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Online Master’s Degree in Literacy

Online masters degrees in literacy are often offered as a specialization within, or in association with, elementary and secondary education programs. This type of program focuses on concepts and strategies in reading and reading comprehension which will help provide children with a solid foundation for future academic success. This specialization often explores linguistic, cultural, and social influences on education as well. Graduates with an online masters degree in literacy may work directly as classroom teachers or as school administrators. Private educational or curriculum development companies may also hire literacy experts. Students interested in enrolling in an online masters degree program in literacy should expect a two to three year course of study, depending on the specific degree requirements. Additionally, other factors, such as whether a student takes classes full or part time and whether they remain continuously enrolled can also influence time to completion.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Literacy

Accredited online masters programs in literacy will typically include core topics in curriculum design, instructional techniques, action research, and effective learning environments. In addition, there are likely to be required specialized courses in linguistic development, diverse populations, and reading and literacy concepts for various grade levels. Examples of potential course work are listed below:

  • Reading and Writing in the Content Area
  • Literacy Assessment
  • Language Development
  • The Beginning Reader
  • Literacy Development in an Academically Diverse Classroom

Some online literacy programs will also require practicum courses where students have an opportunity to exercise their skills in real-world environments. It is important to note that those seeking teaching certification in their state may need to meet additional requirements as well. Students interested in this area of study are encouraged to contact their state licensing board for more specifics.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Literacy

Graduates with an online masters degree in literacy may work directly with students in elementary or secondary classrooms. Others may opt to pursue careers in school administration or curriculum development. Those interested in working in public schools will need to be properly certified according to their state’s requirements. Private education companies may also hire graduates with a masters degree in literacy.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for kindergarten and elementary school teachers is expected to grow by 17% from 2010 to 2020. In 2010, the median annual salary for these teachers was $51,380. That same year, instructional coordinators reported a median salary of $58,830. Please note, salaries will vary based on factors such as education, past work experience, the specific employer, and the geographical area.

To work in the classroom, teachers need only have a bachelor’s degree and the proper certification. However, positions in instructional development or in higher levels of school administration will most likely require a master’s degree. For this reason, an online masters degree in literacy may be an excellent choice for individuals with long-term career goals in elementary or secondary education.

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