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University of St. Francis logo · College of Education · Regional Educational Academy for Leadership

Foundations of Literacy
REND and MSED-641

  • Template 2015
  • Section TMPL
  • 3 Credits
  • 07/22/2015 to 07/22/2115
  • Modified 08/15/2023

Mission Statement

As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation, compassion and peacemaking. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership. 


Focuses on the history of literacy instruction, theoretical models of instruction in literacy and research-based methodology through the lens of a 21st century classroom implementing Common Core Standards.


College of Education Mission

The mission of the College of Education is to prepare competent and caring educators who understand students, serve the community and develop professionally to become ethical decision-makers and leaders.

Understanding Students

Candidates will develop an understanding of how students learn to read by examining the many constructs of literacy acquisition. The knowledge of these constructs allows any discipline teacher to support students’ learning through a comprehensive understanding of the reading and writing processes.

Serving the Community

Candidates will have opportunities to explore the value of community (classroom, school and the wider society) support for school reading programs. They will also discover the symbiotic nature of reading instruction through historical investigation and the connection that society (community) has on the instruction of reading in schools.

Finding Our Professional Selves

Candidates will develop a comprehensive philosophy of reading based on the theoretical models and ethical standards for reading professionals discussed in this course. Additionally, candidates in this course will explore the varied resources available that provide avenues in which to examine current developments in reading education.


Access to standards referenced in this section can be found HERE

By the conclusion of the course, each participant will be able to do the following:

  1. Describe major theories in literacy development (ILA 1.1,1.2,1.3)
  2. Identify the evidence based components of literacy; concepts of print, phonological awareness, phonics, word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension ( ILA 1.1)
  3. Construct tenets of conceptual understanding for literacy development and language acquisition (ILA 1.3)
  4. List examples of historical importance in literacy instruction and language acquisition (ILA 1.1, 1.3)
  5. Describe major theories in writing and the structure of language (ILA 1.2)
  6. Describe the components of speaking, listening, viewing and visually representing language as aspects of literacy (ILA 1.3)
  7. Use conventions of standard English (ILA 1.3)

Candidates demonstrate knowledge of the major theoretical, conceptual, historical, and evidence - based components of reading (e.g., concepts of print, phonological awareness, phonics, word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension) development throughout the grades and its relationship with other aspects of literacy [International Literacy Association 2017, Standard 1.1]

Candidates demonstrate knowledge of the major theoretical, conceptual, hostorical, and evidence - based aspects of writing development and writing processes (e.g., revising, audience) and foundational skills (e.g.,spelling, sentence construction, word processing) and their relationship with other aspects of literacy [International Literacy Association 2017, Standard 1.2]

Candidates demonstrate knowledge of theoretical, conceptual, historical, and evidence - based components of language (e.g., language acquisition, structure of language, conventions of Standard English, vocabulary acquisition and use, speaking, listening, viewing, visually representing) and its relationships with other aspects of literacy [International Literacy Association 2017 Standard, 1.3]


Weekly Discussion Prompt

Candidates will respond to weekly discussion prompts

  • Course Outcomes 1-7
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 1.1, 1.2, 1.3

Weekly Reflection Synthesis

Candidates will reflect and synthesize each Module's content

  • Course Outcomes 1-7
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 1.1, 1.2, 1.3

Module Activities

Candidates will particpate in 6 Module activities to extend learning

  • Course Outcomes 1-7
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 1.1, 1.2, 1.3

Literacy Infographic

Candidates will create a Infographic describing a component of literacy to a chosen audience

  • Course Outcomes 1-7
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 1.1, 1.2, 1.3

Tenet Defense Assignment

Candidates will build a defense for four literacy beliefs (tenets) that they deem essential to literacy instruction

  • Course Outcomes 1-7
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 1.1, 1.2, 1.3

Content Exam

Candidates will take a final Content Exam comprised of each Module's content

  • Course Outcomes 1-7
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 1.1, 1.2, 1.3

Institutional Policies

Students should use the MyUSF portal as the first resource for guidance and support on items such as student complaints, safety, security and transportation questions, contact information for various USF departments, student support services such as counseling and academic resources. Information on these resources can be found in the For Students section of the MyUSF portal.

  • A complete listing of university policies and procedures can be found in the University of St. Francis Catalog and Student Handbooks. Students are expected to follow all policies in the USF Catalog and Student Handbook, both of which can be found in the student portal.
  • Students are expected to be familiar with and follow the various procedures and guidelines regarding USF’s COVID-19 Response, including the USF Preparedness Plan and other materials incorporated in the Saints United resource hub (
  • Policies not covered in this document will be handled in accordance with the USF Catalog, Student Handbook, and Program Handbook as applicable.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals. Collaboration is only acceptable when it is explicitly acknowledged. Ethical conduct is the obligation of every member of the University community, and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses. Since a lack of integrity hinders the student’s academic development, it cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Violations include but are not limited to: cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and denying others access to information or material. See the University of St. Francis Catalog for further clarification and information on grievance procedures.

Services and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (ADA)

The University strives to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). A student who requires special accommodations or arrangements due to a disability should contact the Office of Accessibility Services. This contact preferably should occur no later than the first week of classes. Early contact before the semester starts is encouraged to allow sufficient time to provide accommodations. Extra time is needed for some types of accommodations such as sign language interpreters or special text formatting. Should a need arrive after the start of a semester; the student is encouraged to contact the Office of Accessibility Services as soon as possible. Note that accommodations are not retroactive. Each case will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

USF is committed to ensuring the full participation of all students in its programs, regardless of the course format. If you have a documented disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate in a course, complete course requirements, or benefit from the University’s programs or services, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 815-740-3631 or [email protected] . The Office of Accessibility Services is located on the third floor of Tower Hall in room N320. Consultations are welcome; please contact the Office of Accessibility Services for an appointment.

Technology Support

If you are experiencing any difficulty using Canvas or need technical assistance, you have several options to receive support:

  1. 24x7 Live Canvas Support. Canvas has a 24 hour support by clicking on ? Help while in Canvas. You can Chat with Canvas Support, Report a Problem, or call the Canvas Support Hotline. If you experience technical difficulties or have a question about Canvas, you can receive support 24 hours a day seven (7) days a week through the Canvas help menu. From the help menu; select Report a Problem to send an email support request, select Chat with Canvas Support (Student) for a “live” text-based click-to-chat session, or to speak to someone directly use the toll-free number listed under the Canvas Support Hotline (Student). NOTE: Responses to Canvas’ email based Report a Problem request system will go to your USF email account, NOT your personal email.
  2. Online Self-Service Help Resources. A student user guide and other resources for solving issues related to Canvas can be found at
  3. You can phone the Technology Support Center for personal help at (815) 768-8324 or (866) 337-1497 (toll-free) between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday or fill out a Technology Support Center ticket and select Canvas/Online courses as the component.

For any technical support issues that are not related to Canvas, you can also contact the USF Technology Support Center (TSC). You can reach them via:

Academic Support Services

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) located in Room N316 in Tower Hall (815-740-5060 or [email protected]) offers various types of academic services.  Online and distance learning students can contact ARC for appropriate resources.  ARC serves students who need tutoring in many areas of study including writing and math.  Library services include a number of online services and full text databases.  Call the Library at 815-740-5041 for additional information.  If you need academic-related resources or assistance, please contact the Academic Resource Center.