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General and Program Specific Requirements for Literacy

12. Literacy (Birth through Grade 6) or (Grade 5 through 12)

The Department shall not register programs leading to Initial and Professional certificates for Literacy (Birth through Grade 6) or (Grade 5 through 12) on or after October 1, 2022, and any such registered programs shall no longer be registered with the department on or after September 1, 2026.

All literacy programs shall lead to a master’s or or higher, and must require the candidate to have completed the requirements for an initial classroom teaching certificate in another certificate title, as a pre-requisite for admission.

General Pedagogical Core Requirements

The program shall include the following:

(i) human developmental processes and variations, including but not limited to: the impact of culture, heritage, socioeconomic level, personal health and safety, nutrition, past or present abusive or dangerous environment, and factors in the home, school, and community on students’ readiness to learn --and skill in applying that understanding to create a safe and nurturing learning environment that is free of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and that fosters the health and learning of all students, and the development of a sense of community and respect for one another;

(ii) learning processes, motivation, communication, and classroom management --and skill in applying those understandings to stimulate and sustain student interest, cooperation, and achievement to each student’s highest level of learning in preparation for productive work, citizenship in a democracy, and continuing growth;

(iii) means for understanding the needs of students with disabilities, including at least three semester hours of study for teachers to develop the skills necessary to provide instruction that will promote the participation and progress of students with disabilities in the general education curriculum. The three semester hour requirement shall include study in at least the following areas: the categories of disabilities; identification and remediation of disabilities; the special education process and state and federal special education laws and regulations; effective practices for planning and designing co-teaching and collaboration with peers; individualizing instruction; and applying positive behavioral supports and interventions to address student and classroom management needs. When such requirements cannot be completed in three semester hours, the remaining study requirements may be included in other courses. This three semester hour requirement may be waived at the discretion of the commissioner, upon a showing that the program provides adequate instruction to prepare candidates on understanding the needs of students with disabilities through other means;

(iv) language acquisition and literacy development by native English speakers and students who are English language learners --and skill in developing the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills of all students;

(v) curriculum development, instructional planning, and multiple research-validated instructional strategies for teaching students within the full range of abilities --and skill in designing and offering differentiated instruction that enhances the learning of all students in the content area(s) of the certificate;

(vi) uses of technology, including instructional and assistive technology, in teaching and learning --and skill in using technology and teaching students to use technology to acquire information, communicate, and enhance learning;

(vii) formal and informal methods of assessing student learning and the means of analyzing one’s own teaching practice --and skill in using information gathered through assessment and analysis to plan or modify instruction, and skill in using various resources to enhance teaching;

(viii) history, philosophy, and role of education, the rights and responsibilities of teachers and other professional staff, students, parents, community members, school administrators, and others with regard to education, and the importance of productive relationships and interactions among the school, home, and community for enhancing student learning --and skill in fostering effective relationships and interactions to support student growth and learning, including skill in resolving conflicts;

(ix) means to update knowledge and skills in the subject(s) taught and in pedagogy;

(x) means for identifying and reporting suspected child abuse and maltreatment, which shall include at least two clock hours of coursework or training regarding the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse or
maltreatment, in accordance with the requirements of section 3004 of the Education Law;

(xi) means for instructing students for the purpose of preventing child abduction, in accordance with Education Law section 803-a; preventing alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse, in accordance with Education Law section 804; providing safety education, in accordance with Education Law section 806; and providing instruction in fire and arson prevention, in accordance with Education Law section 808; and

(xii) means for the prevention of and intervention in school violence, in accordance with section 3004 of the Education Law. This study shall be composed of at least two clock hours of course work or training that includes, but is not limited to, study in the warning signs within a developmental and social context that relate to violence and other troubling behaviors in children; the statutes, regulations and policies relating to a safe nonviolent school climate; effective classroom management techniques and other academic supports that promote a nonviolent school climate and enhance learning; the integration of social and problem solving skill development for students within the regular curriculum; intervention techniques designed to address a school violence situation; and how to participate in an effective school/community referral process for students exhibiting violent behavior.

(xiii) means for the prevention of and intervention in harassment, bullying (including cyberbullying) and discrimination in accordance with section 14 of the Education Law. Such study shall include six clock hours of course work or training on the social patterns of harassment, bullying and discrimination, as defined in section 11 of the Education Law, including but not limited to those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex; the identification and mitigation of harassment, bullying and discrimination; and strategies for effectively addressing problems of exclusion, bias and aggression in educational settings.

Program-Specific Pedagogical Core Requirements

The program shall include the following:

(i) knowledge of the theories of literacy development and individual differences, including but not limited to: an understanding of difficulties that may be confronted in acquiring the literacy skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing; and the principles and practices of assessing student literacy performance;

(ii) proficiency in providing instruction and assessment in cooperation with other school staff, including but not limited to: creating instructional environments; teaching all aspects of literacy acquisition, including but not limited to phonemic awareness, phonics skills, word identification, vocabulary skills, study strategies and strategies for building comprehension, constructing meaning, and building literacy in the content
areas; assessing students’ literacy performance, including but not limited to identifying dyslexia; providing
appropriate instruction for students experiencing difficulty in acquiring literacy skills; and providing literacy services to students in compensatory or special education programs; and

(iii) proficiency in organizing and enhancing literacy programs, including but not limited to: communicating information about literacy to various groups; developing literacy curricula; and communicating assessment results to parents, caregivers, and school personnel.

Practica Requirements 

a. Literacy (birth through grade 6): at least 50 clock hours of college-supervised practica in teaching literacy to students at both the early childhood and childhood levels.

b. Literacy (grade 5 through 12): at least 50 clock hours of college-supervised practica in teaching literacy to students at both the middle childhood and adolescent levels.