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UNI Jacobson Center to offer literacy coaching preparation program to Iowa school districts

February 15, 2012

Deb Rich, program administrator, UNI Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy, 319-273-6960,

Salli Forbes, UNI associate professor of curriculum & instruction, 319-273-6597,

Stacey Christensen, public relations manager, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy at the University of Northern Iowa offers teachers a variety of educational and professional development opportunities to enhance literacy education and ultimately improve literacy learning in all children. A key initiative of the center is the Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy (PCL), a model developed by the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. UNI's Jacobson Center is one of seven national training centers for the PCL, which features a systemic approach to school reform, based on preparing literacy coaches to work with school districts on best practices in literacy instruction.

PCL is dedicated to increasing student achievement. It includes high quality professional development, research-based instructional practices and a comprehensive assessment system. Highly prepared literacy coaches are the key to this effort. PCL literacy coaches are prepared by the Jacobson Center and other PCL centers during the course of a year-long training program. The Jacobson Center will welcome its first class of literacy coaches this summer at the Summer Institute scheduled June 25 through 28 at the Park Place Event Centre in Cedar Falls. Districts and Area Education Agencies are encouraged to send teams of teachers and administrators to the Summer Institute and to apply to have teachers trained to be PCL coaches.

Schools can apply for financial assistance for literacy coach preparation. The program is geared toward current teachers who hold a master's degree in literacy education or other related fields; are employed as a literacy coach in his/her school; hold a minimum of three years of teaching experience; and work in a school with a Reading Recovery program. School administrators must also apply and agree to implement the PCL model with integrity.

Prospective literacy coaches earn 21 hours of UNI graduate-credit coursework. They implement PCL in their schools during their year of preparation, conducting and facilitating professional development sessions with their school faculty and working with their principal to establish school-wide assessment and instructional systems. 

For more information about PCL, the summer institute and to apply for the program, visit or contact UNI's Jacobson Center at 319-273-2053 or

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