What will I study?
The master’s program in Language & Literacy will prepare you to become a specialized literacy professional. Within the program, you will learn the theories and methods for teaching reading and writing. You will learn how to assess individual readers and writers and develop curriculum to meet student needs by working with learners and other educators. You will develop as a literacy leader, developing integrated literacy curriculum that includes digital and other forms.
What kinds of work will I be able to do?
The International Literacy Association defines specialized literacy professionals as those who have advanced certification, support student learning, and have one or more of the primary roles and responsibilities specified below. Regardless of role, all specialized literacy professionals need leadership, facilitation, and communication skills to perform effectively in their respective roles and in collaboration with other educators.
- Reading/literacy specialists: Primarily responsible for planning, teaching, and evaluating instruction for students having difficulty with reading or writing at all levels (pre-K–12).
- Literacy coaches: Primarily responsible for improving classroom instruction by supporting teacher learning and facilitating literacy program efforts.
- Literacy coordinators/supervisors: Primarily responsible for developing, leading, and/or evaluating the school or district literacy program.
Will I be able to specialize?
Within the program, you may specialize in literacy leadership, English for Students of Other Languages, or diverse learners. The literacy leadership specialization leads to the South Carolina Literacy Coach Certification. The English for Students of Other Languages specialization provides you with three of the five courses needed for the South Carolina ESOL endorsement. The diverse learner specialization prepares you for working with African American students and English learners.
Typical Course Work
Core Courses (30 semester hours)
You will learn the theories and methods for teaching reading and writing, which will help you work with K-12 students in both English language arts and content area classrooms. You will learn and practice reading and writing assessment with students in a practicum (after school) setting and develop literacy curricula to meet student needs. You will learn to incorporate digital and other media into the English language arts and content area curriculum. You will learn to work with families, communities, and the school as a whole to develop literacy programs as you prepare to become a specialized literacy professional.
Specialization (6 semester hours)
Through 6 hours of specialized course work, you will focus on either literacy leadership, English for Speakers of Other Languages, or diverse learners. If you would like to become a literacy coach or reading specialist, you will take courses in action research and assessment of diverse learners. If you would like to work toward your ESOL endorsement, you will take courses in curriculum development and assessment of English learners. If you would like to develop expertise in teaching diverse learners, you might take courses in teaching reading and writing to African American students and English learners. There is some overlap of choices in these specializations.
For more information about curriculum or program requirements, please visit the academic bulletin.
What is the application process like?
You will complete the standard application process for graduate school. We recommend taking the Millers Analogy Test (MAT), but either the MAT or GRE may be submitted as part of the application process.