FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


We are always pleased when our applicants demonstrate a commitment to teaching. Some will have spent summers as camp counselors, others bring a decade of experience as lead teacher—for us, it is important that our students are grounded in a commitment to working with learners.

We are also pleased when applicants show an inquiry stance, a readiness to question and to wonder and to learn. We hope students are ready to learn from children and from colleagues as well as from university faculty. Most of all, we are excited to read applicants to our program because we know that people bring diverse experiences, and that we’ll have the opportunity to learn from them as well as they, learning from us. It’s a great thing to see a cohort group take shape and to recognize the breadth of experiences and knowledge bases that people bring with them into the program.

The Literacy Specialist program involves 32 credits of coursework. Most full-time students can complete the program in one full calendar year with ideally, a week or two of the first summer. If a student enters the program in January, then that student will not be able to finish for eighteen months, as the Master’s Action Research Project must begin in the fall and encompasses two semesters. Part-time students can progress at their own schedule.

Graduates pursue varied career paths in both educational and professional settings upon completion of the program. Some return to the classroom as highly skilled teachers, lead teachers, or grade-level leaders. Others become literacy specialists, curriculum coordinators, or administrators in schools. Still others enter the fields of educational publishing, consulting, advocacy, or research. Finally, some graduates choose to pursue doctoral study following the completion of their master’s degree.

Students who complete the Literacy Specialist program will have also completed the program requirement for the initial New York State Certification as a Literacy Specialist (Birth – Grade 6). Other requirements for Initial Certification as a Literacy Specialist.

The Literacy Specialist Program is best suited to students who have taught, and now want to develop their expertise as Literacy Specialists. However, on occasion, the program does admit some very promising students who have not yet been the sole teacher in a year-long teaching position. Thus, everyone entering the program will have taught in one capacity or another. All students need to be certified to teach before entering the program.

Yes. Most courses at TC are offered in the evening to accommodate educators who teach during the day. In fact, about half of the students in the Literacy Specialist program are typically classroom teachers by day and Master’s students by night. We do not recommend taking full-time coursework if you are working full-time since the amount of work involved may become overwhelming. Consult with your advisor about an appropriate number of credits to take each semester.  Full-time students will be involved in fieldwork placements and must schedule accordingly.

Teachers College students will have access to a variety of different types of financial aid. From institutional scholarships and grants, to federal student aid, several possibilities exist for the express purpose of helping a student pay his or her (on and off-campus) education-related expenses. Students are encouraged to work independently, as well as collaboratively with the Financial Aid office, to explore these many options. For more information, see the Financial Aid website.

Sorry, TC does not accept transfer credits for M.A. programs.

Students may apply in spring, summer, or fall terms.

The deadlines are:

Spring: Nov. 1, 2018

Summer/Fall (Early): Jan. 15, 2019

Summer/Fall (Final): Apr. 15, 2019

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