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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 



Candidates in LTCY 502We 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 Certification.

    1. Have successfully completed one 3-credit hour course in Educational Psychology or the equivalent.
    3. Have successfully completed one 3-credit hour course in Reading methods or the equivalent.
    5. Have successfully completed the Illinois Test of Basic Skills or the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency.
    7. Hold a valid Illinois Teaching License.


If you have questions about requirements for admission, please contact Dr. Joyce Jennings, Chair of the Department of Literacy Education.

Degree Requirements 

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   


Capstone Courses

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



Licensing Requirements 

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).

Suggested 4-Year Course Schedule 

[We have recommended program plans for students, but this is a graduate program that is typically completed in 2-3 years. Please change this heading to meet the needs of this program.] We will upload these to this page.


Please change title of section to Recommended Program Completion Plan


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 the Office Assistant, Ashanti Roberts or call her at 773/442-5361.