Contact Us

For more information regarding the degree in Childhood Literacy, please contact the program director:

Dr. Karen M. Wieland
Plassmann B28
St. Bonaventure University
St. Bonaventure, NY 14778
(716) 375-2369

To Apply

For application instructions and materials, please visit our site:

 Or contact:

Phone: (716) 375-2021


MSEd Childhood LiteracyThis degree is designed for early childhood and elementary teachers who wish to acquire greater expertise in developing the literacy proficiencies of children.

The degree provides teachers with extended research-based knowledge in the areas of the literacy development and processes, diagnosis and remediation of literacy difficulties, teaching linguistically and culturally diverse learners, and teaching language arts, as well as disciplinary literacy, Response to Intervention, schoolwide assessment, and literacy/instructional coaching.

The 30-credit hour degree can be completed in as little as a year on the Main Campus (summer, fall, spring) or at the Buffalo Center (fall, spring, summer). Buffalo Center candidates start the program in the fall (with occasional exceptions), while Main Campus candidates may start the literacy program in the summer, fall or spring terms. Candidates may matriculate full-time or part-time.

SBU's Dean's Scholarship can reduce tuition costs by 20% - making SBU an exceptional value among western NY colleges and universities.
The MSED in Childhood Literacy meets the criteria for, and may be used in partial fulfillment of, the requirements for initial and professional certification in Literacy (Birth-Grade 6) in the state of New York. 

The only candidates recommended for Literacy Teacher Birth-Grade 6 certification in New York by the School of Education are those who have completed the master's degree in its entirety.

Between 2008 and 2012, SBU's Literacy program graduates achieved a pass rate of 99% on New York State's Content Specialty Test for Literacy (146 test takers). This is a testament to both the quality of the program and its focus on International Literacy Association Standards for Reading Professionals at the Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach level.
Students pursuing Literacy Teacher Birth-Grade 6 certification may be eligible for the Federal Teach Grant.

A Note about the Teacher Certification Entrance Requirement

The MSED in Childhood Literacy — Gifted program requires certification for full admission. We understand that currently enrolled college students — and many who have recently graduated — will not be certified at the time of application. In these cases, St. Bonaventure offers a conditional admission that becomes finalized once certification is confirmed.

If you have not yet submitted the edTPA, apply for admission to the graduate program anyway so you can start classes this fall. We provide edTPA support as you move to finish the portfolio.  You must submit the edTPA portfolio before starting your second semester of classes.
If you are still in the process of taking some of the new certification exams, apply for admission to the graduate program anyway so you can start classes this fall. We offer information sessions, exam prep workshops and support to help you prepare for the exams. You must register for and attempt each required test before starting your second semester of classes.

News, Publications & Research

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Get more information about our MSED in Childhood Literacy program.

Program Brochure

Learn more about our Literacy Education programs in our electronic brochure.

Hunt, Christine A.

Chair, Elementary Education
School of Education
ACADEMIC DEPARTMENT Elementary Education
CONTACT INFORMATION Office Phone: (716) 375-2315
OFFICE LOCATION Plassmann Hall, B12
  • Ph.D., Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy, Michigan State University
  • M.S., Elementary Education, Purdue University
  • B.S., Elementary Education, Grace College
  • September 2007: Dissertation defense
  • March 2006: Co-facilitated a staff in-service with Dr. Bell at Lincoln Elementary School in Hammond, IN, on the integration of science and literacy


  • A Tale of Two Voices:  PDS Journeys of Junior Faculty:  National Association for Professional Development Schools, March 9-12, 2011 New Orleans, LA (With Claudette Thompson) 

  • Professional Development Schools National Conference . March 2006 (With Dr. Cheryl Bell)

The central tenet of my teaching philosophy is that learning is something that occurs throughout life. As an adult and teacher, I am continuously learning and re-learning concepts as well as applying them in a variety of situations. This requires me to have a base of knowledge in order to learn the concepts and know how to apply them in a wide array of circumstances.

As a teacher it is my responsibility to provide my students with the basics they will need in order to become lifelong learners. In other words, I am responsible for guiding my students in the discovery of knowing how to learn new concepts and how to use them in new ways. They need to learn how to learn on their own. Teaching students to learn how to learn requires a teacher to play a variety of roles as well as knowing when and how to employ them.

First, there are times when the teacher is the “sage on the stage” presenting relevant information for students in the form of lectures. Didactic instruction is necessary at times to quickly and concisely present essential information that students will need. Another role the teacher has is that of facilitator. In this role the teacher needs to be an active listener in order to come to an understanding of what the student knows in order to know how best to direct instruction for the student.

It also means that the teacher needs to use observational skills as well to see how the student is using information. In this role the teacher is evaluating what knowledge the student has and how it is being put to use. This allows the teacher to determine if there are any misperceptions that need to be corrected as well as how the information is being used at present and how it could be furthered. This provides the teacher with information that leads to the choice of appropriate instruction.

Guiding students in academic content knowledge and application is one role the teacher plays. Lifelong learning also includes how to be good citizens. 

  • Educational Policy
  • Teachers and Assessment
  • School Reform
  • Curriculum and Instruction