MEd Literacy Leadership for Diverse Schools: K–12 Reading Specialist Concentration
This MEd program is designed for educators with at least one year of teaching experience who wish to develop the expertise needed to serve as reading specialists or literacy leaders. Graduates will explore how literacy develops across the life span, study research-based instructional and assessment practices, develop the skills necessary to serve as literacy leaders, and prepare to make a profound difference in the literacy development of diverse learners.
What Is a Reading/Literacy Specialist?
A reading/literacy specialist is an educational professional focused on the literacy achievement of K–12 students. Reading/literacy specialists work with students who are experiencing difficulties with reading and writing at all levels. They also have the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to effectively collaborate with general education teachers to improve literacy instruction in the classroom.
Upon completion of this state-approved program, graduates can be eligible for a reading specialist endorsement in Virginia. Additional state licensure requirements include an initial teaching license, a satisfactory score on the reading assessment specified by the Virginia Board of Education (taken at the end of all course work), and the completion of at least three years of teaching under contract by the end of the degree program.
Some elective course work may also be applied toward an add-on license/endorsement in English as a second language or special education.
Careers in Literacy
Graduates of this degree program work in a variety of settings. Some choose to remain in their classrooms and apply what they've learn to support their students’ literacy development there. Others move into literacy leadership positions, including:
- reading specialists
- literacy or instructional coaches
- reading interventionists
- reading teachers
- private literacy tutors
- providers of literacy-related professional development
This 33-credit degree program is offered on a part-time basis and can be completed in as few as 6 semesters (including fall, spring, and summer).
Students complete 21 credits of literacy course work within cohorts on the same curriculum schedule. This allows for professional learning communities within each cohort.
To meet students' learning preferences and needs, the program is offered in two formats:
- For students seeking admission in the fall, literacy course work is offered in a blended format, which combines face-to-face class sessions with online class sessions (both synchronous and asynchronous). In the blended format, classes meet face-to-face for approximately 60% of each semester and online for the other 40%. In the fall and spring, classes meet one time each week in the early evening, while summer classes meet 2 to 3 times per week. Literacy courses are offered at Mason’s Fairfax and Arlington campuses as well as other sites across Northern Virginia, allowing you to choose the cohort location that is most convenient for you. Elective and research credits can be taken face-to-face on Mason’s Fairfax campus or online.
- For students seeking admission in the spring, all literacy course work is completed fully online, primarily in an asynchronous format. Elective and research credits are also completed online.
This program has been identified by George Mason University as one that may lead to a career requiring professional licensure/certification. Federal regulations require Mason to disclose information as to whether this program meets/does not meet the educational requirements for licensure/certification in your state, or whether such a determination has not been made. Please consult our Licensure Disclosure Tool for the disclosure statement specific to your desired state/program combination.
George Mason University will verify completion of the requirements of a Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) state-approved preparation program at the graduate or undergraduate level. Such verification does not guarantee the issuance of a Virginia Collegiate Professional, Postgraduate Professional, or Pupil Personnel license from the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is solely the student's responsibility to comply with all requirements for licensure by the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law, a social security number is required for licensure.
Required Courses (24 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)
- EDRD 633: Literacy Assessments and Interventions for Individuals (3 credits)*
- EDRD 637: Supervised Literacy Practicum (3 credits)*
- EDRD 632: Literacy Assessments and Interventions for Groups (3 credits)
- EDRD 634: School-Based Leadership in Literacy (3 credits)
- EDRD 635: School-Based Inquiry in Literacy (3 credits)
- EDRS 590: Education Research (3 credits) OR EDSE 590: Special Education Research (3 credits)
*EDRD 633 and EDRD 637 must be taken in the same semester.
Sequence of literacy courses may vary depending on program format.
Electives (9 credits)
Choose 3 of the following:
- EDUC 537: Introduction to Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Learners (3 credits)
- EDCI 510: Linguistics for PreK-12 ESOL Teachers (3 credits)
- EDCI 516: Bilingualism and Language Acquisition Research (3 credits)
- EDCI 519: Methods of Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners (3 credits)
- SEED 502: Young Adult Literature in Multicultural Settings (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 501: Introduction to Special Education (3 credits)
- EDSE 502: Classroom Management and Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)
- EDSE 517: Computer Applications for Special Populations (3 credits)
- EDSE 540: Characteristics of Students with Disabilities who Access the General Curriculum (3 credits)
- EDSE 619: Principles and Procedures of Behavior Analysis (3 credits)
- EDAT 510: Introduction to Assistive Technology (3 credits)
- EDAT 524: Universal Design for Learning (3 credits)
Note: Check course descriptions for required prerequisites. Substitutions must be approved by your advisor. Not all electives are offered in an online format.
Total Credits: 33
(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.
Each student is responsible for knowing Mason’s rules, regulations, requirements, administrative policies, and academic policies. The University Catalog, your program advisors, and the staff in the Student and Academic Affairs Office are key resources to assist you as you work toward completion of your degree requirements.
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4400 University Drive, MS 4B3
Fairfax, Virginia 22030