Advanced Alternative Preparation (AAP) For Literacy Specialist in Reading/Language Arts Certification

Program Description

Advanced Alternative Preparation (AAP) offered by Albertus Magnus College under the auspices of the CT State Department of Education's Alternate Route to Certification Program.

  • Non-credit, Non-degree program
  • Receive cross endorsement certification #102 - Remedial Reading/Remedial Language Arts, Grades 1 - 12

The thirteen month program consists of three parts.

  • An initial summer includes instruction in theory and practice in the fundamentals of language and literacy, in assessment and evaluation pertaining to reading and language arts, in coaching strategies, and clinical practice tutoring dyslexic students.
  • The following academic year includes nine Saturday seminars designed to prepare participants to assume responsibilities as literacy specialists. In addition, candidates work under the guidance of an advisor to instruct and assess small groups of students, coach classroom teachers, shadow reading specialists, and reflect on a considerable amount of reading from a professional reading list.
  • The third and final part of the program consists of a summer during which candidates work in teams to complete an assigned project related to literacy instruction.


  • Increase literacy skills of Connecticut’s school children
  • Address shortage of certified reading specialists
  • Enable classroom teachers to acquire special expertise

Program Description

Part I: Summer 2018

Dates: July 5 – August 1, 2018
Hours: 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM Monday - Friday
Content: Instruction in coaching and adult learning, theory and practice in fundamentals of language and literacy and assessment and evaluation of reading and language arts, and clinical tutoring practice.

Part II: Academic Year 2018-2019:
Best Practices Saturday Seminars(monthly)


  • September 8, 2018
  • October 13, 2018
  • November 3, 2018
  • December 1, 2018
  • January 5, 2019 (snow date Jan. 12)
  • February 2, 2019 (snow date Feb. 9)
  • March 2, 2019
  • April 6, 2019
  • May 4, 2019
Hours: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Content: Nine seminars designed to prepare participants to assume responsibilities as literacy specialists. In addition to the nine seminars participants will be involved in the following activities during the academic year 2018-2019:

  • Clinical practice, consisting of:
    • working with individual or small groups of students
    • working with classroom teachers
    • observing reading specialists
    • reflecting on professional reading

An advisor will facilitate winter activities and be the liaison between the AAP candidate and his/her school, as appropriate.

Part III: Summer 2019

Dates: July 8 – August 2, 2019
Hours: 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM Monday through Friday
Content: Culminating Group Project

Story of Success

Samantha (Mandy) Makuch

Samantha (Mandy) Makuch

Mandy Makuch, a member of Cohort VII, successfully completed the AAP program in 2012. Mandy lives in Willington, Connecticut, and is literacy specialist for grades K-4 in the Ashford School.

Prior to enrolling in the AAP program Mandy taught first grade for five years and was offered the literacy specialist position upon her completion of the program. Mandy is passionate not only about the program's structure, but also about the instructors and describes her participation as "...such a wonderful experience earning my reading certification at Albertus Magnus. I started a position as Ashford's reading/language arts specialist soon after receiving my certificate, and it has been everything I'd hoped it would be and more. I truly feel as though I'm doing what I am meant to do, and the teaching I've done this year has been incredibly rewarding and satisfying."

In 2013 Mandy Makuch was selected as teacher of the year for Ashford School and credits "all the instructors at Albertus Magnus College for helping me achieve this honor." Mandy is entering her ninth year in teaching and her third year as a literacy specialist for Ashford School.

Application Requirements

  • A completed application and a $65 non-refundable application fee
  • Master’s degree (or 30 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree) from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended
  • Proof of immunization in accordance with Connecticut State requirements
  • Valid Connecticut teaching certificate or eligibility for Connecticut teacher certification.
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from a current administrator
  • Current resume and evidence of teaching full-time for five of the past eight years
  • Demonstration of strong written and oral communication skills
  • Essay
  • For non-native English speakers, minimum TOEFL score of 550 paper-based, 80 internet-based, or 213 computer-based
  • For applicants who intend to use Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Educational Benefits
    • Military, university and college transcripts
    • Certification of Eligibility letter or, for reservists, Notice of Basic Eligibility
    • Veteran’s Intent to Register form

All application materials should be sent to:

Saylor Heidmann, Program Director
Education Programs
Albertus Magnus College
700 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Important Dates

March 1, 2018 Application deadline for the 2018-2019 AAP program
March 2018 Personal interviews with candidates (upon invitation)
April 13, 2018 Notification of acceptance into program

Tuition and Fees

  • Non-refundable application fee: $65.00
  • Tuition for entire three-part program: $4,460.00

(to be paid in four installments – dates given at time of acceptance)

Coffee with President Camille

President Camille sits down with Saylor Heidmann, the director of the Advanced Alternative Preparation Program. They discuss the program in depth as well as Saylor’s journey to becoming a professor here at Albertus Magnus College.