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The Marygrove College Education Department collaboratively prepares educators committed to the success of all students believing that quality education is vital to wholeness of persons, sustainability of communities, and a vibrant, just democratic society. To that end, and grounded in the college’s goals of competence, compassion, and commitment, the Education Department prepares educators through the development of professional habits of mind, heart, and practice:
Habits of Mind – Demonstrating flexibility in thinking about key theories and conceptual frameworks to address complex, adaptive challenges
Habits of Heart – Demonstrating behaviors and beliefs that connect learning to life, liberating the power and creativity of the human spirit.
Habits of Practice – Demonstrating the capacity to effectively engage and contribute to learning communities and systems within which education is embedded.
The Master of Arts in Literacy Learning is designed for individuals who have an interest in experiential learning and a commitment to community change through literacy development. Students explore literacy as transformative of socio-cultural, political and economic factors that impact individuals, families, and communities. Paulo Friere’s approach to literacy learning as social activism serves as this program’s framework. Individuals completing the program are prepared to work in a variety of community settings such as literacy centers, private tutoring, community literacy organizations, and faith-based literacy ministries and academic literacy paraprofessionals.
Applicants must meet all of the general graduate admission requirements (see the “Graduate Admissions” section of this catalog).
Applicants must have earned a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution. Applicants are NOT required to have a teaching certification for admission into the program. Please note - the Masters in Literacy Learning does NOT lead to the Elementary or Secondary Michigan Teaching Certification.
In addition to the admission requirements explained in the “Graduate Admissions” section of the Marygrove College Graduate Catalog, for program acceptance all applicants must submit a typed 3-5 page essay that describes (1) a personal statement about his/her own literacy experiences (2) the rationale for selecting the MALL program and select a focus area: family literacy, adult literacy or community literacy, and (3) experiences, if any, with tutoring or working in some capacity with reluctant or struggling readers and writers.
A request for consideration of transfer of appropriate graduate credit from another institution (or program) may be made as part of the application process. Applicant may submit transcripts, along with course descriptions and syllabus to be reviewed for course substitutions. Only six credits will be accepted.
Program Application Checklist
This program may be started only during the Fall or Winter term.
The Application deadline for Fall term, which starts in September, is the first Wednesday in August.
The application deadline for Winter term, which starts in January, is the first Wednesday in December.
Specific Program Requirements
To complete the Masters of Arts in Literacy Learning, students must complete 30 credits of approved coursework including an action research project.
LLE 500 Foundations of Literacy for Liberation 3 Credits
LLE 510 Socio-Cultural Factors and Literacy Learning 3 Credits
LLE 520 Literacy As Social Activism 3 Credits
RDG 557 Methods for Teaching Intermediate and Secondary Reading 3 Credits
RDG 559 Literature Based Approaches to Reading Instruction 3 Credits
RDG 564 Methods in Elementary Reading and Other Language Arts 3 Credits
RDG 609 Diagnostic Techniques in Reading Instruction 3 Credits
Community Literacy Courses
LLE 540 Community as a Literacy Learning Center 3 Credits
LLE 541 Leadership in Community Literacy Learning 3 Credits
LLE 639 Research in Literacy and Community Program Development 3 Credits
LLE 500 Foundations of Literacy for Liberation
This course is a historical, theoretical and sociological exploration of the foundation of literacy learning from a global and Western perspective. It also examines Paulo Friere’s pedagogical principles for utilizing literacy as a form social activism and liberation.
LLE 510 Socio-Cultural Factors and Literacy Learning
This course is an introduction to social and cultural factors, and diverse languages as underpinnings of issues diverse learners face in varied environments, including home, community, and school. Emphasis is on the social, cultural, linguistic, and academic challenges and opportunities, and research based strategies that support culturally responsive teaching.
LLE 520 Literacy As Social Activism
This course explores global literacy, theories and issues related to traditional and nontraditional community engagement in reading and writing to create space for social activism and change. Participants engage in community literacy projects using multi-modal literacies.
RDG 557 Methods for Teaching Intermediate and Secondary Reading
This course specifically addresses adapting content instruction to meet the needs of intermediate and secondary school students with reading problems; analyzes the variations in vocabulary, format, comprehension, and study procedures in various content areas; presents teaching strategies for improving basic reading skills, content reading and writing proficiency of all students; and explores strategies for supporting literacy instruction across the curriculum.
RDG 559 Literature Based Approaches to Reading Instruction
This course examines the history, description, rationale, and criteria for selection and evaluation of classic, contemporary, and culturally diverse literature for children and young adults. This course also presents specific strategies for using culturally conscious literature in literature based reading instruction, and explores a variety of strategies to foster literacy development and promote an enjoyment of literature.
RDG 564 Methods in Elementary Reading and Other Language Arts
This course presents criteria and procedures for reading, writing, listening, viewing, and speaking processes, and examines teaching strategies and materials that are consonant with human growth and development. This course also discusses research and management of classroom reading programs, grades K-8.
RDG 609 Diagnostic Techniques in Reading Instruction
This course examines identification of reading disabilities and possible causative factors through the use of formal and informal tests and case study methods. This course also develops a comprehensive testing vocabulary in order to administer, interpret, and evaluate tests.
LLE 540 Community as a Literacy Learning Center
This course is an introduction to the study of diverse literacy experiences within community spaces. It examines the complexity of social, cultural and literacy practices imbedded in diverse urban communities and explores literacy strategies and techniques to document and sustain viable communities of practice. Participants explore past and current events that shape communities, and examine how people engage in new literacy practices to understand and facilitate sustainable social change.
LLE Leadership in Community Literacy Learning
This course is an analysis of communities and literacy learning, as well as characteristics of community literacy leadership. It examines social, political and economic factors that impact community viability, and organizational planning for sustainable community literacy development. Participants will work with a mentor recognized as a community literacy leader. The signature assignment for this course is for participants to develop a plan for a community literacy center.
LLE 639 Research in Literacy and [Community] Program Development
This course provides opportunities for research that focuses on effective literacy instruction, and factors involved in successful curriculum development in community based programs. This course also covers techniques for formal and informal research. Students will design, conduct, and present a [field practice project].