The Best Online Master’s in Reading & Literacy Programs

Badge (Online) with 2-Line TitleMaster'sin Reading & Literacy2017
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Master’s in reading literacy programs provide teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to help improve students’ reading comprehension and language acquisition abilities. Many online reading master’s programs feature courses that focus on research and curriculum development, but specific program details vary depending on the school and program a learner chooses.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost % Enrolled Online Location Description
1 University of Florida 78.95 3/5 60% Gainesville, FL

One of the best reading and literacy master’s programs is at the University of Florida, located in Gainesville. The school offers two online reading master's programs: a master of education and a master of arts in education with a focus on reading education. Students seeking a master’s in reading online will find a nationally accredited, academically rigorous, and supportive program at UF. The aim of this program is to support practicing and prospective teachers interested in promoting enhanced literacy within PreK-12 students. Modern teaching and learning methods are emphasized throughout the program, with the end goal of equipping graduates with evidence-based practices that translate into successful classrooms.

The two master’s in reading online programs can be completed in four to six semesters by full-time students. The MEd in reading education is a non-thesis track that requires 36 credits, while the MAE path requires 30 credits on top of six credits devoted to the research and writing of a thesis or to a capstone project. Throughout both programs, learners focus on five different areas: foundations of reading, classroom reading assessment and supervision, diagnosis and remediation of reading difficulties, language arts and literature, and English as a secondary language. Courses include trends in reading, diagnosis of reading difficulties, and multicultural children’s literature. Distance learners must maintain a GPA of 3.0.

Reading certification is not automatically awarded based on completion of this master’s in reading online, but students can take steps to gain a certificate after checking with their board of education. For admittance, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 for their last 60 undergraduate credits, a GRE score, three letters of recommendation from university faculty, a statement of purpose, and a resume.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education - School of Teaching & Learning
Program name: Master's of Education in Reading
Accrediting body: NCATE
Tuition: $449/credit in-state; $690/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 4-6 semesters
Program start dates: Fall, spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0 minimum for last 60 credits
Standardized tests: GRE
Work experience: Classroom teaching experience

Contact
Department phone: (352) 273-4215
Department email: meganelewis@coe.ufl.edu (Megan Lewis, Academic Assistant)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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2 University of Georgia 67.26 3/5 3% Athens, GA

Organized through its online learning department, the University of Georgia offers an online master’s in reading education that teaches students how to help pre-K-12 learners increase their reading and comprehension skills. This program, which is overseen by the university's college of education and the language and literacy education department, consists of 36 credit hours that are taught in a 12-course sequence. The curriculum incorporates the latest methodologies in literacy education. Courses include integrating digital resources in the literacy classroom, the history of teaching methods for literacy learning in the United states, and assessing literacy materials and programs.

This program is for licensed teachers already working with students in PreK-12th grade classrooms who want to expand their knowledge to provide reading comprehension classes. Distance learners can expect to graduate within two years. Students are required to complete a capstone course and a final examination to qualify for graduation. As of 2017, the program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Distance learners entering during the 2017-2018 academic year can expect to pay $26,550 for the entire program. Scholarships and grants are available for students within the college of education.

UGA maintains a favorable transfer policy for students who have taken other online master’s in reading courses. Degree-seekers may transfer up to nine credits. Admission requirements include GRE or MAT scores, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, at least two years of teaching experience, and a current teaching license.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education - Department of Language & Literacy Education
Program name: Master's of Education in Reading Education
Accrediting body: NCATE, SACSCOC
Tuition: $638/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall, spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - June 30; spring - November 15
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE
Work experience: 2 years of teaching experience

Contact
Department phone: (706) 542-6446
Department email: coeinfo@uga.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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3 University of Dayton 60.62 5/5 2% Dayton, OH

Offered as an online master’s for reading specialists, the University of Dayton’s accredited online reading specialist degree prepares graduates for further education and/or the opportunity to take up leadership roles in literacy programs. Incorporating the latest research, theory, and policy, the program is on the cutting-edge of reading literacy methodologies.

Degree-seekers study reading intervention, how to assess and evaluate difficulties, and how to develop a writing classroom. Course topics include advanced study in reading and language arts, evaluation of literacy issues, and the writing classroom. Students must complete a comprehensive thesis, attend an educational research seminar, or learn about how teachers use data in the decision making process.

This is one of the best reading specialist certification programs online. Graduates can be found teaching in 36 states and in Bulgaria, Thailand, China, Serbia, and more. According to data collected by career services at UD, 100% of students graduated successfully during the 2015-2016 academic year.

For admittance, applicants should have a minimum 2.75 grade point average, a score of 149 or higher on the MAT, or a 4.0 or higher on the analytical writing section of the GRE. They must also provide letters of recommendation, a professional resume, and evidence of prior teaching experience and licensure.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education & Health Sciences
Program name: Master's of Science in Education - Literacy
Accrediting body: NCATE
Tuition: $626/credit

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: EDT 600, 601, 602, 603
Credit requirements: 30-31 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall, spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: 8 weeks prior to term start
GPA: 2.75 minimum (unless acceptable scores on GRE or MAT)
Standardized tests: GRE or MAT (only if GPA below 2.75)
Work experience: Classroom experience

Contact
Department phone: (937) 229-3146
School email: info@udayton.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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4 Rowan University 59.52 4/5 11% Glassboro, NJ

Rowan is a public research institution that’s home to nearly 20,000 students. Learners select from numerous course options when completing their degrees. The institution’s 30-credit accredited online reading specialist degree, one of the best reading specialist certification programs online, can be completed without visiting the campus. Most students finish their studies within five consecutive semesters. In addition to receiving approval from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator preparation, the International Reading Association has also praised Rowan’s program.

The curriculum is rooted in evidence-based practices. Courses include teaching literacy to English language learners; phonics, spelling, and vocabulary instruction; and 21st century literacy: digital knowledge and digital teaching.

Applicants aren’t required to be certified teachers, but they will need to have access to a classroom or school setting in order to complete practicum requirements. The reading practitioner track teaches instructional methodologies that are aligned to current Common Core standards within English and language arts classrooms. Distance learners have the option to start this program multiple times per year. All coursework is delivered asynchronously. Out-of-state students pay $730 per credit hour; New Jersey-based applicants may apply for discounts through the New Jersey Teacher Outreach Program. Rowan Global charges no additional fees outside the tuition rate.

Admissions requirements include a Rowan Global application form, letters of recommendation, official transcripts, a professional resume, a statement of professional objectives, a minimum GPA of 2.75, and copies of any educational certifications held.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education
Program name: Master's of Arts in Reading Education
Available concentrations: Reading practitioner
Accrediting body: CAEP
Tuition: $730/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 30 credits

Program Length
Program options: Part-time only
Program length: 5 semesters Program start dates: Spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: November 1
GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (856) 256-4752
School email: global@rowan.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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5 Loyola Marymount University 58.96 5/5 1% Los Angeles, CA

Loyola Marymount, located in Los Angeles, is a private university of the Jesuit tradition that also offers online learning opportunities. The university’s MA in reading instruction is a two-year program that prepares graduates for leadership roles in pre-K-12 classrooms. It emphasizes the inclusion of technology and approaches to working with diverse populations.

Comprised of 33 credit hours, this degree was created with working professionals in mind. Learners who are able to take two classes during the fall and spring semesters and one class during the summer can graduate within two years. All courses are offered asynchronously to ensure that students are able to complete assignments on their own schedules. Optional synchronous meetings are also available to students who want to enhance their LMU experience. Course topics include assessment of reading performance, advanced diagnosis and intervention in reading, and reading development and instruction.

Whether a distance learner plans to work in a classroom or as a district supervisor, Loyola Marymount’s online master’s in reading provides the hands-on learning and theoretical knowledge needed to thrive in many roles. Candidates who already have a teaching credential can use the same coursework and apply it toward a reading and language arts specialist credential.

While this program doesn’t require a thesis or final project, learners will need to pass a comprehensive exam to qualify for graduation. Students can begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer term. The deadlines for admission are June 15, November 15, and March 15.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education
Program name: Master's of Arts in Reading Instruction
Accrediting body: CCTC
Tuition: $1,219/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 30 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - June 15; spring - November 15; summer - March 15
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (310) 258-8768
Department email: soeinfo@lmu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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6 Nova Southeastern University 58.68 4/5 49% Fort Lauderdale, FL

Nova Southeastern, located in Florida, is a private institution that offers a master of science in education with a specialization in reading education for aspiring literacy specialists in pre-K-12 schools. This program is appropriate for practicing reading/language arts teachers who desire new opportunities in their current field and students who hold a bachelor’s degree in education.

In addition to its status as an approved program for Florida residents seeking an add-on teaching certification, this program is also approved by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. With a focus on literacy and language arts, this program helps degree-seekers learn how to develop appropriate curriculums while continually assessing and evaluating the success of their instruction. Faculty are well regarded in the field for being professional practitioners, scholars, and researchers who care about the success of every learner.

A thesis or culminating project is not required. Students take 12 classes focused on educational measurements, reading supervision, and selecting appropriate literature for child and adult learners. At the end of their first year, students complete a supervised reading practicum in individual remediation. This prepares them for the classroom environment. Before enrolling, students should check with their state department of education to ensure that the program qualifies for certification or licensure in their area.

For admittance, students must submit an admissions packet, official transcripts showing a minimum 2.5 GPA, and information about any prior teaching experience and licensure. To graduate, students must have achieved a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA in all master's coursework.


Program Overview
Department: Abraham S. Fischler College of Education
Program name: Master's of Science in Education
Available concentrations: Reading education
Accrediting body: NCATE
Tuition: $955/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Field education requirements: Practicum

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall, spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (954) 262-8500
Department email: eduinfo@nova.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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7 University of South Florida-Main Campus 57.09 3/5 49% Tampa, FL

University of South Florida is a public research institution that has many online learning opportunities. The school's reading specialist online program is offered as an MA in reading K-12.

Learners who already hold a professional teaching certificate or a certification degree from a state-approved program are encouraged to apply to this two-year program. The degree is taught in three blocks, and each block ends with a transition point project to ensure distance learners have a firm grasp on the concepts. By the time students have moved through all three blocks, they’ll have completed between 33 and 36 credit hours, including a practicum in reading that's designed to provide them the opportunity to gain real-world experience. Degree-seekers can complete these experiences at an approved school near their place of residence.

The program focuses on ensuring that every student has their needs met, even if they speak English as a second language. Courses related to this goal include teaching limited English proficiency students, trends in literature in a diverse society, and history and models of reading: prevention and intervention in reading difficulties.

Regardless of whether or not they plan to work in Florida, all students must pass the Florida teacher certification examinations to graduate. The College of Education offers a range of scholarships to its online students. Current scholarships include the Velma Pate Thomas Scholarship (applicants must be full-time female students), the SEARLS/PFOST Scholarship (applicants must hold a 3.0 GPA and have completed 12 credits), and the Craig L. Johnson Endowed Memorial Scholarship (applicants must demonstrate a long-term commitment to education).


Program Overview
Department: College of Education - Department of Childhood Education & Literacy Studies
Program name: Master's of Arts in Reading K-12
Accrediting body: NCATE
Tuition: $431/credit in-state; $877/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 33-36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - February 15; spring - September 15; summer - January 15
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (813) 974-1062
Department email: jking9@usf.edu (Dr. James R. King, Professor)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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8 Concordia University-Nebraska 55.92 3/5 15% Seward, NE

Concordia University’s MEd in literacy with a reading specialist emphasis prepares students to teach at the elementary or secondary level in public or private settings. Concordia’s program instills innovative, sustainable, and successful strategies for working with students of varied backgrounds and levels. In addition to covering all the theories and practices commonly seen in other programs, Concordia also focuses on how to effectively use assessment tools to create a curriculum.

The program requires students to earn 36 credit hours to graduate. Courses are taught in eight week blocks, giving students the opportunity to complete the program at an accelerated pace. Courses include research evaluation and design; preliminary design and processes for a case study; and decoding, comprehension, and fluency in word study.

Before being cleared for graduation, all learners must take EDUC 631: creating a case study in literacy. This field-based program requires learners to interact with students in a supervised manner while keeping reflective journals and providing a research paper on a topic or issue observed during their time in a primary or secondary classroom.

Concordia offers multiple start dates throughout the year. Enrollment requirements include an application, official transcripts, a professional resume, and a 500- to 750-word essay demonstrating interest in the program and future goals. Online learners can expect to pay $550 per credit hour for this degree.


Program Overview
Program name: Master's of Education in Literacy
Available concentrations: Reading specialist
Accrediting body: NCATE
Tuition: $425/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: January, March, May, June, August, October

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling

Contact
Graduate programs phone: (402) 643-6501
Graduate admissions email: gradadmiss@cune.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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9 University of North Carolina at Charlotte 54.62 3/5 18% Charlotte, NC

Students at the UNC Charlotte campus have the opportunity to complete an innovative master of education in reading that prepares them for literacy roles in K-12 classrooms. Comprised of 33 credit hours, this online master’s in reading is taught through Moodle in a part-time format to provide flexibility. The school's master’s in reading online is taught synchronously -- meaning students will need to log-in through Saba Meeting at specific times.

Classes are divided into four content areas: foundations of literacy and technology, developmentally appropriate assessment and instruction, expanding content and pedagogical knowledge, and reflective leadership. Required courses include emergent and elementary literacy, diagnostic assessment and instruction in reading, and multi-literacies in a global world: reading and writing texts in new time.

Applicants must hold an A-level license from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction or the equivalent awarding body in their home state. Degree-seekers in North Carolina will be eligible to sit for the Advanced Standard Professional II teaching license in K-12 reading education. Distance learners from other states should check with their board of education to find out if this program qualifies them for equivalent licensure.

In-state learners can expect to pay approximately $8,000 for this program, while those who live out-of-state should plan for an average of $28,000. A number of assistantships are available to help offset these costs. Distance learners seeking higher education after completing this accredited online reading specialist degree can enroll in UNC’s PhD in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in reading education.


Program Overview
Department: Cato College of Education
Program name: Master's of Education in Reading Education
Accrediting body: NCATE
Tuition: $247/credit in-state; $893/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Teaching license
Credit requirements: 33 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: July 15
Standardized tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Department phone: (704) 687-1276
Department email: c.jones@uncc.edu (Crystal Jones, Senior Program Manager)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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10 East Carolina University 54.32 3/5 34% Greenville, NC

The College of Education at East Carolina is home to a modern, forward-focused master's in reading online for graduates seeking educational roles related to literacy and reading comprehension leadership. This online-only program prepares graduates for a range of professional opportunities. ECU’s program is suitable for any K-12 classroom, including careers in literacy or reading comprehension leadership in public or private schools.

Students receive all the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in this online master’s in reading program, which requires learners to complete 39 semester hours. Graduates receive a reading specialist license. Faculty members have contributed research in areas of literacy, best teaching practices, and the use of technology. Most students are able to graduate within two to three years, even while teaching full time.

Concentrations are available in elementary education or special education. The concentrations prepare students to work in specific classroom settings. General coursework includes organization and management of reading programs, remediation of reading disabilities, and teaching basic reading skills to adults. Distance learners also have the option to follow a thesis or non-thesis track. Every student must complete a professional electronic portfolio and presentation to qualify for graduation. Applicants may enroll at four different times during the academic year: fall, spring, first summer session, and second summer session. Deadlines are August 1, December 1, April 20, and June 15.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education
Program name: Master's of Arts in Education
Available concentrations: Reading education
Accrediting body: NCATE
Tuition: $244/credit in-state; $876/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Undergraduate reading coursework
Credit requirements: 36-39 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer I, summer II

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - August 1; spring - December 1; summer I - April 20; summer II - June 15
GPA: 2.7 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Department phone: (252) 358-4260
Department email: faulconerj@ecu.edu (Dr. Johna Faulconer, Program Area Coordinator)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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11 University of Northern Iowa 52.55 3/5 18% Cedar Falls, IA

Northern Iowa’s online learning programs, taught through UNI at a Distance, provide many distance learning options. The school's master of arts in education in literacy education can be completed through video conferencing and the school's online learning platform.

This online reading specialist degree was developed for currently-licensed teachers looking to gain further reading endorsements. Graduates may choose from three tracks: reading education K-8, secondary reading, or reading specialist. Every student is assigned to a cohort of learners whom they move through the program with, providing a traditional experience and support during the two years.

Required coursework is tailored to offer the latest research and teaching methodologies, thereby putting graduates on the forefront of reading education and literacy best practices. Required coursework includes language development and variability; ideological, cultural, and sociopolitical issues in children’s literature; and advanced assessment and evaluation of literacy development. Degree-seekers also complete a practicum during their final semester and take between two and 12 units of research-based courses to prepare a thesis. Depending on the number of research units taken, this program ranges from 31 to 43 credits and can be completed in eight semesters, including summer sessions. Most semesters consist of six to nine credits.

Learners undertake a practicum to qualify for graduation. For the 2017-2018 academic year, learners paid $486 per credit. The Stanley and Norma Reeves Scholarship is available to learners within this program.


Program Overview
Department: Continuing & Distance Education
Program name: Master's of Arts in Education - Literacy Education
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $486/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 32-44 credits
Field education requirements: Practicum

Program Length
Program options: Part-time only
Program length: 8 semesters
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling

Contact
Department phone: (319) 273-2504
Department email: Rita.Gutman@uni.edu (Rita Gutman, Enrollment Contact)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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12 Canisius College 52.05 3/5 7% Buffalo, NY

As one of 28 institutions with a Jesuit heritage within the U.S., Canisius College in New York provides a private liberal arts education in the Catholic traditions. The school's online college offers a master's in reading online.

The faculty within the college’s accredited online reading specialist degree believe that teaching literacy involves more than the capacity to read and write. The program gives teachers the necessary skills to help their students apply reading and writing skills, thereby allowing them to effectively connect and communicate in today’s fast-paced world. Students with initial teaching certification are eligible to gain a literacy certification in birth through grade six or grades five through 12. Each of these concentrations allows degree-seekers to work with children in a clinical setting and use evidence-based practices in literacy instruction throughout the course of two practicum placements. In addition to meeting New York requirements for literacy specialists, this program also meets the highest level of standards set by the International Literacy Association. Highlighted courses in this online master’s in reading program include emergent literacy, teaching reading in classrooms of diversity, and the role of the literacy specialist.

Provided through the school of education and human services, this online reading specialist degree requires students to occasionally visit the Buffalo campus. Distance learners in this program receive a 95% or better pass rate on the literacy certification exam. Students have the opportunity to work closely with award-winning faculty throughout the program, specifically during the practicum components.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education & Human Services
Program name: Master's of Science in Literacy Education
Accrediting body: CAEP
Tuition: $819/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 33 credits
Field education requirements: Practicum in clinical setting

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE, MAT, or ALST

Contact
Department phone: (716) 888-2212
Department email: kicakl@canisius.edu (Lauren Kicak, Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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13 University of Wisconsin-La Crosse 51.26 3/5 17% La Crosse, WI

UW’s La Crosse campus has been providing public education for more than 100 years. The institution’s reading specialist degree online was created with working teachers in mind, specifically those who have already been in the classroom for at least one year and have completed licensure requirements. A foundation of best practices and current literacy research makes this program a popular choice with educators, as does the opportunity to earn a reading teacher or reading specialist license.

The curriculum is among online reading master's programs built around the International Literacy Association’s standards for reading professionals. It focuses on six different categories of learning: foundational knowledge, curriculum and instruction, assessment and evaluation, diversity, literate environments, and professional learning and leadership. The reading teacher certification master’s comprises 30 credits, while the reading specialist certification master’s requires 37 credits. For learners who aren't seeking certification, a different 30-credit program allows students to use their electives to study advanced topics in literacy or teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Core courses include critical issues in reading difficulties, children’s and adolescent literature, and directing a school-wide reading and literacy program.

Taught as a cohort program, students enter the program with a group of peers who take the same courses for the duration of the degree. New students are only accepted in the fall of each academic year. Applicants must have completed an appropriate baccalaureate degree, be certified or licensed as a preK-12 teacher, and have at least two years of teaching completed at the time of application. To become certified, degree-seekers must complete a thesis, a portfolio, and earn a passing score on the Foundations of Reading exam.


Program Overview
Department: Professional Studies in Education
Program name: Master's of Science in Education - Reading
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $450/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 31 credits
Field education requirements: Literacy practicum

Program Length
Program options: Full-time only
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: August 1
Work experience: Student teaching

Contact
Department phone: (608) 785-6507
Department email: pse@uwlax.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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14 SUNY at Albany 51.22 3/5 4% Albany, NY

SUNY’s University at Albany is a public research institution that’s been providing education for more than 170 years. The university’s department of literacy teaching and learning offers two types of online master’s in reading: a master of science in literacy and a master of science in special education and literacy. The MS in literacy offers three additional certifications in birth through sixth grade, fifth grade to 12th grade, and birth through 12th grade. This program underwent a complete revision in 2013, and the current curriculum relies on the latest in research, policies, and technology to help prepare teachers for roles as literacy specialists, coaches, or advanced classroom teachers. Students can attend the program in a part-time or full-time format, and classes are offered asynchronously.

The second option, the MS in special education and literacy, is a 43-credit program that provides initial professional certification in working with students with disabilities, grades one through six. This program is only available full-time, but courses are taught asynchronously so teachers can fit coursework into their busy schedules. Students have a number of different practicum areas to select from, including adolescent literacies, preventing literacy difficulties, and differentiated instruction/coaching.

Core courses include adolescent literacies and modalities; data-based decision making in literacy assessment, policy, and practice; and classroom literacy instruction. Four different practicums are required in the areas of writing in the classroom and differentiated institution and coaching.

Each of these paths leads to full certification in New York, but students living outside this region should check with their board of education before committing to the program. As of the 2016-2017 academic year, graduate students paid tuition fees of $453 per credit (this price reduces as students sign on for more credits).


Program Overview
Department: School of Education - Department of Literacy Teaching & Learning
Program name: Master's of Science in Reading
Accrediting body: TEAC
Tuition: $453/credit in-state; $925/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 30 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - June 25; spring - October 17; summer - March 15
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE, edTPA, GMAT, MAT, or Praxis

Contact
Department phone: (518) 442-4988
Department email: twalp@albany.edu (Trudy Walp, Online Program Manager)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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15 Concordia University-Chicago 50.85 3/5 19% River Forest, IL

Chicago’s Concordia University, a private institution, offers a master of arts in reading education degree online. The program emphasizes a theoretical and practical framework that's needed to excel in literacy instruction and assessment, as well as current research in the field.

Concordia’s accredited online reading specialist degree is designed for individuals who desire teaching literacy careers. Graduates have the tools, knowledge, and wisdom they need to serve students and become leaders in the field. The program requires students to earn 30 credits and can be completed in 24 months. No GRE scores are required. Students are required to spend a semester in a classroom gaining real-world experience before creating a culminating project that uses all the skills they’ve built throughout the program.

After completing required coursework and a reading specialist exam, degree-seekers are eligible to apply for the Illinois Reading Specialist credential. Distance learners from other states need to check with their board of education to ensure this program meets the requirements for similar certification in their state. The curriculum covers an array of current topics, including the assessment of reading with remedial materials, content reading for middle and secondary schools, and foundations of language and reading theory. The practicum is focused on using developmental instruction and support. Applicants matriculate during the fall semester, and the application deadline is August 21 for domestic and international students. A number of departmental scholarships are awarded on the basis of need and merit.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education
Program name: Master's of Arts in Reading Education
Accrediting body: NCATE
Tuition: $14,040/term

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Field education requirements: Practicum

Program Length
Program options: Part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.85 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (708) 209-4073
Department email: coe@cuchicago.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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16 Hamline University 50.79 4/5 6% Saint Paul, MN

Hamline, located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, provides a master of arts in literary education to aspiring reading specialists. Hamline’s school of education oversees the program, which focuses on providing up-to-date curriculum, opportunities for real-world learning, and best practices in the field of literacy education. The online master’s in reading gives distance learners the opportunity to gain theoretical and practical bases of knowledge, develop the expertise needed to serve a diverse classroom of students, and become advocates for expanded literacy.

This 34-credit program is taught in a cohort format, providing an on-campus atmosphere. A total of 24 credits are devoted to core courses, while an additional 10 electives can be taken in other educational topics or by attending Hamline’s Summer Literacy Institute. Course subjects include new literacies of the 21st century, literacy leadership and coaching, and rethinking literacy across the disciplines. The capstone credit, taken during the fourth and final term, allows students to tackle a problem or issue they’ve identified within literacy pedagogy and use their learned knowledge to provide a solution.

Students can transfer up to five semester credits at the time of matriculation, or 10 credits taken through Hamline. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. They must also provide official transcripts from any postsecondary schools attended, a two-page essay discussing future goals and why Hamline is a good fit, and two letters of recommendation. No prior teaching experience or licensure is required. Learners pay a reasonable per-credit rate of $452. Students with exceptional academic merit or existing leadership accomplishments are eligible to receive a renewable $1,500 scholarship.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education
Program name: Master's of Arts in Literacy Education
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $466/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 34 credits

Program Length
Program options: Part-time only
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (651) 523-2800
Department email: education@hamline.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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17 The University of West Florida 47.89 3/5 47% Pensacola, FL

West Florida, located in Pensacola, offers one of the best online master’s in reading. WF is a public institution that caters to approximately 13,000 learners. Made available to licensed teachers, the school's MEd in reading education requires students to earn 36 semester hours -- all of which are tailored to the International Reading Association’s standards. The curriculum is focused on meeting the needs of today’s classrooms and students. Studies in differentiating instruction, identifying and preventing reading difficulties, and the organization and administration of reading programs help prepare graduates to be knowledgeable leaders in reading and literacy.

In addition to a reading practicum requirement, students complete a research-based capstone project during their final semester. Although this program is available to out-of-state applicants, prospective students should review their state’s department of education requirements before enrolling.

Applicants must demonstrate ESOL proficiency. They must also provide transcripts that show a minimum GPA of 3.0 was maintained at the undergraduate level. This program does not require applicants to have previously taught in a classroom or to have gained licensure. Degree-seekers can begin their studies at three different times per year: fall, spring, and summer. The application deadlines for each of these sessions are June 1, October 1, and March 1. Distance learners must pass teacher certification exams that cover general knowledge, professionalism, subject areas, and reading. A reading endorsement is also available to students seeking this additional credential.


Program Overview
Department: Teacher Education & Educational Leadership
Program name: Master's of Education in Reading Education
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $295/credit in-state; $628/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - June 1; spring - October 1; summer - March 1
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact
Department phone: (850) 474-2870
Department email: cmanning@uwf.edu (Chasity Manning, Advisor)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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18 Olivet Nazarene University 46.62 3/5 12% Bourbonnais, IL

Olivet Nazarene, located in Bourbonnais, Illinois, offers an accelerated online master’s in reading. It's a private, Christian liberal arts institution that’s been providing education since 1907.

The online reading master’s is offered as an MAE reading specialist program that allows distance learners to complete degree requirements in 18 months or endorsement requirements within one year. The program is delivered through a cohort format, providing a sense of community and camaraderie. The program requires 32 credits; the endorsement requires 24 credits.

Teachers planning to work with school-aged children, kindergarten through 12th grade, typically pursue this program, which provides cutting-edge concepts, case studies, and field-placement opportunities within the curriculum. Classes include assessment and diagnosis of reading problems, content-area reading, and development and remedial resource materials. Students also have the opportunity to apply their learning to real-world situations during the creative project/practicum course during their final semester. Because all courses are taught in an accelerated format, students can finish this program more quickly than traditional degree paths.

As of the most recent academic year, online students pay $440 per credit or $14,180 for the entire program. Aside from outside grants and scholarships, the school also offers a few merit- and need-based scholarship opportunities for exceptional applicants. This program is open to licensed teachers who aspire to become reading specialists. Six different start dates are offered throughout the year, with deadlines for consideration falling on June 12, August 28, October 23, January 2, February 26, and April 23.


Program Overview
Department: School of Graduate & Continuing Studies
Program name: Master's of Arts in Education - Reading Specialist
Accrediting body: NCATE
Tuition: $440/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 32 credits

Program Length
Program options: Part-time only
Program length: 18 months
Program start dates: January, February, April, June, August, October

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
Standardized tests: TAP

Contact
School phone: (877) 965-4838
Admissions email: admissions@olivet.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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19 Concordia University-Wisconsin 45.72 4/5 15% Mequon, WI

Built upon a Lutheran foundation, the Wisconsin campus of Concordia offers an online master of science in education - literacy program. The program can be completed in two years. Students will complete three different portfolios to help them review and retain the information they’ve learned during the previous semester. The school's graduate capstone project allows degree-seekers to examine problems within literacy education and develop a comprehensive project to address targeted needs. Standard courses within the literacy core include K-12 literature, curriculum leadership, and literacy assessment for instruction.

The program provides an inclusive, collaborative experience to distance learners. Upon completion of the master’s in reading online, graduates have the reading strategies and assessment skills to understand varied reading strengths. Graduates also possess the ability to create positive reading experiences, and they understand how speaking, listening, reading, and writing all contribute to the holistic idea of literacy. Alumni have acquired positions as reading specialists, literacy coaches, teachers, curriculum specialists, education directors, and coordinators of reading and literacy programs.

The standards of the Wisconsin Department of Education often meet the requirements of other states, but students should still speak with an administrator before enrolling. The 33-credit program costs approximately $18,000 to earn, but Concordia offers numerous discounts. Christian school educators receive a 25% tuition reduction, while those working for preferred educational partners receive up to 24% off their costs. Applicants must submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, official transcripts, details of any previous graduate-level courses that may transfer, and a one-page essay detailing the reasoning behind obtaining a graduate degree. No GRE or MAT scores are required.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education
Program name: Master's of Science in Education - Literacy
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $565/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 33 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Varies

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Online programs phone: (877) 437-8175
Admissions email: onlineadmissions@cuw.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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20 California State University-Fresno 43.99 2/5 25% Fresno, CA

The school operates as part of the California State system and offers an online master of arts in education with an emphasis in reading/language arts for teachers looking to become certified reading specialists. Students must earn at least 30 credits to graduate. The program is offered in an accelerated format, enabling degree-seekers to graduate within five semesters. Distance learners with existing graduate school hours also have the opportunity to transfer up to nine credits gained from a different institution.

Students are admitted in the fall and continue to take two classes per semester until completing the degree. During their final semester, learners have the option to complete a significant project, a research thesis, or a comprehensive examination. Studies in teaching the language arts K-12, assessment and development of reading abilities, and research practices for reading professionals are all topics within core coursework. Taken in a cohort format, students begin the program at the same time and complete the same course sequence, providing a collaborative learning experience.

Students can enroll on a part-time basis, but all required classes must be completed within five years of matriculation. For acceptance, students must hold an undergraduate degree, must have maintained at least a 2.75 GPA, and must meet the school's undergraduate writing competency exam requirements. Additional requirements include completion of undergraduate writing competency courses, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Students can complete the advanced reading and literacy leadership specialist credential after finishing the online master’s in reading program.


Program Overview
Department: Kremen School of Education & Human Development
Program name: Master's of Arts in Education - Reading/Language Arts
Accrediting body: NCATE
Tuition: $4,011/term

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 30 credits

Program Length
Program options: Part-time only
Program length: 5 semesters
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (559) 278-0285
Department email: ibasurto@csufresno.edu (Dr. Imelda Basurto, Program Coordinator)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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21 University of North Dakota 43.46 3/5 29% Grand Forks, ND

When students complete their online master’s in reading at North Dakota, they select from either an MEd or MS program. The MEd program teaches students how to use foundations of literacy to empower students in literacy learning, use their knowledge of literacy curriculums to serve diverse learners, and use constructivist assessment and instructional practices to augment learning. This path is appropriate for teachers who eventually plan to move into administrative roles. The MS program emphasizes some of the same areas as the MEd, while also focusing on methods of assessment, diagnosis, and evaluation of individual readers and writers. Some of the topics covered in this path include educational data, instructional technology, and educational evaluation/measurement. Both degrees require 32 credit hours and take two to three years to complete.

Courses are taught asynchronously, and no on-campus visits are required. This CAEP-accredited program is designed for working educators who want a flexible, part-time program.

Classes are kept to 15 students or less. Regardless of residency, online students enjoy an in-state tuition rate of $360 per credit. A range of online education support services are available, including tutoring, library resources, tech assistance, and academic advising. Students can enter the program during the fall, summer, or spring semesters. The deadlines for the first two sessions are February 15, while applications for the spring semester must be submitted by September 15. For admittance, applicants must be currently certified K-12 teachers.


Program Overview
Department: Education & Human Development
Program name: Master's of Education or Master's of Science in Reading Education
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $360/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Teaching certificate, bachelor's degree in Education
Credit requirements: 32 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - August 1; spring - December 1; summer - May 1
GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (701) 777-2674
School email: UND.info@UND.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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22 University of Cincinnati-Main Campus 43.32 4/5 34% Cincinnati, OH

The University of Cincinnati, offering one of the best master’s in reading online, is a public institution located in southwest Ohio. The online master’s in literacy and second language studies was developed for educators who aspire to work with diverse populations, including traditional K-12 school settings and adult literacy programs. The degree offers a range of specializations, including pre-K-12 literacy learning and instruction, pre-K-12 teaching English as a second language, and adult/international teaching English as a second language. Within each of these areas, learners complete a semester-long practicum at a local school or learning center and submit a comprehensive research paper during their final semester. Other coursework requirements include foundations of first and second language learning, literacy as a linguistic and cultural tool, and sociolinguistics and bilingual education.

Graduates have gone onto roles as PreK-16 literacy learning instructors, developmental reading instructors, ESL educators, curriculum developers, and international teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) educators.

Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA. GRE or MAT scores are also required. Other materials that should be submitted include official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Distance learners applying to the PreK-16 literacy and learning path are encouraged to have at least two years of teaching experience before they apply. International degree-seekers may be required to meet additional application requirements. Students with prior graduate credits from a different institution may be able to apply for credit transfer if they meet course equivalency requirements.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human Services
Program name: Master's of Education in Literacy & Second Language Studies
Available concentrations: PreK-16 literacy & learning instruction, postsecondary language instruction, prek-12 teaching English as a second language, adult/international teaching English as a second language
Accrediting body: CAEP
Tuition: $724/credit in-state; $1,311/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 30 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: February 1
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (513) 556-7112
Department email: hye.pae@uc.edu (Dr. Hye Pae, Assistant Professor)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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23 Old Dominion University 42.02 3/5 32% Norfolk, VA

Old Dominion is located in Norfolk, Virginia. The school’s online master’s in reading is offered through ODU Online, the university’s online extension department. ODU's online reading education program, which offers a reading specialist concentration, is a flexible degree, designed to provide the support and ease needed by full-time teachers. With a focus on equipping teachers to instruct primary and secondary learners, the curriculum emphasizes reading development, student assessment, remediation, and more. A literacy coaching certificate may also be completed in addition to the master’s program if students seek additional credentialing.

Students must earn at least 30 credits to graduate. The majority of the program's 10 required classes are taught asynchronously, but applicants should be aware that some classes have synchronous components. The degree also requires a practicum component that ensures learners put their acquired skills and knowledge to use in a real-world setting. Graduates have gone on to careers as reading teachers, literacy coaches, and reading program developers.

ODU has offered distance educations for 30 years. Distance learning services include online tutoring, a writing center, tech support, library services, and academic advising. The program is approved by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Students in Washington are not eligible to apply. In-state learners receive a discounted tuition.


Program Overview
Department: Darden College of Education - Department of Teaching & Learning
Program name: Master's of Science in Education - Reading Education
Accrediting body: NCATE, CAEP
Tuition: $496/credit in-state; $538/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Field education requirements: Practicum

Program Length
Program options: Part-time only
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE, Praxis

Contact
Department phone: (757) 683-6756
Department email: jcarmstr@odu.edu (Joyce Armstrong, Department Assistant Director)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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24 Wilkes University 40.92 4/5 14% Wilkes-Barre, PA

As a private Christian university, Wilkes provides personalized educations taught through a lens of service and professionalism. In partnership with the National Institute for Professional Practice, Wilkes offers a 36-credit master’s in reading online. The MS in reading with a Pennsylvania Reading Specialist certificate is offered to students in all states, but they should check with their state’s department of education to find out if the reading certification will still be accepted.

Learners take courses in areas of literacy leadership, literacy for diverse learners, and instructional strategies from Wilkes and its partner organization. Students complete a practicum and internship to enhance what the school calls embedded learning -- an opportunity for students to immediately apply their coursework to classroom environments. Out-of-state students are required to find their own, university-approved internship. This program caters to current teachers who already hold a bachelor’s degree and current licensure in their field. Graduates can create educational environments that foster literacy learning, implement instructional strategies and technologies for varied proficiency levels, recommend books to increase reading literacy, develop and administer assessments to measure individual reading proficiency, and develop reading interventions.

The school offers a reading specialist certification, but only in eligible states. Regardless of their location, every learner pays the same rate of $454 per credit or $1,362 for each three-credit course. Admission requires a valid teaching certificate, official transcripts, and two completed recommendation forms.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education
Program name: Master's of Science in Reading
Accrediting body: MSA
Tuition: $472/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical hours

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall, spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling

Contact
Department phone: (570) 408-6814
Department email: anne.butler@wilkes.edu (Anne Butler, Program Coordinator)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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25 Minnesota State University-Mankato 39.53 3/5 27% Mankato, MN

MSU's Mankato campus is a public institution that offers one of the best online reading master’s programs. It's designed for teachers and administrators. Students gain foundational and nuanced knowledge related to topics like literacy for culturally and linguistically diverse students, content area reading instruction, assessment and instruction, and leadership in reading. The program is aligned to the International Reading Association’s standards for reading professionals. These standards provide foundational knowledge; instructional strategies and curriculum materials; the ability to assess, diagnose, and evaluate; the ability to create a literate environment; and a value for lifelong professional development.

As part of the program's practicum requirements, students must develop an instructional plan for two learners who have been identified by the lead teacher who struggle with reading. Distance learners must also create a personal professional development plan that includes resources, plans for implementation, and a timeline for their practicum requirements. Whether students elect to complete a thesis, a creative project, or an alternate plan paper, this degree requires 34 credits. The majority of students take one to two classes per semester. Students can begin this program during the spring, summer, or fall semesters.

Admission requirements to this online master’s in reading program include a minimum GPA of 3.0 or a score in the 50th percentile or above on the GRE if GPA requirements are not met. Distance learners must also submit two letters of recommendation, a letter of interest, and a professional resume. Online learning resources include individualized advising, 24/7 technology assistance, an interactive digital library, and career coaching.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education - Department of Elementary & Early Childhood Education
Program name: Master's of Science in Reading
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $456/credit

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 34 credits
Field education requirements: Practicum

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Varies
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling

Contact
Department phone: (507) 389-1516
Department email: valerie.roberts@mnsu.edu (Valerie Roberts, Executive Assistant)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE IN READING LITERACY

Concentration Description Careers This Concentration Prepares For
Elementary education Students who select a concentration in elementary education within their reading specialist online program of choice take a closer look at the foundations of reading development in early childhood education. Courses also delve into theories of learning and development to provide graduate students with a deeper understanding of how literacy develops among elementary schoolers. Elementary education reading and literacy specialist, primary school teacher
Secondary education A reading specialist online program with a concentration in secondary education gives students the chance to focus on adolescent literacy and how strategic curriculum development can positively impact reading growth among students. Those who specialize in secondary education within their reading literacy master’s degree often pursue careers working as reading specialists in middle and high schools. Reading specialist and ELL teacher (primary or secondary education)
English Language Learners (ELL) Online reading master’s programs that offer an ELL concentration prepare students to teach English literacy to a range of students from varied cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Specializing in ELL gives students the resources to understand cultural issues and create and modify lesson plans to meet students’ needs. Reading specialist and ELL teacher (primary or secondary education)
Literacy coach Programs that offer a concentration in literacy coaching provide graduate students with the knowledge needed to assess students and to provide targeted literacy instruction. This master’s in reading online degree specialization is ideal for students looking to advance into a leadership role supporting educators in improving students’ literacy. Literacy coach (school or district-wide), Reading and literacy specialist (primary or secondary education), and Adult literacy coach

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE IN READING LITERACY

While each school’s online reading master’s program features curriculum dependent upon different course requirements and offered concentrations, most programs consistently cover a similar spread of content relevant to reading literacy careers. Below is a list of some of the types of courses that programs tend to offer.

  • Foundations of Reading: This course aims to provide students with the background knowledge necessary to understand developmental levels and theory as it relates to reading comprehension at the elementary and secondary levels. Content in this course is geared toward K-12 reading specialists and teachers, and may examine how cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity affect reading literacy and growth.
  • Research in Education: Skills used to analyze education research papers are typically utilized in this course. In discussing research methodologies, students who hope to pursue careers in education leadership will develop their ability to comprehend and critically analyze research articles as they pertain to reading literacy at all levels of education.
  • Literacy for English Language Learners: This course focuses on how to effectively teach English Language Learners (ELL) and how to create a supportive learning environment for students of different linguistic backgrounds. Topics within this course often cover the process of first and second language acquisition, reading and writing development for ELL students, and optimal instructional approaches.
  • Literacy Coaching: Participants enrolled in this class learn the ins and outs of being a literacy coach. The curriculum often covers theories around language development as well as coach and teacher collaboration. Students enrolled in a literacy coaching course or concentration should be prepared to study coaching practices and observe a literacy coach in a school.
  • Professional Learning and Literacy Leadership: This course teaches students key leadership skills that they can use to excel as a reading specialist or literacy coach. Coursework and discussions provide students with examples of how to collaboratively create and lead literacy programs at the individual, classroom, school, and district-wide level.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN READING LITERACY?

Online reading master’s program take varied amounts of time to complete depending the school and program requirements. Length of completion time depends on whether or not an online degree can be taken at an accelerated pace, if students take courses synchronously or asynchronously, if certain concentrations within the degree require more credits than others, and how many total credits are needed to graduate.

In some cases, students are assigned classes with a cohort so that all participants who start the program at the same time will take classes and graduate together. Other online master’s in reading literacy programs, however, let students go at their own individual pace, providing them the flexibility to complete classwork whenever it works best for their schedule. In these cases, students often take classes on a part-time schedule so they can continue working. On average, it takes about 36 credits, or two years, to graduate from a reading specialist degree online program.

CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES A MASTER’S IN READING LITERACY PREPARES FOR

  • Reading Specialist Certification: This certification, which confirms that a teacher has training in reading literacy, varies in requirements from state to state. In general, reading specialists must hold a valid teaching certificate, previous teaching experience, a master’s degree with a concentration in reading and writing education, and substantial field experience.
  • English Language Learner License: This license enables licensed teachers with bachelor’s degrees to focus their teaching on ELL instruction. Like the Reading Specialist Certification, the ELL License varies in requirements from state to state, but the vast majority of states require students to engage in a practicum and pass a ELL instructor exam.
  • Literacy Coaching Certification: This certification, which is often offered through online master’s in reading literacy programs, prepares licensed teachers to grow in literacy leadership roles at the individual, school, or district level. Those who earn this certificate must often complete additional courses and gain field experience on top of the standard online master’s in reading degree requirements.

In considering online reading master’s programs, be sure to verify that a school is accredited. Institutions with accreditation demonstrate that they meet education standards set by a board, organization, or government. It is most common to see schools accredited regionally by organizations such as the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, or the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, among others. These regional accrediting agencies are held to specific standards by the U.S. Department of Education.

Within the field of education — and more specifically for reading specialist certification online programs — reliable online learning programs will be connected to the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation. This organization creates standards to ensure educator preparation institutions are providing adequate knowledge and skills to support future teachers. It is a sign of good education standards for Master’s of Education programs to be connected to this council.

To confirm if a school is accredited by a legitimate organization, U.S. Department of Education has a searchable database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs — a reliable way to check if certain online learning programs are sources of quality education. Reputable online universities can be found through this database, including schools that offer online reading master’s programs.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is another trustworthy source to confirm if a school meets educational standards. The council is composed of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. Their work is vital to upholding and ensuring quality education standards. You can find a list of all accredited schools through the U.S. Department of Education or CHEA.