Literacy Center

Dowling College Literacy Center

At the Dowling College Literacy Center, graduate students/instructors who are pursuing an MS in Literacy Education provide assessment and instructional services to students in the local community who have not made satisfactory progress in reading and writing. These graduate students are all New York State-certified teachers. The 12 week program is offered on Monday OR Wednesday nights from 5:15 pm to 7:30 pm at the Oakdale campus during the fall and spring semesters.  There is a $200 charge for these services.

Literacy Assessment and Instruction

Students are scheduled for a one-hour individual instructional session and a one-hour small group writing workshop session each Monday night. Instructional sessions will be held at the School of Education North Building and in classrooms on campus. A literacy assessment is first conducted in order to determine each student’s ability in word recognition, reading and listening comprehension, and written expression. An individualized instructional program is then designed which incorporates each student’s strengths and needs. Whenever possible, reading and writing activities are based on the student’s interests to ensure student involvement. Computer technology is also available to facilitate the student’s reading and writing.

During the semester, parent conferences are held.  In an initial meeting, parents provide information about the student’s academic needs, and at the end of the semester, the student’s progress is reviewed and recommendations are made to parents. Additionally, parents and our tutors will meet informally on an as needed basis. The final week of the semester concludes with a Literacy Celebration.  During the “celebration,” students come together and share their literacy accomplishments with one another often presenting a book they have written or a favorite book they have read.  Family members and friends are invited to share in the celebration.

Graduate students are supervised in all aspects of the Literacy Center (i.e., one coaching supervisor to five/six graduate students). Supervision is maintained by one full-time faculty member (also the coordinator of the program), adjunct faculty, and coaching supervisors all who have permanent New York State certifications in reading and are literacy teachers, classroom teachers, or special education teachers in local public schools.

Literacy Center Summer Program

The Dowling College Literacy Center Summer Program is offered for five weeks, beginning in July, on Tuesdays and Thursdays mornings.  There is a $225 charge for these services. This program follows a workshop format and focuses on developing decoding skills, reading comprehension strategies, and writing skills while engaging children in enjoyable literacy activities. Children become members of authentic book club discussions as well as draft, revise, and publish their written work.

Literacy Sessions

Each session, children actively participate in Literature Circles and Writing Workshop.

Literature Circles are small group student-centered discussions based on a shared book. Each reading hour will consist of a mini-lesson on a comprehension strategy and/or decoding skill, independent reading, completing a literacy role (e.g., Discussion Director) and practicing the strategy, and participating in the book discussion. Mini-lessons will focus on improving children’s reading ability and might include the importance of self-questioning, making person and world connections to the text, and word analysis for better decoding.

Writing Workshops are also student-centered and consist of a mini-craft writing lesson, writing based on student interest, teacher and peer conferencing, and sharing of their written work. Lessons focus on the writing process and address the six writing traits: ideas, organization, word-choice, voice, sentence fluency, and conventions of language. The craft lessons will support the development of your children’s writing skills and might include writing a good lead for a fictional piece to paying attention to word choice when writing a nonfictional piece.

Coordinator: Susan Voorhees, Ed.D

Phone: 631-244-1083

Location: Education North Building

VoorheeS@dowling.edu