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Literacy Education Master's Degree

As a literacy educator, your guidance and instruction can make a difference. A master's degree in literacy education can prepare you to play an important part in fostering students' social and intellectual development. This article will show you how to earn credits online, along with the typical courses you might find, including psychology and English.

What Are Some Literacy Education Master's Degree Program Details?

A graduate program in literacy education generally takes two years to complete and can consist of 32-42 credits. If initial teacher certification is included, the program will take longer to complete. Depending on school policy, you might earn a Master of Science, Master of Arts or Master of Education.

Courses you encounter usually depend on your concentration. Some typical examples might include fundamental literacy education, language and literacy, foundations of reading and writing, literature for various age levels, literacy assessment, psychology of reading, English as a second language and supervision of literacy programs. You may be required to participate in a specified number of practicums and submit a senior capstone project. Field experience is a mandatory component in the process of obtaining certification in literacy education.

Degree TypesMaster of Arts, Master of Science, or Master of Education
Program FormatOn campus; some courses available online
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree, GRE scores, possible teacher certification
Job Outlook (2016-2026)Between 7-8% growth (for teachers from kindergarten through high school)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Sort of Online Programs Are Available?

There are ample opportunities for you to fulfill a number of degree requirements online. However, programs are not available entirely online. This is due to the importance of in-person practicums in every program. Schools may have specific facilities where you fulfill these components. In other cases, you may be able to complete practicums at a school-approved educational facility or at the school where you're presently employed. If your program is one that contains initial teaching certification, the student teaching sections must be completed in-person.

Why Do I Need a Literary Education Master's Degree?

There are no undergraduate programs leading to a degree in literacy education or reading. Literacy education or reading specialization is a graduate concentration. A master's degree in literacy education can prepare you to become a literacy or reading teacher in a K-12 classroom environment. Schools may shape their programs so that you have a specific concentration within elementary, middle or secondary schools.

In order to qualify for admission, you must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. A school may require you to sit for the Graduate Records Examination (GRE). You may also be required to submit a number of letters of recommendation. Though most schools require you to hold initial state teacher certification, some may offer you the opportunity to complete initial certification requirements as part of the program.

What Is the Career Outlook?

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment possibilities for kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school teachers were expected to increase between 7-8% from 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov). At the same time, the BLS determined the median annual wages for teachers at the various grade levels; the median annual salaries for middle and high school teachers was determined to be $58,600 and $60,320, respectively. Kindergarten teachers earned $55,470, while elementary teachers earned $58,230 per year.