M.S.Ed. in Literacy Education Reading Specialization

You have the power to be a teacher who can
provide transformational tools to children.

When children learn to read, they build the academic foundation for the rest of their lives. Our unique program will advance your competency in pedagogy that is culturally responsive and transformative; in literature for children and young adults; and in digital literacies and technology. Completion of our 33-semester-hour program leads to the K-12 Reading Specialist endorsement (or the 18-semester-hour Reading Teacher endorsement) being added to your Professional Educator License. You will meet or exceed expectations set by the Illinois State Board of Education and the International Literacy Association.

Our Framework

We believe that literacy enlightens, informs and emancipates. Literacy is the mirror that can reflect a lived experience back to us – or the door or window through which we peek at someone else’s lived experiences. You'll master four main competencies of highly qualified reading professionals:

  • Knowledge and self-awareness of one’s positionality in multi-faceted systems of power
  • Critical recognition of power structures and systems of oppression
  • Creation of inclusive environments
  • Advocacy for students, their families and other marginalized school personnel

Real-world Learning

Our Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic provides reading support services for K-12 students, continuing education and professional development opportunities for reading specialists and excellent practicum experiences for you.

Admission Requirements

You can apply to the NIU Graduate School as a degree-seeking student or as a student-at-large, which allows you to take a course while waiting for official admission to the program. Your complete application packet will require:

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Your career goal statement
  • Your college transcripts 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who accredits the degree?

The M.S.Ed. in Literacy Education from NIU with a Focus on Reading is nationally recognized as an exemplary program by the International Literacy Association (ILA). As a competency-based program, each course builds upon the previous course(s) that are aligned with the standards for reading professionals developed by the ILA and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

What certification will I earn?

Completion of the program leads to the Reading Specialist certification or Reading Teacher endorsement being added to a professional educator license.

What are the goals for this program?

At 33 credits, this degree will take you approximately 2-3 years to complete. If you've started coursework elsewhere, no problem! You are able to transfer up to 15 credits.

What are the courses in the program?

Phase I. Foundations in Literacy (15 credits)

  • LTRE 500 Improvement of Reading in the Elementary School (3)
  • LTRE 505 Teaching Reading in the Middle School (3)
  • LTRE 511 Content Area Reading (3)
  • LTIC 515 Bilingualism and Reading (3)
  • LTLA 543 Writing Instruction (3)

Phase II. Diagnosis and Remediation (12 credits)

  • LTRE 520 Diagnosis and Treatment of Reading Difficulties (3)
  • LTRE 530 Practicum in Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties (3)
  • LTRE 531 Practicum in Problems of Teaching Reading (3)
  • LTCY 536 Literacy Research

Phase III. Leadership in Literacy (6 credits)

  • LTRE 701 Supervisory Problems in Reading (3)
  • LTCY 586 Internship (can be completed while teaching full-time) (3)

M.S. E.d Literacy-Reading Online Cohort

Join our summer 2022 cohort.

Apply Today

Contact Us

Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Nick Slicer, Graduate Advisor

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Complete this short contact form and our advisor will follow-up with specific program information. 

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