MEd Advanced Studies in Literacy PK–12
Literacy was once known simply as the ability to read and write. Today it's about being able to make sense of and engage in complex reading, writing, listening, media, and speaking.
Mason’s Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning (ASTL) literacy concentration for PK–12 classroom teachers includes three required literacy courses and three approved electives in areas such as ESOL, special education, psychology, secondary education, elementary education, early childhood education, and writing.
The course work includes theory and strategies in literacy and reading for PK–12 teachers in any discipline.
Why Is Literacy Education Important?
Teaching the important skill of literacy is an excellent way for educators to make a difference in their communities and in their students’ lives—contributing, in many cases, to a lifetime of improved success.
Our program develops teacher-leaders who practice critical reflection through inquiry and problem-posing. PK-12 teachers in any discipline will learn about theory and strategies in literacy and reading.
Who will benefit from this concentration?
This ASTL concentration is for teachers and educators with one or more years of teaching or education-related experience who want to continue to grow professionally. Graduates earn the advantages of a master’s degree, including the possibility of increased pay and opportunities to be curriculum leaders in their schools. This is not an initial licensure program.
What are some of the program's strengths?
The program offers advanced study in literacy, flexible program of study, and instruction in and through digital technologies. Aligned with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the courses help teachers think and practice with the same level of reflection and skill as Board-certified educators (a great next step after graduating!).
Can I use graduate credits from other universities to reduce my course load?
Possibly! University policy allows for up to 12 credits (depending on the program) that have not been previously used to complete a degree to be transferred from another accredited graduate program. Consultation with an ASTL advisor is necessary to determine if and which courses may be acceptable to a specific concentration. The literacy: K-12 reading specialist concentration does not allow for substitutions. Substitutions cannot be made for the five core courses of the ASTL program (EDUC 612, EDUC 613, EDUC 614, EDUC 606, EDUC 615). Course work that is older than six years will not be accepted, even if the courses were taken at Mason.
Core Courses (12 credits)
- EDUC 606: Education and Culture (3 credits)
- EDUC 612: Inquiry into Practice (2 credits)
- EDUC 613: How Students Learn (3 credits)
- EDUC 614: Designing and Assessing Teaching and Learning (2 credits)
- EDUC 615: Educational Change (2 credits)
Concentration Courses (6 credits)
- EDRD 630: Literacy Foundations and Instruction for Diverse Populations: Birth through Middle Childhood (3 credits)
- EDRD 631: Literacy Foundations and Instruction for Diverse Populations: Adolescence Through Adulthood (3 credits)
Students must take at least two EDRD courses from the list below. Choose four courses from the following:
- EDRD 625: Integrating Literacy and Technology for K-12 Learners (3 credits)
- EDRD 626: Writing Development and Instruction for K-12 Learners (3 credits)
- EDRD 627: Comprehension and Vocabulary Development for K-12 Learners (3 credits)
- EDRD 628: Word Analysis: Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling for K-12 Learners (3 credits)
- EDRD 633: Literacy Assessments and Interventions for Individuals (3 credits)
- EDRD 637: Supervised Literacy Practicum (3 credits)
- EDAT 524: Universal Design for Learning (3 credits)
- EDCI 621: Introduction to Gifted and Talented Learners (3 credits)
- EDCI 622: Curriculum and Instructional Strategies for Gifted Learners (3 credits)
- EDCI 623: Supporting the Social Emotional Needs of Gifted Learners (3 credits)
- EDCI 630: Supporting English Learners in PK-12 Schools (3 credits)
- EDSE 641: Instructional Strategies for Reading and Writing (3 credits)
- EDUC 608: Teacher Leadership for Professional Learning (3 credits)
Note: Students may choose an alternate elective with advisor approval.
Total: 30 credits
Program Exit Requirement
Professional Development Portfolio: A performance-based assessment that provides concrete evidence of teacher professional development throughout the ASTL program. Students finalize and present their portfolios in their final spring semester.
- Spring start: Literacy courses are 100% online; Core courses can be taken 100% online
- Fall start: Literacy courses are blended; Core courses can be taken 100% online
- On-campus courses are held in the evenings at Mason’s Fairfax campus
- Designed to be completed in approximately two years while working full-time as a teacher
- New students begin classes in May, August, and January (Summer, Fall, and Spring admissions)
(classes starting in August)
(classes starting in January)
(classes starting in May, June, or July)
Priority*: April 1
Space Available: August 21
Priority*: November 1
Space Available: January 6
Priority*: February 1
Space Available: May 15
For more information and to apply, visit the admissions website.
* Priority deadline ensures consideration for the intended semester as well as financial aid options for students. Programs will continue to review applications until at capacity. Some programs do not review applications past the priority deadline.
All application materials must be submitted through Mason’s online graduate application. In addition to meeting general university admissions requirements, applicants will need to provide the requirements below. Please review the FAQ page for more information.
To be considered for graduate studies, the following items are evaluated during the admission review process:
- Graduate application and fee
- 750- to 1,000-word written statement of your goals and interest in the program
- Current resume
- Two letters of recommendation: Applicants should follow the instructions included in the online application to submit the recommendation forms directly to their recommenders. Mason does not accept paper recommendations. Recommendations should be professional or academic in nature.
- Transcripts from all previous institutions attended in the United States. Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions information page for specific requirements regarding uploading unofficial transcripts.
- Applicants with transcripts from institutions outside of the United States could have additional requirements. Please refer to the How To Apply page for specific requirements about submitting international transcripts, evaluations, and English language proficiency.
Admission to graduate programs at George Mason University is competitive. Applicants are evaluated on the strength of their academic backgrounds, results of standardized exams (if required by the program), work experience, and any additional evidence of potential success in the program. Faculty admissions review is a holistic review of requirements as well as the applicant’s potential academic and professional success upon completion of the program.
At a minimum all admitted students must have:
- An earned baccalaureate from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, or international equivalent, verified from official transcripts. Expectation of an earned baccalaureate prior to the first day of classes for the term for which the student is applying will also meet this requirement. See the graduate admissions policy for more information.
- A minimum 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale in baccalaureate study. The GPA requirement may be higher for some graduate programs. The university, at its discretion, may additionally consider the difficulty of the baccalaureate degree, relevant work experience, and/or other evidence of ability to succeed in graduate study when evaluating the GPA requirement.
- International students should reference Admission of International Students for additional requirements.
|TUITION CLASSIFICATION||COST PER CREDIT|
(includes MSF*; discounted from $1,624.25)
|VA Resident and PK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program**||$603.25
|CEHD Course Fee||$25.00 - $84.00|
|Total Cost for Virginia Residents per Credit||$734.70 - $793.70|
|Total Cost for Non-Virginia Residents per Credit||$934.70 - $993.70|
|Total cost for VA Resident and PK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program*||$628.25 - $687.25|
|Graduate New Student Fee
(non-refundable, one-time fee)
Please Note: Refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees. Internship courses will incur a higher course fee to fund on-site assistance involving intensive clinical training/supervision.
*Mandatory Student Fee (MSF): $150.25
**VA state residents who are eligible must apply for the 15% PreK-16 VA Educators Discount in order to take advantage of the lower tuition. Eligible students receive 15% off the total tuition and mandatory student fee.
For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. For information regarding grants, tuition waivers, and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department. Also, many school districts offer tuition reimbursement options. Speak to your employer for more information.
Literacy PK–12 Concentration: Academic Advisor
Dr. Jennifer Hathaway
ASTL Academic Advisors guide students through their program of study. After admission, reach out to your advisor to plan your program of study and plan for your first course! Stay in touch with your advisor each semester to consult on your course selection and program progress.