The Literacy Department is recognized by the International Literacy Association (ILA), formerly known as the International Reading Association (IRA), and has been awarded a “Certificate of Distinction.” ILA is our Specialized Professional Association that publishes standards for Literacy professionals. Many students who add the Literacy Minor also join West Chester University's Epsilon Chapter of ILA's international honor society, Alpha Upsilon Alpha (AUA) upon invitation from the College of Education and Social Work’s Literacy Department.  More information about AUA can be found at the bottom of this page.

Literacy courses are not just for prospective teachers. The department also offers courses that support the work of students in other disciplines. Students of the Academic Success Program (ASP) or others eager to strengthen their own college level study skills may enroll in EDR 120 College Reading and Study Skills . Other Literacy courses meet the needs of students whose curriculum for career certification necessitates completion of the Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) competency requirements of Act 49.13; inclusion courses teach students how to incorporate language and literacy into individualized, client–based interventions.


College Study Skills

The Literacy Department offers a course that teaches students college level reading and study skills: EDR 120 College Reading and Study Skills. Students from any discipline are welcome to enroll in EDR 120 during any spring or fall semester. Only students of the Academic Success Program (ASP) may enroll in the summer sections of EDR 120 (offered during second summer session only)

EDR Courses for Act 49.13 Competencies

Students needing to take EDR 345, EDR 347, or EDR 550 should review our helpful Inclusion Course Information . This document lists each of these three courses and provides:

  • course descriptions
  • your plan–specific prerequisites
  • course schedules
  • helpful enrollment tips for students unfamiliar with the Literacy Department

Literacy Minor Program

The Literacy Minor program is available to all university students regardless of major. After completing the required core, students select one of three tracks: Early & Middle Grades Education; Secondary Education ; Family & Community Literacy. Your minor in Literacy enhances your transcript and also makes you eligible to join WCU's local chapter of the ILA's honor society, Alpha Upsilon Alpha (AUA). Pursue your passion for reading and highlight your hard work for prospective employers by becoming a Literacy Minor.

Please review the department's Guidance Sheets for more specific program information, such as:

  • course curriculums per EGP and MGP majors
  • course descriptions, schedule, and prerequisites
  • special course notes and enrollment information
  • Degree Candidacy and clearance requirements
  • admission and application information
  • Literacy Minor Guidance Sheet 

What is Alpha Upsilon Alpha?

 Alpha Upsilon Alpha is the honor society of the International Literacy Association. It was created in 1985 to recognize and encourage scholarship, the development of personal and professional leadership, and service to the field of reading at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Membership in Alpha Upsilon Alpha brings a sense of scholarly accomplishment in the field of reading and language arts. Members are invited by the College of Education and Social Work’s Literacy Department, acknowledged for having excelled in their chosen field of study, and are recognized as professionals committed to the importance of reading and language arts in education.

Why should I join?

  • You will have the opportunity to work with children and network with principals, superintendents, and other faculty through our literacy fairs at elementary schools.
  • You will have the opportunity to attend professional development workshops such as resume writing, creating ePortfolios, and literacy-based workshops.
  • You will be able to meet other students who have declared literacy minors.
  • This looks great on your resume!

What are the Requirements?

The College of Education and Social Work’s Literacy Department will select students who meet the following requirements of the ILA for membership in this honor society:

Undergraduate Requirements:

  • 48 credits
  • 3.5 GPA in literacy (EDR) courses and 3.2 GPA overall
  • 12 hours of community service every year upon initiation until graduation
  • Attend all-member meetings

Graduate Requirements:

For graduate students, the minimum requirements for Alpha Upsilon Alpha membership with the chapter shall be as follows:

  1. Must be a major or in the field of reading and/or language arts.
  2. Shall have completed a minimum of 9 semester hours or its equivalent in reading or related areas of study at the graduate level.
  3. Shall have a 3.5 grade point average or better in all graduate work, in addition to a 3.5 grade point average in the field or area of concentration.
  4. Shall demonstrate through research, scholarship, or practice, outstanding leadership in the field of reading. Graduates shall complete 6 hours of service to the profession each school year.

All members must be members in good standing of the International Literacy Association (ILA).


Scholarships are available to students enrolled in the College of Education & Social Work. See the Teacher Candidate Scholarships tab for the full list of scholarships available to students in teacher candidate programs.

Applications are due March 7, 2022.

Literacy-focused scholarships include:

  • Class of 1928 - Tigani Scholarship will support a junior or senior student with a Reading minor with at least nine
    credits completed or one semester remaining and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in
    Reading. Application also requires a letter of recommendation.
  • Katherine Dougherty Stahl Scholarship will be awarded to a junior or senior who majors in Elementary Education
    with a minor in Reading/Literacy, has an overall GAP of 2.8 and a GPA of 3.25 in education courses. The candidate’s
    scholarship application should reflect interest and extracurricular activities supporting urban education and/or
    struggling readers.


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