Online Consortium-based Literacy Specialist Certificate Program

The Literacy Specialist Certificate Program

The Literacy Specialist Certificate Program is a professional program in literacy education offered by a consortium of seven Ohio universities. The program is designed to prepare educators for school-based positions in instructional leadership, including professional development and coaching.

The curriculum is offered through a one-year online program, consisting of 18 graduate semester hours (27 graduate quarter hours) and an internship. Successful completion of the program qualifies the individual to serve in preschool – grade 12 instructional leadership positions at state, regional, and local educational levels. Participants may apply coursework to advanced degree programs offered at the consortium institutions.

Higher Education Consortium Members:

John Carroll University Muskingum College
The University of Akron University of Dayton
The University of Toledo Wright State University
Youngstown State University
All accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools


Five online courses taught by full time literacy faculty at each university:

  • Coaching in Diverse Classrooms
  • Pedagogy of Effective Literacy Instruction
  • Coaching for Effective Assessment Practice
  • Professional Development in Literacy
  • Advanced Literacy Research

Internship with online supervision:

The capstone of the program is an internship designed to further develop the candidate’s pedagogical content knowledge, coaching skills, and professional dispositions in the following domains: data based decision-making, evidence-based practice, and technology tools and functions.

Projected Schedule for 2009-2010 [subject to adjustments]

A six-week time frame is used for the first four online courses, with one week between courses. Advanced Literacy Research is offered concurrently with the Internship during the second semester.

  • Coaching in Diverse Classrooms May - June
  • Pedagogy of Effective Literacy Instruction June - August
  • Summer Break
  • Coaching for Effective Assessment Practice September - October
  • Professional Development in Literacy October - December
  • Internship Fall September - December
  • Winter Break
  • Advanced Literacy Research January - April
  • Internship Spring January – April

Program Admission

At the outset of the admission process, which runs through March 31, applicants send a letter of interest to Dr. Cathy Rosemary at John Carroll University and select a “home institution” within the consortium. The home institution is responsible for the application process, registration, and advising throughout the program. Choice of a home institution will be honored based upon availability.

Criteria and Procedures

Applicants must meet all of the criteria for admission into the program, including:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited institution
  • Official transcripts of all higher education institutions attended
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75
  • Advanced education in literacy [e.g., reading endorsement, master’s degree in reading]
  • At least three years of successful teaching experience
  • Experience teaching literacy

In addition to submitting an application to the home institution, the applicant provides the following documentation:

  • Letter of interest
  • Two letters of recommendation supporting experience and success in leading professional development in educational settings
  • Administrator’s assurance letter, indicating support of internship
  • Current resume
  • Copy of current teaching certificate or license

Preferred Qualifications

Preference will be given to applicants who meet the following qualifications:

A. One or more years of experience as a professional development provider in year long, school-based professional development in literacy

B. In addition to A., a minimum of one year of individualized coaching of classroom teachers

Applications will be reviewed on a first come-first serve basis.