College of Education and Human Services

Literacy Specialist K-12 (MA)

Literacy Specialist K-12 (MA)

College of Education and Human Services NAVIGATION

Literacy Specialist K-12 (MA) prepares certified teachers with extensive knowledge in the use of strategies and techniques to strengthen the reading capabilities of young children, adolescents, and adults.

Master of Arts (MA) offered in On-campus and Hybrid formats.

The need for specialized teacher training in literacy development has evolved as teachers strive to assist individuals in reading proficiency levels in literacy. Program emphasis is placed on the study of varied methods for teaching and remediating reading and writing difficulties, assessing literacy capabilities, and designing individual reading plans to enhance student strengths and address weaknesses in literacy development.

You must possess an initial professional teaching certificate and have two years of teaching experience to qualify for literacy specialist certification through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). However, you may begin your coursework while you are completing the two-year teaching requirement. Additionally, there is the option for you to complete only the needed courses for literacy specialist certification without completing the master’s degree.

You will complete a minimum of 33 credit hours of coursework, including the four required core courses to earn the Master of Arts in Education. You will not be required to retake reading courses you may have taken as an undergraduate. Undergraduate courses will count towards reading certification through DESE but cannot count toward completion of the master’s degree.  

You must complete all of the classes required for literacy specialist certification by DESE in order to receive the Missouri certificate. If you are seeking a master’s degree in education at the same time as the reading certification, 33 hours of coursework is required. However, you may apply for you master’s degree upon completion of the four core courses and the required 33 hours; thus actually having the master’s degree before completion of the certificated classes. You may exceed the 33 hours needed for the master’s in order to complete the necessary classes for reading certification. If the classes required by DESE and the core courses do not add up to 33 hours when completing a master’s degree, you must choose other education classes to complete the degree program.

Curriculum & Instruction - Teacher Ed