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UNI prepares literacy coaches for Iowa's schools

November 16, 2012

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

Stacey Christensen, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Thirty literacy coach candidates are continuing their studies on the University of Northern Iowa campus this fall. These candidates are in preparation programs for the Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy Model (PCL), an initiative founded by Linda Dorn of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. UNI's Richard O. Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy is one of five PCL network affiliated universities in the United States that house the literacy coach preparation program.

Literacy coaches work in area schools in order to aid student learning and to increase literacy proficiency for all students. Literacy coaches work with the school principal and teachers to analyze and use school data plan instructional interventions and changes in classroom approaches to improve student achievement.

Candidates began their program of study at the Jacobson Center's Summer Institute in June. The 21-credit hour post-masters graduate preparation program continues through the fall and spring semesters. Twenty-eight of the coaches were awarded full scholarships for their preparation program funded by the Richard O. Jacobson Center endowment.

The PCL initiative focuses on the preparation of literacy coaches through UNI coursework, observation of model teaching and hands-on field experiences. Coaches take courses in literacy learning and teaching, school transformation and leadership.

Currently, the Jacobson Center's work with PCL directly impacts 20 network-affiliated schools, seven districts and five Area Education Agencies. In all, more than 15,500 children in 69 Iowa schools are receiving the benefits of PCL work during the 2012-2013 academic year.

For more information, contact Deb Rich, program administrator for the Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy, at 319-273-6960 or