Section One: Response to RLAA Standards

Category A: Program Design

Standard 1: Program Design, Rationale, and Coordination

The design of the program follows an explicit statement of program philosophy and purpose. It is based on a sound rationale informed by current, confirmed, replicable and reliable research in literacy as referenced in the California Preschool Learning Foundations and Frameworks (Volume 1) and the California Reading/Language Arts Framework. It begins at a point beyond the preparation received by the preservice teacher and prepares the candidate for more advanced learning in the Reading and Literacy Leadership Specialist Credential program, described in Standards 6 through 10. It includes the content of the RICA content specifications but with a deeper, richer level of understanding, a firmer grasp of the literacy research behind the content specifications, and more sophisticated knowledge of instructional strategies and approaches.

The Reading and Literacy Added Authorization Program at California State University, Fresno includes a purposeful, developmentally-designed sequence of coursework and field experiences that effectively prepares candidates to teach all students to read and understand the challenges of developing literacy among California’s diverse population. The purpose of the program is to prepare teachers with a strong theoretical foundation on literacy development and the capacity to apply this knowledge in making assessment and instructional decisions to meet the diverse needs of students with varying literacy abilities and language and cultural backgrounds (See Student Outcomes Assessment Plan, p. 1). In line with this vision, the program provides candidates the opportunity to study theoretical perspectives and scientific research on literacy processes and language development identified within the California Preschool Learning Foundations and Frameworks (Volume 1) and the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (See Course Descriptions for LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p. 1; LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 1). In addition, through close communication and coordination with local school districts such as Fresno Unified, Clovis Unified, Sanger Unified, and other districts in the area, practical fieldwork experiences are systematically integrated throughout the program to provide candidates opportunities to apply this research in the design and implementation of instructional lessons. Several courses include major assignments that require candidates to apply specific course content with students in classrooms (See LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p. 3-4;LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 4; LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 4), and LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts is the culminating course that provides candidates the opportunity to apply the knowledge gained throughout the program in a small-group intervention setting (LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 4).

The program is designed to extend the preparation preservice teachers receive and prepare the candidate for more advanced learning in the Reading and Literacy Leadership Specialist Credential program. The program is systematically sequenced to scaffold candidates’ deeper examination of the content of the RICA content specifications. LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12 provides candidates with a deep exploration of the research on effective instructional practices for developing phonological and linguistic processes related to reading, oral language, reading comprehension, and written language (LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p. 1). LEE 278: Reading Processes & Practices proceeds to deepen candidates’ connections among research, theory and pedagogy by examining the theoretical models of reading processes that undergird instructional practices (LEE 278: Reading Processes & Practices, p. 1). LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading extends the knowledge base provided by the previous courses and examines the implications of these theoretical models for language acquisition and literacy development of English Learners [LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 1]. Candidates are provided with a deep exploration of research on the approaches, models, and curriculum for effectively developing the phonological and linguistic processes related to reading, oral language, reading comprehension, and written language abilities of culturally and linguistically diverse learners. LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities provides a deeper examination of planning and organizing reading instruction based on ongoing assessment. Candidates analyze research on the psychometric properties and uses for particular formal and informal assessment tools and research on intervention strategies to address specific literacy needs (LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 1).

The program provides multiple opportunities for candidates to learn and demonstrate the skills required by Standard 5 in Category C: Assessment of Candidate Competence. It includes a planned process of comprehensive course work, field experiences and candidate assessments that prepares candidates to teach all of California’s diverse learners. The program addresses the processes of admission, advising, program evaluation and improvement, as well as its coordination and communication with the PreK-12 public schools for field experiences.

The sequence of course/fieldwork for the California State University, Fresno Reading & Literacy Added Authorization program includes the following:

Courses Units
SEMESTER 1  
LEE 213 Teaching the Language Arts K-12 3
LEE 278 Literacy Processes & Practices 3
SEMESTER 2  
LEE 215 Language Issues in Reading 3
LEE 224 Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities 3
SEMESTER 3  
LEE 230 Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts 3
Total Units for Reading & Literacy Added Authorization 15

The program provides multiple opportunities for candidates to learn and demonstrate the skills required to teach all of California’s diverse learners. The program is systematically structured to combine course work and field experiences that scaffold candidates’ increasing competence toward meeting the expected program learning outcomes. The sequence of fieldwork experiences is evident in LEE 224 and LEE 230. In LEE 224, students implement assessment and devise an instructional plan for struggling readers at a preK-12 school site. One of the primary outcomes of the course is to prepare a report appropriate for distribution to parents, teachers, and administrators that details plan of appropriate literacy instruction. (LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 2, p. 11)  This is followed by a supervised fieldwork experience in LEE 230. Students work with their school administrators to set up individual tutoring for K-12 struggling readers. The faculty instructor of LEE 230 serves as supervisor at the school site and by coordinating with school administrators, arranges visits to observe their intervention.LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 1, p. 3. Research on the importance of a culture of literacy for student learning, how such a culture is developed, and the factors that support the sustainability of such a culture is analyzed and used to examine classroom level instructional practices, with a particular emphasis on second language development (See LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p. 3-4; LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 4). The candidates are expected to reflect on this information and develop a plan of action to improve the culture of literacy at the classroom level. Candidates are also provided extended practical opportunities to develop a culture of literacy at the grade, school and community levels. Course assignments require students to complete diagnostic case studies and submit the reports and intervention plans to teachers, principals, and parents (LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 4; LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 4). These experiences are designed to facilitate candidates’ understanding of the structures and communication procedures necessary to establish and sustain an expansive culture of literacy that supports students’ literacy learning.

The program provides multiple opportunities for candidates to learn how to administer, analyze and interpret assessment results to guide instruction and to determine intervention procedures. In LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities candidates are expected to interpret results of disaggregated school-wide assessment data related to intervention programs and then prepare a proposal of recommended changes in intervention structural and instructional practices through discussions with school leadership (See Course Schedule LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 6). In LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities candidates are guided through the process of learning how to select, administer, and analyze appropriate assessments to determine students’ instructional needs and develop an intervention plan to accelerate successful entry into grade level standards-based programs. LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts extends the independent practice of this process, as candidates design and deliver instructional lessons to a small group of linguistically and culturally diverse students. In both courses, candidates complete diagnostic case studies and submit the reports and intervention plans to parents, classroom teachers, and administrators (LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 4; LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 4).

The Coordinator of the Reading Language Arts Program is responsible for overseeing the Reading and Literacy Added Authorization program. The Coordinator is recommended by the program faculty and appointed by the Dean of the School of Education. The Coordinator reports directly to the Chair of the Literacy, Early, Bilingual & Special Education Department and to the Dean of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development by way of the Dean's Coordinating Council. Responsibilities of this position include reviewing applicant files to determine admission into the program, advising students and monitoring their progress in the program, conducting program review, and communicating with PreK-12 school leaders regarding recruitment and field experiences. Department and Reading/Language Arts program meetings are held each month to maintain continuous ongoing program review. The Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the collection of assessment data with the assistance of program faculty each semester. The Program Coordinator is responsible for summarizing the data each semester. Near the end of each spring semester, a program meeting is dedicated to reviewing assessment results, determining what changes, if any, the results suggest, and adjusting the next year’s course work, fieldwork and/or assessment activities as needed. The minutes of this meeting is provided as the basis for the department chair’s annual report on assessment activities. (See Student Outcomes Assessment Plan, p. 7).

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