The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Literacy is a graduate program designed
to focus on the most current research in the field of literacy. The program provides
an in-depth study of literacy development and strategies to support academic growth
and success. The curriculum includes a variety of literacy topics, such as foundational
knowledge, developmental continuums, assessment, writing, and specific strategies
for supporting students. Graduates of the program who meet the criteria and are interested
may be eligible to add on the reading specialist endorsement to their current teaching
Local Kindergarten Teacher Becomes a Literacy Leader in her School
Jennifer Wenzlick is a kindergarten teacher at Blackman Elementary in Rutherford Country
schools. She started her teaching career in 2014. Jennifer graduated from the Literacy
Masters program at MTSU in 2019.
“I learned so much from being in the Literacy Masters Program at MTSU. Every assignment
we did, I could easily integrate into my classroom. I knew what I was learning would
push me to be a better teacher. I would learn something in class and then try out
new things in my room the next week. One year, two professors joined me each week
in my room and we collaborated on ways to help my kindergarteners become better writers.
My kids had never written so much and been so excited about writing! I don’t know
what the future holds, but this program made me want to keep growing and learning.
One day I will likely continue for my Ph.D. I would highly recommend the Literacy
Masters Program at MTSU.”
MNPS Teacher says MTSU's Literacy Masters Program Made her a Better Teacher
Lucy Meadors is a kindergarten teacher at Glendale Elementary in Metro Nashville Public
Schools. She started teaching in 2015. Lucy graduated from the Literacy Masters program
at MTSU in 2019.
“As a teacher, I always want to model lifelong learning. The MTSU Literacy Program
was the perfect opportunity to stretch me in my knowledge and skills as a teacher
of literacy. Now that I have graduated I miss being pushed to learn, study, and grow
in my practice. I loved that in many of my classes I could focus in on a small group
of students that needed attention, applying my new skills to those striving readers
and writers. Everything we did in the program was relevant and manageable. The professors
really helped bring the program to life for me. I feel as though I am ready to be
a literacy leader in my school or community. I would definitely recommend the Literacy
MTSU College of Graduate Studies
MTSU | The University of Opportunities
Graduates from the Literacy program may be employed in a variety of positions within
public schools or private settings. Examples include, but are not limited to,
- Classroom teacher
- Literacy coach
- Literacy tutor
- Mentor teacher
- Reading interventionist
- Reading specialist
Alumni from the Literacy Program have been employed in many districts including
- Metro-Davidson Schools
- Murfreesboro City Schools
- Rutherford County Schools
The Department of Elementary and Special Education offers the Master of Education
(M.Ed.) degree with a program of study in Literacy. Upon completion of the Literacy,
M.Ed. degree program, three successful years of teaching and a passing score on the
Literacy Specialist PRAXIS, graduates are eligible for Tennessee PreK-12 Add-on Licensure
as a Literacy Specialist
For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS button to the right.
Other Graduate Programs
In addition to Literacy, the Department offers programs of study in Curriculum and
Instruction with concentrations in Elementary School Education or Initial Licensure Specialization and Special Education with concentrations in Mildly/Moderately Disabled Students Concentration (Interventionist K-8 or 6-12) and Severely/Profoundly Disabled Students Concentration.
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Literacy Studies and the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Assessment, Learning, and Student Success are available in the College of Education.
The Department of Elementary and Special Education offers four undergraduate majors, all leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education (K-5); Middle Level Education (6-8); and Special Education with choices of the Comprehensive, K-12, or Interventionist, K-8 or 6-12.
Professional Licensure Disclosure
The Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) College of Education’s teacher licensure preparation programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and are eligible for accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree with a program of study in Literacy and a specialization in Initial Licensure is designed to meet the licensure requirements set by the Tennessee Department of Education. Students should be aware that licensure requirements vary from state to state and are subject to change. MTSU has not made a determination whether a specific program will meet all of the requirements of another US state or territory. MTSU recommends that students who plan to seek licensure outside the state of Tennessee contact the appropriate licensing agency and discuss their plans with their advisor. To obtain current information about each state’s and territory’s licensure requirements and any additional regulations, students should consult the US Department of Education’s website for state contacts at https://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/index.html.
Graduates of MTSU teacher education programs certified to teach in Tennessee are eligible for certification reciprocity in many states. Reciprocity is not an automatic or complete transfer of certification, thus individuals should consult the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) site at https://www.tn.gov/education/licensing.html and the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) site at https://www.nasdtec.net/page/Interstate as well as the US Department of Education state contacts site for information about any additional state requirements.
Joan Boulware, Program Director
The Department of Elementary and Special Education offers the Master of Education degree with a major in Literacy online. The program leads to the Literacy endorsement, Reading Specialist, PreK-12.
Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.
Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Education program in Literacy must have an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher or a minimum of twelve hours at the graduate level with a GPA of 3.00 or higher.
Applicants must have a valid teaching license for admission to the program and complete an interview with the program coordinator or one or more of the program faculty.
Applicants choose one of the three admission requirements below:
- Submit a minimum score of 380 on the (MAT) Miller Analogies Test.
- Submit a passing score on the Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam (PRAXIS II).
- Provide an electronic portfolio containing
- A resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) describing previous education, work, teaching and research experience, professional affiliations, community and volunteer experience, honors and awards, and publications.
- A written personal statement (1-2 pages) explaining interest in a career in literacy education and how obtaining this degree will positively affect student achievement.
- Two letters of recommendation. Your recommenders must give their personal impressions of your intellectual ability, your aptitude in research or professional skills, your character, and the quality of your previous work and potential for future productive scholarship.
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
- submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php).Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
- submit official scores on the Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam (PRAXIS II), Miller Analogies Test (MAT), or an electronic portfolio;
- submit official transcripts of all previous college work (GPA of previous work should be 3.0 or higher.);
- participate in an intake interview;
- have a bachelor's degree in Education or initial licensure.
The Master of Education in Literacy requires completion of 33 semester hours.
The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.
Required Courses (24 hours)
ELED 6000 - Teaching Writing
An in-depth exploration of students' efforts to become writers. Presents theoretical and practical strategies for establishing an effective writing environment based on current research.
READ 6000 - Foundations of Literacy
Prerequisite: A reading methods or literacy course. Planning and developing a reading program through extensive reading in the field and seminar participation. Special emphasis on the reading process.
READ 6710 - Adolescent Literacy
Approaches to effective literacy enhancement in middle and secondary school programs. Suggestions for meeting the literacy needs of typical and atypical adolescent literacy learners.
READ 6730 - Curriculum and Supervision of Literacy Instruction
The role of the reading specialist. Focuses on preparing reading specialists to work with students and adults in school settings. Planning in-service presentations, grant writing, critiquing materials, and effective reading programs explored.
READ 6750 - Research in Literacy
Prerequisite: READ 6000, its equivalent, or permission of the instructor. An investigation of significant research related to reading with emphasis on classroom practices, group analysis, and individual study. (Available on permission-of-department basis only.)
READ 6760 - Early Literacy
A methods course that concentrates on beginning reading and emergent literacy issues in developing reading and writing.
READ 6790 - Literacy Practicum
3 to 6credit hours
Prerequisite: READ 6720 or equivalent. A supervised practice in teaching children with various types of reading and learning problems. Student may enroll for 3 hours credit or 6 hours credit in a single semester. May be repeated for up to 6 credits; however, only 3 credits may apply toward the degree.
*required for licensure
SPED 6100 - Differentiation and Literacy: Teaching Corrective Reading and Writing
Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher Education program. Identifies and implements evidence-based reading interventions and strategies. Incorporates writing deficits; how to identify students with reading disabilities, administer curriculum-based assessments, determine skill level, determine appropriate interventions, assess intervention outcomes, and adjust interventions when needed.
Electives (9 hours)
Choose three courses from the following:
DYST 6000 - Introduction to Dyslexia and Other Reading Difficulties
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Overview of the history and science of dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Examines the value of integrating insights from the cognitive psychology and neuroscience into diagnostic, therapeutic, and instructional models of literacy. Explores the etiology and prevalence of reading disabilities and addresses current issues in assessment and intervention.
DYST 6010 - Identifying Students with Dyslexia and Other Reading Difficulties
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and DYST 6000. Details the profile of dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Develops competency in choosing appropriate testing batteries for identification, administering valid and reliable measures, and interpreting and communicating the results. Outlines how to use assessment data to plan instruction and monitor progress.
DYST 6011 - Interventions for Dyslexia and Other Reading Difficulties
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor and DYST 6000. Details the elements of intervention for children with dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Increases competency in identifying and implementing effective interventions based on student skills and characteristics. Covers evidence-based interventions in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing.
FOED 6630 - Educational Tests and Measurements
Basic concepts in educational measurement and evaluation; evaluation as a part of the teaching-learning process; utilization of evaluation for instructional improvement.
LIBS 6310 - Materials for Literacy of Children
Materials suitable for babies, toddlers, and elementary school children. Includes study of reading skills, recreational reading, non-fiction, criteria for evaluating, selecting, and integrating national standards into programming for these patrons. The partnership between library and school curriculum will be included.
PSY 6530 - The Psychology of Reading and Reading Development
Overview of the cognitive processes involved in reading. The structure of both oral and written language; cognitive mechanisms in reading; language development and the acquisition of reading skills; developmental and acquired disorders of language and reading.
SPSE 6800 - Curriculum Design and Instruction for ELs
Analysis of curriculum models for instruction in the EL classroom. Considers elements of differentiated instruction, transformative literacy frameworks, and standards-based content in lesson planning, embedded assessment tasks, and units plans with appropriate accommodations and adjustments for second language learners. Fieldwork required.
SPSE 6820 - Second Language Acquisition: Language, Culture, Theory, Practice
Focus on specific theories and research pertaining to second language acquisition for the PreK-12 EL and regular education classroom teacher. Emphasis on cultural aspects that influence language acquisition, elements of language, sound systems, cognitive processes, and the psychology of language learning. Required for add-on endorsement in ESL.
SPSE 6830 - Assessment and Evaluation of English Language Learners
Examines the role of assessment in the education of linguistically diverse students in the PreK-12 classroom. Focus on formal and informal methods of assessing language proficiency, state and national testing initiatives, test preparation, and interpretation of test results. Fieldwork required.
YOED 6020 - Literacy and Content Instruction for ELs
Analysis and application of strategies, instructional methods, and techniques appropriate for developing and implementing transformative literacy and standards-based content instruction for English learners in the classroom. Focus on state and nationally adopted models for addressing culture within integrated language and academic content lessons and unit plans. Fieldwork required.
Any course requiring admission to Teacher Education may require observations, case studies, or other time in PreK-12 classes.
Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.
Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance
This program is available fully online.
For More Information or Explore Your Options
Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program OR work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.
The Online Advantage
With over 25 years of experience in online teaching and learning, MTSU Online offers students access to innovative, high-quality programs. Designed with students in mind, our courses allow maximum flexibility for those unable to participate in person.
Resources and services for online students are available from MTSU Online or contact us at email@example.com.