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Degrees and certificates
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The graduate Certificate in Community-Based Literacy as Applied Linguistics is designed to prepare students to facilitate the design, construction, and management of community-based literacy programs, particularly in multilingual societies outside the United States. The nature of such literacy programs depends on the desires and goals of the communities and their local governments. Such programs may take a variety of forms, such as: adult functional literacy (in the domains of health, agriculture, etc.); rights-based literacy; literacy in the local language first with transition to biliteracy; and transfer of literacy skills from the language of wider communication to the local language. No professional educational accreditation is associated with the certificate, but the certificate itself can be an important credential for students who anticipate working in literacy and language development in other countries.
The certificate is built around the Literacy Megacourse, which is offered in odd-numbered summers as part of the SIL-UND summer linguistics program. Students may take the Literacy Megacourse without enrolling in the Certificate program. However, if they want to earn the Certificate, they must apply to the Certificate program before taking any of the courses in the Megacourse.
The faculty and teaching staff for the certificate have substantial fieldwork experience, promoting vernacular literacy in many different countries.
Linguistics at UND is a cooperative program between the University and the Summer Institute of Linguistics (a program of SIL International), which offers courses on campus every summer. SIL directs the Certificate in Community-Based Literacy as Applied Linguistics under the supervision of UND's School of Graduate Studies.
General requirements for admission to the School of Graduate Studies include
- completion of a 4-year bachelor’s degree from a college or university with regional accreditation
- a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.8 for all undergraduate work
- ability to pursue academic work in English (Students whose native language is not English must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or composite 79 (internet-based: 21 Speaking, 19 Listening, 19 Reading, 17 Writing), or provide comparable evidence of equivalent proficiency.)
Specific requirements for admission to the certificate in Community-Based Literacy as Applied Linguistics are either
- one year of experience living and working in another country and culture, or
- a course in cultural anthropology or sociolinguistics at the 300-level or higher
In addition, it is recommended that students have a background in either education or linguistics. (GRE scores are not required.)
All persons have equal opportunity to graduate study at UND, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability.
If you want the certificate, you need to complete the normal SIL application process (to take the classes in the Literacy Megacourse). As part of this process you will apply to UND's School of Graduate Studies (to enter the certificate program). We strongly recommend that you begin by filling in SIL's pre-application form (available here), so that the Director of Graduate Studies and the SIL Registrar can guide you through the process of applying to UND.
In order to be admitted to the Certificate program in a given summer, all materials required by the School of Graduate Studies must be received by UND by May 1. You must be admitted to the Certificate program prior to taking any of the courses that comprise the Certificate.
International students interested in earning the certificate should start the application process by January 15 in order to allow enough time to complete all necessary requirements.
If you have further questions, consult with the Director of Graduate Studies before applying (see contact information below).
To receive the certificate, you must first be admitted to the certificate program and then successfully complete the Literacy Megacourse, consisting of Ling 520, 521, 522, and 530. The first three courses must be taken together in the same summer; Ling 530 is normally also taken at the same time.
SIL offers a limited amount of scholarship help to its students, including special funds for students in the Literacy Megacourse. Details are provided on the page about scholarships and financial aid at SIL-UND.
For specific questions about the Certificate in Community-Based Literacy
Dr. Keith Slater
email: through SIL-UND’s web-based form
phone: (701) 777-0575 (this number is available only while SIL is in session)
toll-free: (800) 292-1621
For general information about graduate study at UND
Internet: visit My GradSpace
email: questions at gradschool dot und dot edu
The School of Graduate Studies
P.O. Box 8178
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks ND 58202-8178
phone: (701) 777-2945