EdD/PhD, Leadership: Reading, Language and Literacy Specialization

Study Format Online, On Campus
Program Length 61-67 credits*


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Concordia University Chicago's doctoral program in leadership with a specialization reading, language and literacy provides a theoretical and practical framework for literacy instruction and assessment within an emphasis on current research. The program also provides candidates the opportunity to receive a rigorous, high quality educational program that encourages the development of skills and competencies that will be needed throughout the candidates’ professional career as a reading specialist or literacy coach.

Program Objectives

The EdD/PhD program in reading, language and literacy is designed to provide students with a strong background in research, theory, reading, writing and multiliteracy programs. Our graduates are prepared to become faculty and leaders in the creation and implementation of research-based literacy programs in a variety of settings, including public and private schools, colleges and universities, adult and community-based outreach programs, corporate training settings and nonprofit educational endeavors.

This program enables students to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of major theoretical, conceptual, and evidence-based foundations of literacy and language, the ways in which they interrelate, and the role of the reading/literacy specialist in schools.
  • Use foundational knowledge to design literacy curricula to meet needs of learners, especially those who experience difficulty with literacy; design, implement, and evaluate small-group and individual evidence-based literacy instruction for learners; collaborate with teachers to implement effective literacy practices.
  • Understand, select and uses valid, reliable, fair, and appropriate assessment tools to screen, diagnose, and measure student literacy achievement; inform instruction and evaluate interventions; assist teachers in their understanding and use of assessment results; advocate for appropriate literacy practices to relevant stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of research, relevant theories, pedagogies, and essential concepts of diversity and equity; demonstrate an understanding of themselves and others as cultural beings; create classrooms and schools that are inclusive and affirming; advocate for equity at school, district, and community levels.
  • Meet the developmental needs of all learners and collaborate with school personnel to use a variety of print and digital materials to engage and motivate all learners; integrate digital technologies in appropriate, safe, and effective ways; foster a positive climate that supports a literacy-rich learning environment.
  • Demonstrate the ability to be reflective literacy professionals, who apply their knowledge of adult learning to work collaboratively with colleagues; demonstrate their leadership and facilitation skills; advocate on behalf of teachers, students, families, and communities.
  • Complete supervised, integrated, extended practica/clinical experiences that include intervention work with students and working with peers and experienced colleagues; practica include ongoing school-based setting(s); supervision includes observation and ongoing feedback by qualified supervisors.

(Source: International Literacy Association Reading/Literacy Specialist Standards, 2017)

Admission Requirements

  • Completion of a Master’s Degree at a regionally accredited university with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • At least 2 years of lead teaching with experience in an education/literacy-related field
  • GRE scores that are no older than 3 years
  • Interview with the Reading Department Admission Committee (if needed)
  • All other doctoral requirements outlined by Concordia University Chicago

Degree Requirements

  • 61-67 hours of coursework
  • Capstone experience embedded in two semesters of internship
  • Comprehensive Examination
  • Dissertation
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