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 gain an in-depth understanding of literacy development, study scientifically-based literacy research and evidence-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.
Please note, this is not an initial licensure program. For more information on initial licensure options in the College, contact the Office of Teacher Preparation.
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 30-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:
- ONLINE: Students seeking admission in any semester (fall, spring, or summer) have the option of completing the program in a fully online, primarily asynchronous format. Elective credits are also completed online.
- BLENDED: A blended format for the program is available to students seeking admission for the fall semester. Elective credits can be taken face-to-face on Mason’s Fairfax campus or online. When there is enough demand, blended cohort options may also be available to students seeking admission in the spring or summer.
- This format combines face-to-face class sessions with online class sessions (both synchronous and asynchronous). In the blended format, 3-credit hour courses meet face-to-face for approximately 60% of each semester and online for the other 40%, while 2-credit hour courses are completed fully online in an asynchronous format. In the fall and spring, 3-credit hour courses 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 Mason Square (Arlington) campuses as well as other sites across Northern Virginia, allowing you to choose the cohort location that is most convenient for you.
George Mason University will verify completion of the 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.
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.
Required Courses (21 credits)
- EDRD 640: Trajectory of Literacy Research (2 credits)
- EDRD 641: Trends and Issues in Literacy (2 credits)
- EDRD 642: Foundations of Literacy Instruction: Code-Based Skills (3 credits)
- EDRD 643: Foundations of Literacy Instruction: Meaning-Based Skills (3 credits)
- EDRD 644: Literacy Assessment and Intervention (3 credits)*
- EDRD 645: Supervised Literacy Practicum (3 credits)*
- EDRD 646: School-Based Leadership in Literacy (3 credits)
- EDRD 647: Introduction to Literacy Coaching (2 credits)
*EDRD 644 and EDRD 645 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:
- 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)
- EDCI 630: Supporting English Learners in PK-12 Schools (3 credits)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- SEED 502: Young Adult Literature in Multicultural Settings (3 credits)
- SEED 509: Perspectives on Extraordinary Teaching (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: 30
(classes starting in August)
(classes starting in January)
(classes starting in May, June, or July)
Priority*: April 1
Space Available: August 15
Priority*: November 1
Space Available: January 5
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.
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. Students with less than a 3.0 GPA are encouraged to apply, addressing previous academic challenges and highlighting evidence for future success in their goal statement.
- International students should reference Admission of International Students for additional requirements.
|TUITION CLASSIFICATION||COST PER CREDIT|
(includes MSF*; discounted from $1,641.50)
|VA Resident and PK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program**||$617.95
|CEHD Course Fee||$25.00 - $84.00|
|Total Cost for Virginia Residents per Credit||$752.00 - $811.00|
|Total Cost for Non-Virginia Residents per Credit||$952.00 - $1,011.00|
|Total cost for VA Resident and PK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program*||$642.95 - $701.95|
|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): $155.00
**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.
Thompson Hall, Suite 1500
4400 University Drive, MS 4B3
Fairfax, Virginia 22030