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The 12-credit World Campus Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Family Literacy was created through a partnership between the Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy at Penn State and the National Center for Families Learning. The primary goal of the Certificate is to provide students with an opportunity to enhance their knowledge, skills, and credentials in the discipline of family literacy, with a focus on effective program planning and implementation and research-based practice.

For additional information, please contact Beth Grinder at elg6@psu.edu. or by phone at 717-432-3498. You may also contact the World Campus Admissions counselors by calling 800 252-3592 (toll free). For more information about the World Campus certificates and degrees, click here. For information about applying for admissions, please click here.

Admission Requirements

  1. Courses Included in the Certificate An applicant must have received, from an accredited institution, a baccalaureate degree substantially equivalent to one awarded by Penn State.
  2. The Graduate School reviews the application for academic admissibility and the certificate program determines acceptance into its program. An admission letter from the Graduate School does not guarantee admission into a certificate program.

ADTED 456: Introduction to Family Literacy (3 credits). This course explores the concept of family literacy and how it can contribute to both the literacy growth of the parent (caregiver), children and other family members. The course addresses serving diverse and vulnerable families, models of family literacy, the key components of family literacy (adult, early childhood, and parent education; interactive literacy), the role of case management and family support, professional development and program improvement, and advocacy. ADTED 456 can be a valuable elective for graduate students in World Campus Adult Education and Children's Literature Master degrees, as well as other post-baccalaureate programs..

ADTED 457: Adult Literacy (3 credits). This course explores adult literacy research, theory, programming, and instructional practices in the context of family literacy. The course examines literacy needs of adults as parents workers, and community members, focusing on engaging parents with low-level skills in literacy activities, especially as they transfer to the home.

ADTED 458: Early Literacy Development (3 credits). This course focuses on young children's language and literacy development, including ways that parents and staff support this development; research related to children's language and literacy learning; and ways in which family literacy supports early literacy development.

ADTED 459: Interactive Literacy and Parent Involvement: Supporting Academic Success (3 credits). This course focuses on how parents and other caregivers actively engage in home- and school-based activities to support children's language and literacy development and academic success. The course addresses parental involvement in education, educator and parent perspectives of what parent engagement means, interactive parent-child literacy activities, and some of the sociocultural issues that are implicated in family engagement in language and literacy development.

NCFL Partners

Toyota Family Learning Program

Toyota, one of the nation's most successful corporations, began a partnership with NCFL in 1991. In addition to a commitment of more than $35 million, Toyota has also contributed a wealth of in-kind support — including advertising, planning and management expertise — to form one of the most progressive corporate/nonprofit partnerships in the nation.

Three major programs have been developed through the Toyota partnership based on the family literacy model of parents and children learning together. These models have influenced federal and state legislation, leveraged local dollars to support family literacy and led to successful programs being replicated across the country.

Read More about Toyota and NCFL

Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation began partnering with NCFL in 2006. A signature effort of this partnership is the National Literacy Directory, a resource that launched in 2010 and strives to reach the 35.7 million adults ages 18-64 who do not have a high school diploma by guiding them to better-paying, more stable jobs.

The National Literacy Directory contains over 10,000 educational agencies located across the United States and has a dedicated toll-free number to help support those wanting to pursue educational opportunities in their communities.

Dollar General also provides support for development of NCFL’s innovative family learning resources centered on financial literacy and Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time®.

Go to Dollar General Literacy Foundation's website

PNC Grow Up Great

PNC Grow Up Great believes deeply in the power of high-quality early childhood education and provides innovative opportunities that assist families, educators and community organizations to enhance children's learning and development.

PNC Grow Up Great has partnered with NCFL since 1994 to advance early literacy and learning resources for vulnerable families. Current efforts supported by PNC include a collaborative initiative in two at-risk Detroit communities that engages families to support vocabulary development for children under age 5.

NCFL's work is also featured on the PNC Grow Up Great Lesson Center website. The Lesson Center includes over 100 free, high-quality preschool lesson plans and research-based instructional techniques and strategies. All lesson plans contain Home/School Connections printouts, in English and Spanish, to help families extend and reinforce the learning at home.

PNC Grow Up Great

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

NCFL has partnered with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation since January 2016. The Foundation is currently supporting a dynamic two-generation family engagement initiative that expands NCFL's Family Learning model into select Head Start programs nationwide. NCFL's model presents an innovative way to support Head Start programs in meeting outcomes aligned with the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework.

Visit the Foundation website

Better World Books

Better World Books selected NCFL as its domestic literacy partner in 2005 and has raised more than $1 million to support NCFL’s work and donated more than $15 million to support literacy and education efforts worldwide. Better World Books is a triple-bottom-line online bookstore, working equally for people, planet and profit. Each book purchased powers literacy across the world.

Better World Books’ support of NCFL has provided books and workshops to families after Hurricane Katrina, donated large book donations to literacy programs and families nationwide and fueled innovative family literacy and learning programs and resources in libraries, schools and community-based organizations. In addition to their work for literacy and education, Better World Books diverts books from landfills and offers carbon-balanced shipping.

Better World Books

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In 2013, NCFL began a partnership with the Gates Foundation to ensure that our network of students, teachers, and families thrive among recent shifts in standards-based education. NCFL will leverage the unique strengths of our award-winning Wonderopolis® platform to build upon the growing teacher network that uses the resource for core daily instruction and as a basis for professional growth.

Foundation Website

Goodling Institute

NCFL has partnered with the Goodling Institute for Research and Family Literacy at Penn State University since 2001, working collaboratively to further research, professional development, and policy efforts for family literacy and intergenerational learning.

The work of this partnership includes, but is not limited to, a strong research strand at NCFL's national annual convening, the Families Learning Summit; advocacy for family literacy and learning to further support for and inclusion of family-focused education in new and ongoing legislation; and dissemination of the latest research, resources, information, and professional development opportunities for literacy and learning practitioners and advocates, including the Certificate in Family Literacy provided by the Goodling Institute.

Goodling Institute for Research and Family Literacy at Penn State University