Literacy Ph.D.

The purpose and mission of the Concentration in Literacy is to prepare literacy professionals who will hold research and literacy education positions in universities across the country as well as for roles in local, regional, state, or national educational agencies and corporations. The program of study engages doctoral students in a theoretical and research-based examination of the cognitive, linguistic, social, cultural, political, and economic factors that impact literacy teaching and learning at all levels of development, from early childhood through adult, and emphasizes social opportunity and educational access for all learners.

The Concentration in Literacy is designed to provide doctoral students with the knowledge and skills essential for reading and interpreting scholarship in the field, as well as conceptualizing, designing, implementing, and disseminating original research. To that end, students engage in a variety of mentored and guided experiences that integrate theory, research, and practice. The program faculty expects doctoral candidates to provide leadership locally as well as contribute to a national research community. The Concentration in Literacy also offers doctoral students the opportunity to engage in mentored and guided university teaching experiences.

Through a combination of required courses and electives, doctoral students, together with their mentors, design a program of study uniquely fitted to their individual interests, expertise, and professional goals. The degree program requires a minimum of 90 semester credit hours, as described below. At least one year of the program of study must be completed through full time study.

  • LSLS 9021 Frameworks for Literacy Research
  • LSLS 9046 Advanced Seminar in Literacy I
  • LSLS 9047 Advanced Seminar in Literacy II
  • LSLS 9051 Mentored Research in LSLS
  • LSLS 9055 Writing for Publication in Education
  • LSLS 9057 Seminar in University Teaching 
  • LSLS 9059 Mentored University Teaching
  • LSLS 8030 Miscue Analysis
  • LSLS 8032 Language and Emergent Literacy
  • LSLS 8036 Adolescent Literacy
  • LSLS 8037 New Literacies
  • LSLS 8040 Research in Reading and Writing
  • LSLS 8041 Current Issues in Literacy
  • LSLS 7030 Discourse Analysis
  • LSLS 7031 Principles of Organizing a Literacy Curriculum
  • LSLS 7032 Teaching Ethnic American Literature
  • LSLS 7033 Seminar in Literature for Children and Adolescents

Allison Breit-Smith, Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, Speech-Language Pathology

Expertise:  Early language and emergent literacy acquisition in children with disabilities (e.g., autism, specific language impairment); effects of parent and teacher-implemented literacy interventions; pragmatic language

615 Teachers College, (513) 556-7119,

Ying Guo, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Florida State University, Educational Psychology

Expertise: Early language and literacy acquisition for children who are at risk for reading difficulties; development and evaluation of classroom-based literacy interventions and empirically-based curricula; classroom dynamics and teacher quality facilitating child development.

246 Teachers College, (513) 556-0204,

Holly Johnson, Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Arizona, Language, Reading, & Culture

Expertise: Adolescent literacy and literature, middle level education, disciplinary literacy, social justice

615 Teachers College, (513) 556-0469,

Connie Kendall Theado, Associate Professor and PLI Coordinator

Ph.D., Miami University (Ohio), English

Expertise: Postsecondary literacy education, writing theory, literacy testing, rhetorical analysis

615 Teachers College, (513) 556-1427,

Susan Watts Taffe, Associate Professor

Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, Reading Education

Expertise: Vocabulary development; new literacies and technology; teacher professional development

615 Teachers College, (513) 556-2534,

Cheri Williams, Professor

Ph.D., Ohio State University, Language, Literature, & Reading

Expertise:  Emergent literacy; early literacy instruction; literacy and deafness; qualitative research methods

615 Teachers College, (513) 556-3571,