Early Literacy Professional Development Specialist- Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy at Georgia College



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Job description

Job ID: 255309

About Us

Georgia College & State University is the state’s designated public liberal arts university. As a member of the prestigious Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), Georgia College is committed to fostering a liberal arts environment that values interdisciplinary inquiry, diversity and inclusion, and academic excellence. The College enrolls approximately 7,000 students -5,800 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students– and is prominently cited for excellence in teaching, undergraduate research, nursing education, and high impact practices outside the classroom in a number of leading publications.

The university’s beautiful and historic campus is located downtown in Milledgeville, Georgia, a charming, diverse college town of approximately 19,000 residents in Central Georgia, approximately 90 miles southeast of Atlanta. Milledgeville is also the home of noted American author and alumna, Flannery O’Connor, and the college community enjoys many exciting literary arts programs at O’Connor’s former home, Andalusia, now owned by the College.  Milledgeville is also located on the banks of beautiful Lake Sinclair and Lake Oconee, allowing faculty, staff, and students to take full advantage of the environmental and recreational benefits of being part of a lake community. For cultural, educational, and leisure opportunities beyond Milledgeville, Macon and Atlanta are located within easy driving distances.

Georgia College takes great pride in combining the educational experience of private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of a public university. The university’s main campus is a residential learning community focused on undergraduate education and a select number of graduate programs. Faculty and staff are dedicated to engaging students through high-impact pedagogies that foster intellectual curiosity, reasoned inquiry, and critical thinking. We strive for excellence in the classroom and beyond. We nurture collaborative leadership and global citizenship, and we value diversity and inclusion in all of its forms.

Georgia College seeks faculty and administrators who understand and embrace our public liberal arts mission, who are committed to respecting and fostering diversity and inclusion inside and outside of the classroom, and who are dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through teaching, scholarship, and service. All Georgia College faculty share the responsibility of teaching our core curriculum and providing foundation courses for majors and non-majors alike. To carry out our public liberal arts mission, we seek faculty with the desire and ability to provide a first-class learning experience for our students, one that will prepare them to be competent, thoughtful, and well-rounded leaders who make transformative contributions to their communities and to the world.

Department Information

The Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy, named after the former First Lady of Georgia, was founded in 2017 by the Governor’s office and the state legislature. The Deal Center is the state’s training and research center that focuses on literacy outcomes for children birth through third grade. The Deal Center is working to continue the legacy of Mrs. Deal through our charge to put all of Georgia’s children on the path to reading success. With offices housed at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, we are centrally located and work alongside partners and collaborators throughout the state. Therefore, we are well-positioned to design, scale, influence, and invest in evidence-based solutions that improve early language and literacy.

The Deal Center’s work is grounded in the research strategy to collect, conduct, and share evidence based research and best practices in the field of early language and literacy development. Additionally, the Deal Center actively supports partner organizations in an ongoing effort to add to the literature base and make improvements in early language and literacy research and recommendations. Our specific goals aim at achieving our vision to propel every child to read proficiently and beyond by the end of third grade.


Job Duties for the Professional Development Specialist will include:

Program Development 

Plan and develop a comprehensive curriculum of professional development in literacy for teachers, literacy coaches, principals, superintendents, school leaders, parents, and community organizers of children kindergarten to 3rd grade throughout Georgia.
Develop an annual professional learning calendar that can adjust to both in-person and virtual training.
Develop specialized institutes and fellowships to build knowledge on the early language and literacy reading process.
Plan and develop a Governor’s Summit to highlight the Deal Center work and statewide partners work in literacy.
Coordinate and manage community outreach and literacy grant initiatives.
Identify and guide literacy consultants in conducting specialized program events.
Identify and prioritize professional development needs.
Prepare and provides reports on program progress and status.

Design and deliver high-quality professional learning opportunities on evidence-based language and literacy practices for teachers, literacy coaches, educational leaders, parents, and community organizers of children K to 3rd grade.
Develop content in the areas of language and literacy development and research-based strategies for teachers, literacy coaches, and educational leaders of children K to 3rd grade.
Lead in-person and virtual meetings, training, and workshops and provide instructional leadership and modeling.
Continually reviews/evaluates content to ensure that it is meeting the intended objectives, and makes improvements and revisions, as needed.
Develop a systematic approach to curriculum and instructional planning, development, implementation, and immediate informal feedback.
Create and maintain training guides, reading foundations toolkits, and content curation of resources.

Collaborate and coordinate with technical assistance for professional development providers and consultants offering support in K-3rd grade literacy to increase effectiveness and align systems of support.
Build strong collaboration with the Georgia Department of Education, Regional Educational Service Agencies, school systems, USG teacher preparation programs, and other providers of professional development for teachers of children in grades K-3rd grade.
Explore ways to provide literacy enrichment for children K to 3rd grade in collaboration with afterschool programs, public libraries, Department of Public Health, pediatrician and community health centers, and community non-profits.

Content Knowledge 
Developmental reading foundations and evidence-based practices.
Explicit and systematic early literacy instruction.
Knowledge of the Evidence-based approach to teaching reading.

Required Qualifications

Educational Requirements
Master’s degree in Reading and Literacy, Reading Education, Early Childhood Education, or related field or Reading Endorsement with a minimum of 3- 5 years of successful K-12 classroom teaching experience.  Experience supporting adult learning, coaching, and facilitation.

Preferred Qualifications

Preferred Educational Qualifications
EdS or doctorate in Reading and Literacy, Reading Education, Early Childhood Education, or a closely related field.

Preferred Experience
Experience in teaching and coaching adult learners.
Experience in curriculum design/content development and instructional design.
Experience/knowledge of e-learning/on-line learning pedagogy and tools.
Strong background in early literacy content and pedagogy
Experience in leading teams in literacy approaches, programs, or interventions.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

Best practices in professional development for adult learners.
Knowledge of best practices in teaching adult learners
Deep knowledge of early language and literacy models and strategies
Knowledge of coaching as a tool for improving practice and student achievement.
Knowledge of Georgia Standards of Excellence, ELA, K-3.

Program planning
Program development
Communication and collaboration
Event planning
Teaching adult learners
Curriculum development

Equal Employment Opportunity

Georgia College is committed to the fundamental principle of equal opportunity and equal treatment for every prospective and current employee and strives to create a campus environment which understands, fosters, and embraces the value of diversity. No person shall, on the grounds of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information, be excluded from employment or participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination, under any program or activity conducted by Georgia College. It is the policy our institution to recruit, hire, train, promote and educate persons without regard to race, color, national or ethnical origin, age, disability, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status as required by applicable state and federal laws (including Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, Sections 503, and 504, AREA, ADA, E.O. 11246, and Rev. Proc. 75-50). Georgia College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Institution.

Other Information

This is not a supervisory position.
This position does not have any financial responsibilities.
This position will be required to drive.
This role is considered a position of trust.
This position does not require a purchasing card (P-Card).
This position may travel 50% – 74% of the time
This position does not require security clearance.

How to apply

Apply online

Background Check

  • Education Verification
  • Criminal Backround Check
  • Drug Test

GC&SU is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action institution, with a commitment to cultural, racial, and ethnic communities. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. It is expected that successful candidates share in this commitment. For more information, please visit our web page at www.gcsu.edu.