SOE News

Literacy faculty ranked second in nation

The School of Education’s literacy faculty was ranked second in the nation in scholarly productivity, in a recent study comparing literacy faculty in the top 25 universities across the United States.

Productivity was based on faculty publications in nine literacy journals that are considered the leading journals in the field. The productivity ranking took into account the size of the literacy faculty at each university. The study, published in the July/August 2008 issue of Reading Psychology, covered a 13-year time period, 1992-2005. 

Literacy faculty members at the School of Education during the years of the study included Jill Fitzgerald, who is currently serving as the School’s interim dean, as well as professors emeriti James Cunningham and Dixie Lee Spiegel.

“It is gratifying that our literacy faculty have been recognized for their extraordinary contributions to the science of reading,” said Lynne Vernon-Feagans, William C. Friday Distinguished Professor and coordinator of the Early Childhood, Intervention and Literacy research emphasis in the School’s Ph.D./M.A. program in Education. “The literacy research in the School of Education has truly advanced our knowledge about the teaching of reading and has led to increased literacy skills among countless children. This productivity ranking, which is based on the best peer reviewed journals in literacy, reflects the quality of research produced by our literacy faculty and is linked to the School of Education’s commitment to advance basic research and its application in schools.”

The School currently offers program options in literacy for graduate students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees as well as for professionals who want to become reading specialists.

At the doctoral level, students can specialize in literacy within the Early Childhood, Intervention and Literacy research emphasis in the Ph.D. program in Education. Graduates of this program are prepared for leadership positions in research and teaching at major universities and institutes.

At the master’s level, a Master of Arts degree in Education is offered with a literacy specialization within the Early Childhood, Intervention and Literacy research emphasis. Individuals who complete this program develop the skills needed to conduct educational research in organizations or institutions focused on the study of education.

Also at the master’s level, experienced teachers who are pursuing a Master of Education degree can earn add-on licensure as a reading specialist while completing their master’s study.

In addition, two post-baccalaureate licensure programs in literacy are offered for education professionals who want to add to their current credentials by earning licensure in reading. One program is conducted online and the other is conducted face-to-face.