MEd Advanced Studies in Literacy: Reading Specialist
Reading specialists are professionals with advanced preparation and experience in reading who may have responsibility for the literacy performance of both proficient as well as struggling readers. They serve as teachers, literacy coaches, and staff developers.
Mason's Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning (ASTL) reading specialist concentration provides a state-approved sequence of courses that can lead to eligibility for the K–12 reading specialist endorsement in Virginia.
Course work in this concentration helps teachers develop an in-depth understanding of literacy development across the lifespan, examines instructional and assessment strategies for individuals and groups of students, and provides preparation for work as a reading specialist.
Who Will Benefit from This Degree Concentration?
Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning (ASTL) concentrations are for teachers and other educators with one or more years of teaching or education-related experience who want to continue to grow professionally. Experienced teachers who hold a bachelor's degree with or without a master's degree may apply for the literacy: reading specialist concentration, which includes 21 credits in the concentration area and 12 credits in ASTL core classes.
Additional Virginia state licensure requirements include an initial teaching license (not obtained via this program), a satisfactory score on the reading assessment specified by the Virginia Board of Education, and at least three years of classroom teaching experience. Students must also earn a B- or higher in all licensure course work.
What are some of the program's strengths?
The program offers advanced study in literacy, coaching, and professional development. 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.
Can I use graduate credits from other universities to reduce my course load?
No, course credit transfers and course substitutions are not allowed for the literacy: reading specialist concentration.
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 (21 credits)
Licensure also requires a master's degree, passing of the Virginia Reading Assessment, and three years of teaching under contract. All courses must be taken in sequence
- 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)
- EDRD 632: Literacy Assessments and Interventions for Groups (3 credits)
- EDRD 633: Literacy Assessments and Interventions for Individuals (3 credits) (Must be taken concurrently with EDRD 637)
- EDRD 637: Supervised Literacy Practicum (3 credits) (Must be taken concurrently with EDRD 633)
- EDRD 634: School-Based Leadership in Literacy (3 credits)
- EDRD 635: School-Based Inquiry in Literacy (3 credits)
Total: 33 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 1
Priority*: November 1
Space Available: January 4
Priority*: February 1
Space Available: May 1
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.