bilingual settings (3)
  • MSTU 4049    Technologies and literacies (2-3)
Within-Department Selectives: Required of all students (4 points)
Students must select at least two courses from the following list:
  • C&T 4858        Institute: Teaching of reading (3)
  • C&T 5800        Institute: Teaching of writing (1, 3, 6) Either: 
  • C&T 4137        Literacy and learning in the content areas (2-3) or 
  • C&T 4842        Institute: Content area literacies (2-3)


  • Melanie Regan

    I feel extremely fortunate to have been a student in the Literacy Specialist program. My beliefs about the teaching of reading and writing developed in significant ways during the program, as did my teaching skills. In addition to the challenge to teach in new, more authentic ways, I experienced a shift—a big stretch—in my identify as a reader and a writer. I learned from the likes of Carl Anderson, Kylene Beers, Lucy Calkins, and Ralph Fletcher. Throughout my year, I tried to embody what Kathy Collins told us: “Learning to be vulnerable will really grow our teaching.” Being vulnerable was not always easy, but it was worth it! This is a mantra that I will take with me through the rest of my teaching career, and life.

    - Melanie Regan, 3/4 Teacher, Grant Ave. Elementary, Bronx