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Online Master’s in Reading Education

Early literacy is a predictor of lifelong success; students who can read and communicate clearly from a young age are more likely to become engaged in their classes, avoid truancy, score well on tests and stay in school. Yet adolescent literacy rates have remained the same for years without improvement in what has been widely referred to as a literacy crisis.1 Improving literacy outcomes has therefore become a school-wide initiative in all content areas, as literacy is no longer the domain of a single classroom.

If you want to make literacy your focus or better understand how to teach reading and writing outside of language arts—or if you are an administrator seeking knowledge to build a school-wide literacy plan—a master’s in reading education* from the University of Kansas School of Education can prepare you with the strategies you need.

Transition to a career as a reading specialist, or elevate your teaching skills.

The KU School of Education offers two tracks for the online master's in reading education, as well as a reading specialist licensure endorsement-only track. These programs help build an understanding of literacy at all levels, including assessment of literacy development from the beginning stages in pre-kindergarten through adolescence and adulthood. A master’s in reading education will help you explore the intersection of diversity and literacy and will teach you to support populations with different reading challenges.

Like all programs from the KU School of Education, the online master’s in reading education is taught by well-respected faculty who balance their highly regarded academic research with firsthand experience in the classroom. While obtaining a master’s in reading education, you'll study pedagogical theory and learn how to put it into practice in your own teaching. Online coursework will be supplemented by the Reading Room, a virtual space that tracks progress and makes it easier for you to share projects with other classmates.

Earn your degree in as few as two years

Dec
13

Application Deadline

December 13
Spring 2020 Term

Jan
06

Next Start

January 6
Spring 2020 Term

Apr
17

Application Deadline

April 17
Summer 2020 Term

Program Details

Reading Specialist Licensure Track (M.S.E.)

By enrolling in the reading specialist licensure track of the online reading master’s* program, you'll set yourself on a path toward becoming a reading specialist, which can expand your career possibilities as a teacher, a reading coach or a program developer. To give you hands-on preparation for a career in this field, you'll complete a practicum experience, a case study that lets you put into practice what you've learned by developing and analyzing a program and tutoring striving readers in either a clinical setting or a public school setting.

Program Details

  • 11 courses, 8 weeks per course, 33 credit hours
  • Complete in as few as 2 years
  • Opportunity to apply practical approaches grounded in pedagogical theory through interactions with children and youth in your own community
  • Learn from renowned faculty with extensively published research and diverse real-world experience
  • Curriculum based on the Standards for Reading Professionals of the International Literacy Association
  • Complete your coursework anytime, anywhere, through our innovative online format
  • Track your research and share with classmates in the online Reading Room
  • No GRE required for admission
  • Accredited under NCATE/CAEP standards
  • Required case study practicum

View Admissions Requirements

What You'll Learn

In this track, you will build a strong understanding of the foundations of literacy. You'll explore the intersection of multicultural education and literacy, and you'll learn how to connect with striving readers through assessment and effective instruction from pre-kindergarten through individuals, including individuals with reading disabilities. Your studies will prepare you for a hands-on practicum experience and a culminating master's project that reflects your successful achievement of the program’s four key outcomes: Teaching All Students, Knowing and Using Research, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, and Foundational Knowledge.

For more detailed information on the topics covered in this program, view the course listings.

Career Outcomes

After completing the reading specialist licensure track of the online master's in reading education, you may choose to pursue a number of literacy-related careers. You'll be prepared to become a reading specialist at the elementary, middle or high school level, and you may also find success as a PK–12 literacy coach. Other potential career paths include becoming an adult literacy teacher, teaching in higher education or consulting for a publisher of reading textbooks.

*This program is an online Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in reading education.

Reading Non-Licensure Track (M.S.E.)

The non-licensure track of the online master's in reading education* program is meant for educators who already have their teaching and/or reading specialist license or for administrators who wish to develop literacy programs at their schools. You'll build on your existing experience in the field of education, focusing on how to cultivate literacy skills in a range of striving readers, especially English language learners, and you'll gain a deeper understanding of literacy at all age levels.

Program Details

  • 10 courses, 8 weeks per course, 30 credit hours
  • Complete in as few as 2 years
  • Opportunity to apply practical approaches grounded in pedagogical theory through interactions with children and youth in your own community
  • Learn from renowned faculty with extensively published research and diverse real-world experience
  • Curriculum based on the Standards for Reading Professionals of the International Literacy Association
  • Complete your coursework anytime, anywhere, through our innovative online format
  • Track your research and share with classmates in the online Reading Room
  • No GRE required for admission

View Admissions Requirements

What You’ll Learn

In this track of the online master’s in reading education, you will build a strong understanding of the foundations of reading and literacy. You'll explore the intersection of multicultural education and literacy, including a focus on English language learners, and you'll develop your ability to connect with striving readers from pre-kindergarten through adults, including adults with reading disabilities. Your studies will prepare you for a culminating master's project that reflects your successful achievement of the four program outcomes:

  • Teaching All Students
  • Knowing and Using Research
  • Pedagogical Content Knowledge
  • Foundational Knowledge

For more detailed information on the topics covered in this program, view the course listings.

Career Outcomes

With the non-licensure track online master's in reading education, you may choose to pursue a number of literacy-related careers. You'll be prepared to provide reading expertise at the elementary, middle or high school level; you may also find success as a PK–12 literacy coach. Other potential career paths include becoming an adult literacy teacher, teaching in higher education or consulting for a publisher of reading textbooks.

*This program is an online Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in reading education. It does not lead to initial nor advanced licensure in the state of Kansas.

Reading Specialist Licensure Endorsement Track

The online reading specialist licensure endorsement* track prepares you to seek licensure endorsement in the state of Kansas and places you on the path toward becoming a reading specialist, which can open up career opportunities as a teacher, a reading coach or a program developer. To give you hands-on preparation for a career in this field, you'll complete two practicum experiences, case studies that let you put into practice what you learn in the program, first by tutoring young readers and then by exploring remedial reading programs for adults or adolescents. Disclosure information about the U.S. Department of Education Gainful Employment can be seen here.

Program Details

  • 7 courses, 8 weeks per course, 21 credit hours
  • Complete in as few as 12 months
  • Opportunity to apply practical approaches grounded in pedagogical theory through interactions with children and youth in your own community
  • Learn from renowned faculty with extensively published research and diverse real-world experience
  • Curriculum based on the Standards for Reading Professionals of the International Literacy Association
  • Complete your coursework anytime, anywhere, through our innovative online format
  • Track your research and share with classmates in the online Reading Room
  • No GRE required for admission
  • Accredited under NCATE/CAEP standards
  • Two required case study practicum experiences

View Admissions Requirements

What You’ll Learn

In the reading specialist licensure endorsement track, you will build a strong understanding of the foundations of reading and literacy. You'll explore how to connect with striving readers from pre-kindergarten through individuals, including individuals with reading disabilities. Your studies will prepare you to complete two practicum experiences, one an early intervention program for younger students and one a case study with older students. You'll also explore what it means to be a reading program coordinator or supervisor at the school level.

For more detailed information on the topics covered in this program, view the course listings.

Career Outcomes

This program prepares you to pursue a career as a reading specialist, which entails one-on-one tutoring with struggling readers, collaborating with fellow teachers at the PK–12 level to help support their students in literacy development, and consulting with administrators about literacy programs at the school or district level.

*This online academic program satisfies the requirements for the reading specialist licensure endorsement in Kansas, but does not fulfill the requirements needed to complete a master's degree. In order to enroll in this program, both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree are required.

Note: In order to enroll in any of these programs, a bachelor's degree is required. No program can guarantee reading specialist licensure for every state, so it is each student’s responsibility to determine the licensure requirements in his or her state and to apply for the licenses or endorsements necessary to his or her career goals. Our department staff and licensure officer can provide individual support during the application process to help you understand your state’s requirements.

Master’s in Reading Education Course Descriptions

Reading and literacy are some of the most important skills one learns within a classroom. With a Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading Education, you will learn strategies needed to develop literacy in students in today’s diverse and technology-enabled classrooms. All courses listed are worth 3 credits.

Please note: Course list and sequence are subject to change.

Master's: Reading Specialist Licensure Track

C&T 709 - Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction

Basic concepts and processes of curriculum and instruction, including theories, planning models, resources for decision-making, current trends, research, and proposals for improvement of curriculum and instruction.

C&T 740 – Foundations of Reading: Process, Theory, and Instruction

It is the purpose of this course to introduce students to the foundations of the reading process, developmental levels, theory, models, and procedures at the emergent, elementary, and secondary levels. Elements of cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity that affect the reading process are included. Students work with research related to the reading process, remediation and assessment.

EPSY 715 – Understanding Research in Education

This course introduces the concepts and skills involved in understanding and analyzing research in education and related areas. The course provides an overview of basic, general knowledge of various research methodologies. Students should expect to study much of this material in greater depth through additional course work before being fully prepared to conduct independent research. However this course should enhance their ability to locate, read, comprehend and critically analyze research articles and reports. Topics in the course include quantitative and qualitative methods and designs, historical and descriptive research and program evaluation..

C&T 741 – Comprehension and Study Strategies for Use with Multiple Texts

It is the purpose of this course to examine research, theory, and practice in reading comprehension. Emphasis is placed on the application of strategies for various text types (expository, narrative, persuasive and technical) for teaching reading comprehension and study skills across content areas in the K-12 classrooms. Prerequisite: C&T 740 or permission of the instructor.

C&T 807 - Multicultural Education

In order to provide the student with an understanding of multicultural education, the course will examine the effects of such issues as ethnicity in America, the melting pot theory, separatism, cultural pluralism, legal issues, and bilingual education upon the curriculum and instruction in today's classrooms. It will include an evaluation of materials for bias and stereotypes. Field experiences are a part of this course.

C&T 840 – Emergent Literacy and Beginning Reading

A study of emergent literacy through the beginning stages of literacy development. Course content focuses on the history, theory and research that supports instructional reading practices for children Pre-kindergarten through grade 2.

C&T 841 – Early Intervention in Reading Practicum

A case study approach to the instruction of children in need of early intervention in reading. Requires assessment, instruction, and case reports of tutored children.

C&T 842 – Supporting Striving Readers: Adolescent through Adult

A study of the characteristics and multiple causes of reading and writing difficulties, principles and procedures for diagnosing and remediating reading difficulties, how to provide individual and group intervention strategies, communicate diagnostic information and gain awareness of the impact of research on instructional decision-making for students with reading difficulties.

C&T 843 – Supporting Striving Readers: Practicum

Case study approach to the treatment of pre-adolescent through adults with reading disabilities. Requires diagnostic testing of the learner, compilation of case study reports, and participating in staffing for the purpose of designing remedial reading programs. Students also participate in implementation of remedial programs with pre-adolescent through adults through tutoring in either a clinical setting or a public school setting.

C&T 844 – The Reading Program Coordination and Supervision

An overview of the role of the reading coordinator/supervisor and that individual's responsibility for the components of a balanced reading program. Emphasis will be given to assessment of the reading program, strategies for change, improving the reading program, in-service programs, working with other school personnel, providing services, and public relations.

C&T 898 - Master’s Project

The master’s project is a collection of artifacts completed during courses in the program, along with documentation of other activities demonstrating leadership and professionalism, to demonstrate the four program outcomes: Teaching All Students, Knowing and Using Research, Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Foundational Knowledge.

Master's: Reading Non-Licensure Track

C&T 709 - Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction

Basic concepts and processes of curriculum and instruction, including theories, planning models, resources for decision-making, current trends, research, and proposals for improvement of curriculum and instruction.

C&T 740 – Foundations of Reading: Process, Theory, and Instruction

It is the purpose of this course to introduce students to the foundations of the reading process, developmental levels, theory, models, and procedures at the emergent, elementary, and secondary levels. Elements of cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity that affect the reading process are included. Students work with research related to the reading process, remediation and assessment.

EPSY 715 – Understanding Research in Education

This course introduces the concepts and skills involved in understanding and analyzing research in education and related areas. The course provides an overview of basic, general knowledge of various research methodologies. Students should expect to study much of this material in greater depth through additional course work before being fully prepared to conduct independent research. However this course should enhance their ability to locate, read, comprehend and critically analyze research articles and reports. Topics in the course include quantitative and qualitative methods and designs, historical and descriptive research and program evaluation..

C&T 741 – Comprehension and Study Strategies for Use with Multiple Texts

It is the purpose of this course to examine research, theory, and practice in reading comprehension. Emphasis is placed on the application of strategies for various text types (expository, narrative, persuasive and technical) for teaching reading comprehension and study skills across content areas in the K-12 classrooms. Prerequisite: C&T 740 or permission of the instructor.

C&T 807 - Multicultural Education

In order to provide the student with an understanding of multicultural education, the course will examine the effects of such issues as ethnicity in America, the melting pot theory, separatism, cultural pluralism, legal issues, and bilingual education upon the curriculum and instruction in today's classrooms. It will include an evaluation of materials for bias and stereotypes. Field experiences are a part of this course.

C&T 840 – Emergent Literacy and Beginning Reading

A study of emergent literacy through the beginning stages of literacy development. Course content focuses on the history, theory and research that supports instructional reading practices for children Pre-kindergarten through grade 2.

C&T 842 – Supporting Striving Readers: Adolescent through Adult

A study of the characteristics and multiple causes of reading and writing difficulties, principles and procedures for diagnosing and remediating reading difficulties, how to provide individual and group intervention strategies, communicate diagnostic information and gain awareness of the impact of research on instructional decision-making for students with reading difficulties.

C&T 743 – Writing and Spelling Development and Instruction

A study of the research base on writing, spelling, speaking and listening for teaching the language arts; an overview of development in writing and spelling, the writing and spelling processes and instruction and strategies for integrating the language arts.

C&T 745 – Reading and the English Language Learner

The course focuses on the literacy development, research and effective teaching practices that support emerging bilinguals (EBs) and additive bilinguals becoming literate in PK–Grade 12 and adult academic settings. We examine how learning to read, write, speak and view in a new language are similar and/or dissimilar from these dimensions in a first language. Cognitive, sociocultural, linguistic and educational perspectives are investigated as part of this examination. Specific examples of challenges that exist for students as they learn to communicate in English are shared and problem-solved. Ways to connect students’ home languages, background literacy knowledge and development are also explored. The course examines the essential components of literacy instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development and comprehension. As each component is studied, implications for literacy development with EBs are highlighted.

C&T 898 - Master’s Project

The master’s project is a collection of artifacts completed during courses in the program, along with documentation of other activities demonstrating leadership and professionalism, to demonstrate the four program outcomes: Teaching All Students, Knowing and Using Research, Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Foundational Knowledge.

The Reading Specialist Licensure Endorsement Track

C&T 740 – Foundations of Reading: Process, Theory, and Instruction

It is the purpose of this course to introduce students to the foundations of the reading process, developmental levels, theory, models, and procedures at the emergent, elementary, and secondary levels. Elements of cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity that affect the reading process are included. Students work with research related to the reading process, remediation and assessment.

C&T 741 – Comprehension and Study Strategies for Use with Multiple Texts

It is the purpose of this course to examine research, theory, and practice in reading comprehension. Emphasis is placed on the application of strategies for various text types (expository, narrative, persuasive and technical) for teaching reading comprehension and study skills across content areas in the K-12 classrooms. Prerequisite: C&T 740 or permission of the instructor.

C&T 840 – Emergent Literacy and Beginning Reading

A study of emergent literacy through the beginning stages of literacy development. Course content focuses on the history, theory and research that supports instructional reading practices for children Pre-kindergarten through grade 2.

C&T 841 – Early Intervention in Reading Practicum

A case study approach to the instruction of children in need of early intervention in reading. Requires assessment, instruction, and case reports of tutored children.

C&T 842 – Supporting Striving Readers: Adolescent through Adult

A study of the characteristics and multiple causes of reading and writing difficulties, principles and procedures for diagnosing and remediating reading difficulties, how to provide individual and group intervention strategies, communicate diagnostic information and gain awareness of the impact of research on instructional decision-making for students with reading difficulties.

C&T 843 – Supporting Striving Readers: Practicum

Case study approach to the treatment of pre-adolescent through adults with reading disabilities. Requires diagnostic testing of the learner, compilation of case study reports, and participating in staffing for the purpose of designing remedial reading programs. Students also participate in implementation of remedial programs with pre-adolescent through adults through tutoring in either a clinical setting or a public school setting.

C&T 844 – The Reading Program Coordination and Supervision

An overview of the role of the reading coordinator/supervisor and that individual's responsibility for the components of a balanced reading program. Emphasis will be given to assessment of the reading program, strategies for change, improving the reading program, in-service programs, working with other school personnel, providing services, and public relations.

Please note: The course list and sequence are subject to change.

Sources:
  1. Retrieved on September 26, 2018, from www2.ed.gov/programs/slcp/finalcrisis.pdf