Reading and literacy are necessary skills for living and learning. What’s more, children who have good reading skills perform better in school, enjoying a better understanding of material, developing a positive self-image, and effectively using language to communicate. With a master’s degree in reading and literacy, you can help students work to improve their reading skills and enjoy the benefits of literacy — skills that can positively impact them for life.
The Importance of a Master’s Degree in Reading and Literacy
Any educator will tell you that a war is raging in U.S. schools. Students who are struggling to read and write are daily doing battle with textbooks, essays and tests. But, not all hope is lost. One of students’ key allies in their fight is a literacy specialist with a master’s degree in reading and literacy. Earning a master’s in reading and literacy means you’ll have an advanced understanding of language development, literacy, and instruction for students in need of reading intervention. With your advanced degree, you’ll be prepared to pursue a career in literacy in a number of settings, including K-12 teaching, reading program specialization, and adult education.
What You’ll Learn in a Master’s in Reading and Literacy Program
In a master’s degree program in reading and literacy, you will explore the most effective methods of teaching reading and writing. You might learn how to diagnose and treat literacy difficulties, develop multilingual literacy programs, or conduct research on education policy and practice. Most of these master’s degree programs require you to have a teaching license; some will help you earn a literacy specialist certification. Commonly offered courses include:
- Language and Literacy Development
- Second Language and Literacy
- Teaching Bilingual Students
- Reading Assessment Instruction
Schools with an Online Master’s Degree in Reading & Literacy
The growing awareness that American students are losing ground to their international counterparts in literacy has created a renewed sense of urgency in graduate schools to offer advanced programs in this area of study. That means you’ll have a relatively large number of options when selecting an online master’s degree program in reading and literacy. For instance:
- The online master of education in reading & writing specialist from Southern New Hampshire University is geared toward practicing teachers. The curriculum includes an in-depth study of language development and courses on effective teaching practices.
- An online master of education in literacy education from the University of Mississippi focuses on the roles of reading specialist and literacy coach. During a six-hour mandatory internship, candidates must take on a role in literacy leadership.
- Mercy College has developed an online master of science in teaching literacy in which candidates acquire skills to meet the literacy needs of children in urban and suburban settings. Completion of a capstone project is required for graduation.
Career Opportunities with an Online Master’s Degree in Reading & Literacy
A higher-paying career as a literacy specialist may the biggest draw in earning an online master’s degree in reading and literacy, but it is not the only option. Outside of K-12 classrooms, graduates tackle adult literacy and basic skills training for college students.
In addition to public schools, reading and literacy specialists may find good opportunities in the private sector. A master’s degree in reading and literacy can qualify you for work with:
- educational publishing companies
- community centers
- policy organizations
You may also find opportunities as a literacy coach, consultant or researcher.