St. Bonaventure University

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St. Bonaventure merges graduate literacy programs into one covering birth-12th grade

Jul 07, 2020

St. Bonaventure University has turned two graduate programs into one, greatly enhancing the marketability of students who can now earn a master’s degree in B-12 literacy.

The university’s School of Education has offered graduate programs in childhood (Birth-6) literacy and adolescent (5-12) literacy for years. New York’s State Education Department approved the new B-12 program last week.

The program can now be taken in either a hybrid format – all courses online, but with three face-to-face meeting days on campus each semester – or completely online.

For this coming academic year, the face-to-face meetings will instead be Zoom sessions for all students. Face-to-face sessions will resume once the pandemic is over, but students will still have the flexibility to attend those classes virtually via Zoom.

By offering a choice of hybrid or fully online, students can select the format that best meets their needs while still experiencing the high quality program.

SBU’s literacy program enhances classroom teachers’ knowledge of how to teach reading and addresses children’s literacy needs in the B-12 general education classroom, said Sheri Voss, program director.

“Teachers with literacy degrees are highly sought after by school districts because of the wide-ranging skill set they offer to both students and other personnel,” Voss said.

The program, which can be completed in a year or less, will welcome its first cohort of students in the fall.

“This revision of our MSED literacy programs enhances the utility and convenience of the program for our students,” said Dr. Joseph Zimmer, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. “With the needs for high quality literacy teachers in our region, this program continues the long legacy of excellence in literacy education at St. Bonaventure.”

To complete the program, students must do the state’s required practicum over seven weeks in July/August 2021.

Candidates for the master’s program must already have Initial Elementary or Secondary Teacher Certification, or have it by the end of the semester after beginning the program. The practicum will be held on campus, but can also be taken virtually.

“The skills I have learned throughout my time in St. Bonaventure’s literacy program have already proven valuable in my career and will remain valuable, no matter which path my career takes me,” said Kristin Miller, a 2020 graduate of SBU’s Childhood Literacy program and now a teacher for Michigan Virtual Schools. “I have nothing but praise for SBU’s program and the hands-on experiences that had such an impact on my time there.”

Learn more about the B-12 literacy program at


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. In 2019, St. Bonaventure was named the #1 regional university value in New York and #2 in the North by U.S. News and World Report.