St. John's University's online Ph.D. in Literacy program incorporates a holistic focus on addressing the needs of at-risk learners. This 42-credit hour program includes research, literacy, and concentration courses that are completed prior to a dissertation project that on average takes one year of time, which requires continuous enrollment until completion.The Ph.D. curriculum includes:
- Core literacy courses: 18 credit hours
- Research core courses: 15 credit hours
- Specialization courses: 9 credit hours
Students may choose from one of four specializations. Read the specific courses below or click on a specialization title to learn more:
Core Literacy Courses
EDU 3281 Foundations of Literacy Inquiry and Professionalism (3 credit hours)
Introduces foundations of literacy research, the range of methodologies and methods of inquiry, and examines the current state of research appropriate to the literacy field, including points of concern and debate.
EDU 3282 Models & Processes of Reading & Writing Acquisition & Competency (3 credit hours)
Examines the diverse viewpoints and approaches to reading and writing revealing that literacy acquisition and development involves integrating a complex network of interactive processes. Literacy is studied through the viewpoints of different disciplines and explored through a range of theoretical models within each discipline.
EDU 3283 Literacy Leadership (3 credit hours)
Explores research and evidence-based practice in pre-school to grade 16, literacy program assessment, curriculum development and community advocacy and outreach. This course addresses International Reading Association standards for preparing literacy coaches and reading specialists.
EDU 3290 Special Topics in Literacy (3 credit hours)
Open to students in advanced or doctoral programs. Course analyzes current issues and design approaches in literacy theory and practice and examines emerging initiatives in the literacy field. Doctoral students begin to identify a potential domain and focus of inquiry for the dissertation.
EDU 3291 Seminar in Literacy for At-Risk Diverse Populations (3 credit hours)
Open to students in advanced or doctoral programs. Explores theories, research and issues in literacy education for at risk and diverse populations. Emphasis is on the influence of poverty and inequality issues in literacy issues.
EDU 3292 Dissertation Seminar (3 credit hours)
Students continuously register for Dissertation Seminar until the dissertation is completed and the degree is awarded. The proposal is a document in which the student outlines the need for the study, a literature review, the procedures and design of the study among other sections. The student also selects a faculty member who serves as a mentor. A dissertation study cannot be conducted until all course requirements are met and satisfactory scores on the third annual portfolio are achieved to satisfy the doctoral culminating requirement.
EDU 3293 Dissertation Project (Requires continuous enrollment until completion) (3 credit hours)
Students continuously register for Dissertations seminar until the dissertation is completed and the degree is awarded. Directed research and chapter writing occur under guidance from the dissertation mentor and committee members.
Research Core Courses
EDU 3820: Mixed Methods Research and Design (3 credit hours)
This course provides an introduction to mixed methods research and design, focused on applications in educational settings. Particular attention is given to the design and implementation of research that combines qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Prerequisite: EDU 5655 or EDU 3285 and EDU 7900.
EDU 3285 Research Perspectives in Literacy (3 credit hours)
Open to student in advanced or doctoral programs. Review of major topics (e.g. comprehension) in literacy research with emphasis on the appropriate application of research designs and data analysis methodologies.
EDU 7211 Educational Research and Data Analysis II (3 credit hours)
This course develops knowledge and applications of advanced univariate and multiunivarate inferential statistical methods, multiple correlation and regression, principles of measurement, internal validity, power analysis and effect size. Students will have hands-on use of statistical software such as SPSS to organize and analyze data and engage in critical analyses of published research that exemplifies a variety of statistical techniques.
EDU 7900 Qualitative research: Methodology & Analysis (3 credit hours)
This course focuses on a variety of qualitative approaches to discipline and inquiry that can be brought to bear on the problems in education and also examines underlying theoretical frameworks of these approaches. The course provides opportunities for students to develop knowledge and skills in the various qualitative techniques and methods.
EDU 7901 Educational Research and Data Analysis III (3 credit hours)
Prerequisites: 5655 and 7211. This course advances the principles and concepts developed in earlier research courses through practical applications and field-based studies. The course will include instrument development, data collection strategies and advanced data analysis techniques using statistical software.
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Concentration
EDU 9001 Foundations of Bilingual and Second Language Education (3 credit hours)
History, and legal/political underpinnings of American education with an emphasis on programs for linguistically diverse learners; examination of exemplary principles, policies, educational models, research, assessment and technology.
EDU 9003 Literacy Development for First and Second Language Learners (3 credit hours)
Provides students with theory and practice and necessary knowledge and skills for teaching literacy and language arts to monolingual and linguistically/culturally diverse learners. Field work required.
EDU 9006 Human Development in Cross-Cultural Perspective (3 credit hours)
Presents a cross-cultural framework for the study of birth through adolescent development. Emphasis is placed on the effects of cultural, heritage characteristics and socioeconomic levels.
Educational Leadership Specialization
EDU 5301 Leadership Values, Decision Making and Multicultural Organizations (3 credit hours)
This course develops leadership abilities at the school district level in implementing an educational vision that incorporates respect for diversity and special needs based on theories, ethical values, and evidence-based practices for multicultural organizations. It addresses all aspects of district operations, including curriculum, instruction, staffing, and facilities management, as they pertain to meeting the needs of diverse groups. Internship hours required.
EDU 5571 Administrative Leadership and Planned Change (3 credit hours)
This course develops leadership abilities at the school building level in effective supervision of the day-to-day operational practices of the school, and managing school finances from federal, state, and local sources, facilities, and personnel, to achieve educational goals for students, teachers, and other stakeholders. This includes major theoretical constructs underlying organizational culture, curriculum development, and planned change, and support of personnel to assist in their professional development. Internship hours required.
EDU 7005 Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and Curriculum (3 credit hours)
The course will introduce students to scholarship related to culturally relevant pedagogy for marginalized and underrepresented students. Students will examine the manifold influences of culture—including factors such as race, class, place, gender, and language—on teaching and learning within and across in-school and out-of-school contexts. They will explore opportunities and challenges to promote culturally relevant learning and to foster social and cultural justice for students, families, and communities.
Special Education Specialization
EDU 9711 Education of Individuals with Exceptionalities (3 credit hours)
This course presents an overview of issues involving exceptional learners, students with diagnosed disabilities as well as, English Language Learners, children with special health-care needs, and children at-risk for school failure. The entire human development from childhood to adolescent will be treated. Focal points of the course lie in issues of demographics, current events, the 7 disability categories including autism, characteristics and remediation of all learners, pertinent laws, community resources, the role of technology (assistive and instructional) and accommodations. Students will learn about the process of special education from assessment, the IEP, to the annual CSE meeting and subsequent placement. Field work required: 15 hours.
EDU 9719 Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credit hours)
This course familiarizes special education teachers with appropriate behavioral approaches and methods for the instruction and management of individuals with disabilities. Field work required: 15 hours.
EDU 9707 Curriculum Adaptation and Modification Planning for Exceptional Students (3 credit hours)
Theories and practice for creating and managing environments that foster learning, acceptance, positive behaviors and developing techniques for differentiated instruction. Field work required: 10 hours.
EDU 3215 Research & Practice of Teaching Writing in General & Inclusive Education (3 credit hours)
This course is designed to instruct teachers to develop effective Literacy/ English language Arts skills for middle school and adolescent students. Teachers will learn to incorporate the Common Core State Standards in writing, grammar, speaking, listening and reading. Teachers will learn to use multisensory materials and technology to enhance children’s reading to writing and writing to reading skills. They will also demonstrate their knowledge for teaching writing in a variety of original, imaginative works, as well as, narrative and expository texts, that observe conventions of genres and use of figurative language and text structure. Teachers will enable their students to communicate clearly to an external improving their form, content and style of writing using appropriate language and grammar.
EDU 3220 Approaches, Materials, and Performance Evaluation in Literacy and English Language Arts Development (3 credit hours)
Study and analysis of approaches and materials for literacy and English Language Arts instruction focusing on language acquisition, word identification, vocabulary development, comprehension, Common Core ELA competencies and motivational aspects for Birth through Grade 12. This course will also provide teachers with knowledge of and methods of teaching the New York State Common Core Standards. (Field work at the childhood or adolescent level).
EDU 3270 Theories of and Strategies for Teaching Literacy in the Content Areas (3 credit hours)
Presents theories of and instructional Strategies for Teaching Literacy and English Language Arts in the Content Areas in regular and inclusive settings through print and technological means. Emphasis on comprehension, vocabulary, and motivation through informational reading and writing consistent with the competencies of English Language Arts of the Common Core Standards. Field work is required.