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

Disciplinary Literacy
REND and MSED-689

  • 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 relationship between language arts and the development of competent readers and writers across disciplines.  The nuances of different types of disciplinary readers are examined through the major shifts in literacy across disciplines with an analysis and implementation of the English Language Arts Standards and effective literacy instruction.


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 learn how to better choose instructional materials and strategies to meet specific student needs and create a positive learning climate conducive for disciplinary literacy for every student. They will consider the need for students to become excellent readers of textbooks and non- fictions text in disciplines and support these efforts with appropriate reading strategies.

Serving the Community

Candidates will explore the integration of the language arts with the various disciplines in order to assist students with developing and increasing effective communication skills for acquiring and sharing relevant information used in today’s global society. Candidates will become experts in disciplinary reading strategies in order to support the school and home community.   

Finding Our Professional Selves

Candidates will challenge themselves to create authentic contexts for student disciplinary literacy learning and reflect and examine their own communication techniques used in collaborative teaching and learning situations and classroom instruction.


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 constructs in discipline specific literacy (ILA 1.4)
  2. Identify the evidence based instructional approaches to develop reading comprehension (ILA 2.2)
  3. Identify the evidence based instructional approaches to develop vocabulary (ILA 2.2)
  4. Identify the evidence based instructional approaches to develop critical thinking (ILA 2.2)
  5. Design effective writing instruction for discipline specific content (ILA 2.3)
  6. Review writing instruction programs in terms of disciplinary learning (ILA 2.3)
  7. Examine examples of materials within the disciplines that promote the language arts (ILA 2.4)
  8. Use conventions of standard English


ILA Standard 1.4 Literacy Classroom Teacher: Candidates demonstrate knowledge of  major theoretical, conceptual, and evidence-based frameworks that describe the interrelated components of general literacy and discipline - specific literacy processes that serve as a foundation of all learning

ILA Standard 2.2 Literacy Classroom Teacher: Candidates use evidence-based instruction and materials that develop reading comprehension, vocabulary, and critical thinking abilities in learners.

ILA Standard 2.3 Literacy Classroom Teacher: Candidates design, adapt, implement and evaluate evidence-based writing instruction as a means of improving content area learning.

ILA Standard 2.4 Literacy Classroom Teacher: Candidates use evidence based instruction and materials to develop language, listening, speaking, viewing, and visually representing skills learners; such instruction is differentiated and responsive to student interest.


Modular Discussion Prompt

Candidates will respond to discussion prompts within each module.

  • Course Outcomes 1-8
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 1.4, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4

Modular Reflection Synthesis

Candidates will reflect and synthesize each Module's content.

  • Course Outcomes 1-8
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 1.4, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4

Module Activities

Candidates will participate in 3 Module activities to extend learning.

  • Course Outcomes 1-8
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 1.4, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4

Themed Disciplinary Lesson Plans

Candidates will create Lesson plans focusing on a discipline specific topic and include Disciplinary Literacy elements.       

  • Course Outcomes 2,3,4
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 2.2

Disciplinary Writing Publication

Candidates will choose an effective Disciplinary Literacy Writing Stratgey and create a handout to share with colleagues.         

  • Course Outcomes 5
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 2.3

Language Arts Lesson Analysis

Candidates will locate a disciplinary lesson plan on the web and analyze it for effective language arts components (reading, writing, speaking, listening and language)  making recommendations where necessary.

  • Course Outcomes 7
  • Standards - International Literacy Association 2.4

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.