Teachers who want to become K-12 Reading Specialists or Literacy Coaches are required to complete the Master of Arts Degree in Literacy Education. This program is designed to:
- increase candidates’ knowledge of the nature and scope of literacy processes
- advance professional growth in the teaching of literacy
- provide specialized training in assessment and intervention for students who struggle with reading and writing
- prepare candidates for leadership in literacy instructional planning, curriculum development, and professional support
We try to keep class sizes small so that candidates have opportunities to work collaboratively with frequent interactions with dedicated faculty.
Classroom teachers who want to obtain a Master of Arts in Literacy Education can complete the application on the College of Graduate Studies and Research website.
Admission to the Program
In addition to the requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research, candidates for the Master of Arts in Literacy Education must:
- Have a minimum of one year experience as the classrrom teacher of record. The State of Illinois requires a minimum of two years' teaching experience to qualify for Reading Specialist Type 10 Certificati
- Have successfully completed one 3-credit hour course in Educational Psychology or the equivalent.
- Have successfully completed one 3-credit hour course in Reading methods or the equivalent.
- Have successfully completed the Illinois Test of Basic Skills or the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency.
- Hold a valid Illinois Teaching License.
If you have questions about requirements for admission, please contact Dr. JoAnne Vazzano, Chair of the Department of Literacy Education.
This heading should be after Required Courses.
Final Evaluation for Reading Specialist/Literacy Coaching Program
Students register for final evaluation in the semester before they plan to graduate.
The Final Evaluation for the Master of Arts Degree in Literacy Education includes:
- Minimum grade point average of 3.0
- Two Self Evaluations of Professional Dispositions. One Self Evaluation is submitted as a Benchmark requirement for authorization to register for LTCY 507; the second is submitted upon completion of the program.
- Two Faculty Evaluations of Professional Dispositions from the Benchmark requirements for LTCY 507 and one Faculty Evaluation of Professional Dispositions from the Supervisor of the Clinical Practicum.
- Submission of the Reading Specialist/Literacy Coaching Program Survey.
- Successful completion of the Reading Specialist Test #176 and the Assessment of Professional Teaching Test, K-12 #104 administered by the Illinois Certification Testing System. Candidates must provide copies of the results of these tests to the department.
- Cumulative Final Evaluation
Each candidate is required to submit a Key Assessment Collection with key assessments and results of evaluations from LTCY 503, LTCY 504. LTCY 507, LTCY 508, LTCY 510, LTCY 511, and LTCY 512 with minimum scores at the Acceptable Level.
Candidates for the Master of Arts in Literacy Education must take the following courses. Each course is a 3 credit-hour graduate-level course.
LTCY 501: Literacy Instruction in Elementary Grades
LTCY 502: Literacy Instruction in Content Areas in Middle and High Schools
LTCY 503: Foundations of Literacy Education
LTCY 504: Literature for Instruction in a Diverse Society
LTCY 505: Writing Instruction as Related to Reading in Elementary Schools
LTCY 506: Writing Instruction as Related to Reading in Middle and High Schools
Benchmark Evaluation prior to LTCY 507
Candidates must be authorized to register for LTCY 507. Must have:
- Must have completed LTCY 501, LTCY 502, LTCY 504 and either LTCY 505 or LTCY 506
- Minimum GPA of 3.25
- Must have submitted key assessments from LTCY 503 and/or LTCY 504 with minimum scores at the Acceptable level.
- Must have two faculty evaluations of professional dispositions
- Must have submitted one self evaluation of professional dispositions
LTCY 507: Assessment of Literacy and Planning for Intervention for Struggling Readers and Writers
LTCY 508: Practicum in Literacy Assessment and Intervention: Elementary Level
LTCY 510: Practicum in Literacy Assessment and Intervention: Secondary Level
LTCY 511: Research Seminar in Literacy
LTCY 512: Leadership in Literacy Instruction
Candidates select one of the following courses as an elective:
LTCY 513: Literacy Instruction in Middle Grades
LTCY 514: Literacy Instruction for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students
LTCY 515: Technology Integration in Literacy Instruction
TOTAL CREDIT HOURS FOR MASTER OF ARTS DEGREE 33 credit hours
To qualify for the Reading Specialist Type 10 Certification, candidates must successful complete:
- Master's Degree in Reading or Literacy Education
- Reading Specialist Test #176 administered by the Illinois Certification Testing System. Evidence of successful completion of this test is required to receive credit for the clinical practicum courses.
- Assessment of Professional Teaching, K-12, #104 (must be within 5 years of applying for certification).
Reading Specialists and Literacy Coaches assume responsibility for the reading and writing programs in their schools. They support classroom instruction and provide professional development for teachers throughout the school year to enhance literacy instruction and increase achievement levels of all students.
Careers & Employment
There is always a high need for leadership in literacy instruction. This need is increased when new initiatives such as the Common Core State Standards are implemented.
Program Contact Information
The Office of the Department of Literacy Education is located in Room 2062 of Lech Walesa Hall.
For further information, please email Dr. JoAnne Vazzano, Department Chair at J-Vazzano@neiu.edu.