Do you aspire to drive transformative change in your university or community? Do you have a desire to take on a teaching and literacy leadership role in education? Whether you are an undergraduate student, a certified teacher or a recent recipient of a Master of Science in Education in Reading degree, the respect afforded to leaders in literacy can be rewarding.
Earning a Graduate Degree
Students can learn to make a meaningful impact on student literacy with an MSE degree in reading. With this degree, you may find employment as a literacy coach or as a reading specialist. A Master of Science in Education in Reading can prepare you to teach students of varied backgrounds how to successfully read and communicate. Many career options are available for MSE graduates in the public and private sectors.
According to Sebastian Wren and Deborah Reed in Literacy Coaches Roles and Responsibilities, a highly trained, certified literacy coach specializes in “helping students who are struggling with learning to read in the regular classroom.” This coach may collaborate with teachers to build a successful literacy program or to conceptualize successful reading strategies.
Teachers in secondary grades may feel unprepared to teach reading to middle school students because they may have received less training than their elementary counterparts. Schools have increasingly come to depend upon skilled literacy coaches to help struggling readers.
In addition to coordinating effective reading programs, reading specialists may advise and educate teachers and parents. They may also develop and coordinate district-wide reading and literacy programs. This can involve traveling to individual schools to work with administrators and teachers to create and implement successful programs.
Reading specialists may advocate for schools through community outreach initiatives. Teachers may receive guidance from a reading specialist regarding literacy programs.
Some reading specialist positions may require previous experience conducting teachers’ workshops or presenting at educational conferences.
Earning a Master of Science in Education in Reading may require a series of 10 or more three-credit courses. For example, the following list details 10 courses required for a Master of Science in Education in Reading at Arkansas State University.
- Theory and Practice in Teaching Reading.
- Perspectives on Professionalism in Education.
- The National Writing Project Model: Processes of Writing.
- Emergent Literacy Birth through Primary Years.
- Reading Practicum I — Diagnosis and Intervention.
- Adolescent Literacy.
- Principles of Literacy Cognition.
- Literacy for Diverse Learners.
- Introduction to Statistics and Research.
- Reading Practicum II — Leadership and Literacy.
Earning a Ph.D. or Ed.D.
A Ph.D. in Reading and Literacy Education program may interest students pursuing a career in literacy administration. Another choice is a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Reading and Literacy Leadership. Specializations in this degree may include the following:
- Community College Leadership.
- Educational Administration and Leadership (non-licensure).
- Higher Education Leadership and Management.
- Higher Education and Adult Learning.
- Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.
- Early Childhood Education.
- Educational Technology.
- Reading, Literacy and Assessment.
- Special Education.
You may want to consider getting a doctorate of education in reading if you
- Wish to teach at the college level.
- Have a passion to serve as an agent of change, a thought leader, researcher or scholar.
- Are interested in advanced clinical work.
- Wish to pursue a leadership role in education.
Doctoral degrees in literacy and education focus on experimental research methods and advanced research techniques. They help administrators and teachers develop literacy skills. Doctor of Education programs (Ed.D.) prepare graduates for literacy leadership positions such as district leadership, advanced clinical supervision and college teaching.
A blend of theoretical and practical courses and experiences make up the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program. If you wish to serve the educational community as a thought leader, change agent, researcher or scholar, a doctoral literacy degree may help you succeed.
For more information about becoming a leader in literacy, check out A-State’s MS in Education – Reading online program.