Learning to teach students how to read, write, listen, speak and think and then actually doing the teaching in the field are experiences at the core of UNI's Literacy Education program in the Curriculum & Instruction Department. Also essential to their learning experience is intensive study of literacy theory and children's literature. Many education students take additional courses in Literacy Education to earn a minor emphasis and a state reading endorsement. At the graduate level, students may earn an M.A. in Literacy Education, along with their choice of three state reading endorsements. Our highly professional Literacy Education faculty members are internationally and nationally recognized with over 100 years of combined K-12 teaching experiences.
Immersion in practical experiences
Classroom experiences in which students actively learn theories and best practices are central to developing the skills to teach literacy. The Literacy Education program offers many opportunities for students to put their own classroom learning into practice in classrooms with diverse students in the metropolitan area. In addition, the UNI Reading Clinic provides an ideal setting for UNI literacy education minors to tutor children and adolescents under the supervision of Literacy faculty members.
Out-of-class teaching activities
Literacy education students may participate in the UNI America Reads program, part of a federal program to help all school children read successfully by fourth grade. Eligible students tutor children in this after-school reading program. The UNI Student Reading Association (SRA) offers other opportunities to teach reading, hear speakers discuss new trends in reading education, and attend literacy conferences.
"In SRA we read books and did activities with children at the Women and Children's Shelter, collected and donated school supplies to elementary schools. It was another chance to use my literacy education knowledge in a practical way." Literacy Education student
For current classroom teachers, the Master's degree program is designed to develop educators' expertise in literacy education through leadership and classroom expertise. The program schedule is designed for working professionals. Most courses are held in the evening either online or on the Iowa Communications Network. Topics include theories of literacy instruction, programs and practices in teaching literacy, assessment and evaluation of literacy development, and the integration of literacy across curriculum areas, and more.
Increased job opportunities
A Literacy Education specialty often helps UNI graduates move to the top of the list in job searches. For further employability, students may also consider taking courses to earn an Iowa reading endorsement. Literacy Education offers three types of reading endorsements: Reading Education grades K-8, Secondary Reading grades 5-12, and/or Reading Specialist K-12, depending on their choice of electives.