The joint University of Maryland (UM)/Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS City Schools)/Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS)/Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) literacy coach certificate program is designed to prepare experienced, highly qualified middle and high school teachers to serve as literacy coaches in low performing middle and high schools.
Literacy coaches are skilled content area collaborators who function effectively in middle school and/or high school settings for secondary teachers in the core content areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
They are skilled evaluators of literacy needs within various subject areas and are able to collaborate with secondary school leadership teams and teachers to interpret and use literacy assessment data to inform instruction. Finally, literacy coaches are accomplished middle and high school teachers who are skilled in developing and implementing instructional strategies to improve academic literacy in the four targeted content areas.
The six-course UM literacy coach certificate program serves cohorts of selected middle and high school teachers. The courses focus on a) reading, cognition, and instruction across content areas, b) diagnostic reading assessment and instruction, c) teaching ESOL reading and writing in secondary content areas, d) assessing, diagnosing, and teaching writing across content areas, e) TESOL, special education, and assistive technology, and f) coaching and mentoring teachers. In addition, literacy coach candidates participate in BCPS (City Schools), MCPS, and PGCPS professional development workshops mapped onto the literacy coach coursework. The UM courses and BCPS (City Schools), MCPS, and PGCPS professional development workshops adhere to the Standards for Middle and High School Literacy Coaches (International Reading Association, 2006).
Upon successful completion of the literacy coach program, candidates receive a Post Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Literacy Coaching from the University of Maryland.