Skip top navigation
School of Education - George Mason University
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.