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Master's Programs in Literacy Education

Literacy teachers help students improve their reading and writing skills. Find out about online options for master's degree programs in literacy education and discover career possibilities.

What Will I Learn in a Master's Degree Program in Literacy Education?

Your courses will cover an array of topics related to helping students of various ages and skill levels develop stronger reading comprehension and writing abilities. This includes classes devoted to the latest theories and trends in literacy education. You will also study how literacy education differs for beginning readers as opposed to more advanced readers. Additionally, you will learn how to adapt your techniques when working with English language learners or special needs students. Further coursework is devoted to developing your understanding of human development and learning psychology.

Many literacy education programs require you to complete a practicum, which may involve designing and teaching a literacy curriculum for your chosen grade level. You may be required to complete a master's project at the end of your program, such as a thesis, portfolio, comprehensive exam or presentation.

CourseworkReading comprehension, writing, working with English language learners and special needs students, literacy education
Online ProgramsOffered at many colleges; high-speed Internet and use of online tools will be required to communicate with your instructor and classmates
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree and teaching certification may be required
CareersTeacher at elementary, middle and high school levels; literacy specialist
Median Salary (2018) $64,450 (for all instructional coordinators
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 11% growth (for all instructional coordinators

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Online Degree Options Are Available?

You will find online master's degrees in literacy education offered at many colleges and universities. Your coursework in an online program will be identical to that of a campus-based program. Throughout your studies, you will use many of the same types of technology that can be incorporated into your classroom, such as audio and video files, interactive websites and online discussion boards.

Utilizing a course management platform such as Blackboard, you can download lectures in a pre-recorded, online format and communicate with faculty and fellow students through discussion boards and e-mail. In order to complete your online degree, you will need a computer with high-speed Internet access.

What Prerequisites Will I Need?

Many programs require you to have teaching certification. Some programs divide their literacy education programs by age group, such as early childhood or secondary education, so you will need to be certified for your chosen age group. You will also need a bachelor's degree, though most programs do not require you to have an undergraduate degree in education.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

You can find employment as a teacher at the elementary, middle or high school level working with younger students in general language arts or with older students in need of more refined literacy skills. This degree also prepares you for a career as a reading or literacy specialist, working with students outside of the classroom individually or in small groups.