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Literacy M.Ed.

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The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Literacy is a graduate program designed to focus on the most current research in the field of literacy. The program provides an in-depth study of literacy development and strategies to support academic growth and success. The curriculum includes a variety of literacy topics, such as foundational knowledge, developmental continuums, assessment, writing, and specific strategies for supporting students. Graduates of the program who meet the criteria and are interested may be eligible to add on the reading specialist endorsement to their current teaching license.

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Jennifer Wenzlick

Local Kindergarten Teacher Becomes a Literacy Leader in her School

Jennifer Wenzlick is a kindergarten teacher at Blackman Elementary in Rutherford Country schools. She started her teaching career in 2014. Jennifer graduated from the Literacy Masters program at MTSU in 2019.

“I learned so much from being in the Literacy Masters Program at MTSU. Every assignment we did, I could easily integrate into my classroom. I knew what I was learning would push me to be a better teacher. I would learn something in class and then try out new things in my room the next week. One year, two professors joined me each week in my room and we collaborated on ways to help my kindergarteners become better writers. My kids had never written so much and been so excited about writing! I don’t know what the future holds, but this program made me want to keep growing and learning. One day I will likely continue for my Ph.D. I would highly recommend the Literacy Masters Program at MTSU.”

Lucy Meadors

MNPS Teacher says MTSU's Literacy Masters Program Made her a Better Teacher

Lucy Meadors is a kindergarten teacher at Glendale Elementary in Metro Nashville Public Schools. She started teaching in 2015.  Lucy graduated from the Literacy Masters program at MTSU in 2019.

“As a teacher, I always want to model lifelong learning. The MTSU Literacy Program was the perfect opportunity to stretch me in my knowledge and skills as a teacher of literacy. Now that I have graduated I miss being pushed to learn, study, and grow in my practice. I loved that in many of my classes I could focus in on a small group of students that needed attention, applying my new skills to those striving readers and writers. Everything we did in the program was relevant and manageable. The professors really helped bring the program to life for me. I feel as though I am ready to be a literacy leader in my school or community. I would definitely recommend the Literacy Masters Program.”

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Graduates from the Literacy program may be employed in a variety of positions within public schools or private settings. Examples include, but are not limited to,

  • Classroom teacher
  • Literacy coach
  • Literacy tutor
  • Mentor teacher
  • Reading interventionist
  • Reading specialist

Alumni from the Literacy Program have been employed in many districts including

  • Metro-Davidson Schools
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Rutherford County Schools

The Department of Elementary and Special Education offers the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree with a program of study in Literacy. Upon completion of the Literacy, M.Ed. degree program, three successful years of teaching and a passing score on the Literacy Specialist PRAXIS, graduates are eligible for Tennessee PreK-12 Add-on Licensure as a Literacy Specialist

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS button to the right. 

Other Graduate Programs

In addition to Literacy, the Department offers programs of study in Curriculum and Instruction with concentrations in Elementary School Education or Initial Licensure Specialization and Special Education with concentrations in Mildly/Moderately Disabled Students Concentration (Interventionist K-8 or 6-12) and Severely/Profoundly Disabled Students Concentration.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Literacy Studies and the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Assessment, Learning, and Student Success are available in the College of Education.

Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Elementary and Special Education offers four undergraduate majors, all leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education (K-5); Middle Level Education (6-8); and Special Education with choices of the Comprehensive, K-12, or Interventionist, K-8 or 6-12.  

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Professional Licensure Disclosure

The Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) College of Education’s teacher licensure preparation programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and are eligible for accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree with a program of study in Literacy and a specialization in Initial Licensure is designed to meet the licensure requirements set by the Tennessee Department of Education. Students should be aware that licensure requirements vary from state to state and are subject to change. MTSU has not made a determination whether a specific program will meet all of the requirements of another US state or territory. MTSU recommends that students who plan to seek licensure outside the state of Tennessee contact the appropriate licensing agency and discuss their plans with their advisor. To obtain current information about each state’s and territory’s licensure requirements and any additional regulations, students should consult the US Department of Education’s website for state contacts at

Graduates of MTSU teacher education programs certified to teach in Tennessee are eligible for certification reciprocity in many states. Reciprocity is not an automatic or complete transfer of certification, thus individuals should consult the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) site at and the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) site at as well as the US Department of Education state contacts site for information about any additional state requirements.

Literacy, M.Ed.

Joan Boulware, Program Director
(615) 904-8243

The Department of Elementary and Special Education offers the Master of Education degree with a major in Literacy online. The program leads to the Literacy endorsement, Reading Specialist, PreK-12.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Education program in Literacy must have an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher or a minimum of twelve hours at the graduate level with a GPA of 3.00 or higher.

Applicants must have a valid teaching license for admission to the program and complete an interview with the program coordinator or one or more of the program faculty.

Applicants choose one of the three admission requirements below:

  1. Submit a minimum score of 380 on the (MAT) Miller Analogies Test.
  2. Submit a passing score on the Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam (PRAXIS II).
  3. Provide an electronic portfolio containing
  • A resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) describing previous education, work, teaching and research experience, professional affiliations, community and volunteer experience, honors and awards, and publications.
  • A written personal statement (1-2 pages) explaining interest in a career in literacy education and how obtaining this degree will positively affect student achievement.
  • Two letters of recommendation. Your recommenders must give their personal impressions of your intellectual ability, your aptitude in research or professional skills, your character, and the quality of your previous work and potential for future productive scholarship.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official scores on the Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam (PRAXIS II), Miller Analogies Test (MAT), or an electronic portfolio;
  3. submit official transcripts of all previous college work (GPA of previous work should be 3.0 or higher.);
  4. participate in an intake interview;
  5. have a bachelor's degree in Education or initial licensure.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Education in Literacy requires completion of 33 semester hours.

Curriculum: Literacy

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.

Required Courses (24 hours)

  • ELED 6000 - Teaching Writing  3 credit hours  

    ELED 6000 - Teaching Writing

    3credit hours

    An in-depth exploration of students' efforts to become writers. Presents theoretical and practical strategies for establishing an effective writing environment based on current research.

  • READ 6000 - Foundations of Literacy  3 credit hours  
    **  dotslash:* title:* 

    READ 6000 - Foundations of Literacy

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: A reading methods or literacy course. Planning and developing a reading program through extensive reading in the field and seminar participation. Special emphasis on the reading process.

  • READ 6710 - Adolescent Literacy  3 credit hours  
    **  dotslash:* title:* 

    READ 6710 - Adolescent Literacy

    3credit hours

    Approaches to effective literacy enhancement in middle and secondary school programs. Suggestions for meeting the literacy needs of typical and atypical adolescent literacy learners.

  • READ 6730 - Curriculum and Supervision of Literacy Instruction  3 credit hours  
    **  dotslash:* title:* 

    READ 6730 - Curriculum and Supervision of Literacy Instruction

    3credit hours

    The role of the reading specialist. Focuses on preparing reading specialists to work with students and adults in school settings. Planning in-service presentations, grant writing, critiquing materials, and effective reading programs explored.

  • READ 6750 - Research in Literacy

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: READ 6000, its equivalent, or permission of the instructor. An investigation of significant research related to reading with emphasis on classroom practices, group analysis, and individual study. (Available on permission-of-department basis only.)

  • READ 6760 - Early Literacy  3 credit hours  
    **  dotslash:* title:* 

    READ 6760 - Early Literacy

    3credit hours

    A methods course that concentrates on beginning reading and emergent literacy issues in developing reading and writing.

  • READ 6790 - Literacy Practicum  3 to 6 credit hours  
    *(3 credit hours required) *  dotslash:(3 credit hours required) * title:* 
    (3 credit hours required) * 

    READ 6790 - Literacy Practicum

    3 to 6credit hours

    Prerequisite: READ 6720 or equivalent. A supervised practice in teaching children with various types of reading and learning problems. Student may enroll for 3 hours credit or 6 hours credit in a single semester. May be repeated for up to 6 credits; however, only 3 credits may apply toward the degree.

*required for licensure

  • SPED 6100 - Differentiation and Literacy: Teaching Corrective Reading and Writing

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher Education program. Identifies and implements evidence-based reading interventions and strategies. Incorporates writing deficits; how to identify students with reading disabilities, administer curriculum-based assessments, determine skill level, determine appropriate interventions, assess intervention outcomes, and adjust interventions when needed.

Electives (9 hours)

Choose three courses from the following:

  • DYST 6000 - Introduction to Dyslexia and Other Reading Difficulties

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Overview of the history and science of dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Examines the value of integrating insights from the cognitive psychology and neuroscience into diagnostic, therapeutic, and instructional models of literacy. Explores the etiology and prevalence of reading disabilities and addresses current issues in assessment and intervention.

  • DYST 6010 - Identifying Students with Dyslexia and Other Reading Difficulties

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and DYST 6000. Details the profile of dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Develops competency in choosing appropriate testing batteries for identification, administering valid and reliable measures, and interpreting and communicating the results. Outlines how to use assessment data to plan instruction and monitor progress.

  • DYST 6011 - Interventions for Dyslexia and Other Reading Difficulties

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Permission of instructor and DYST 6000. Details the elements of intervention for children with dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Increases competency in identifying and implementing effective interventions based on student skills and characteristics. Covers evidence-based interventions in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing.

  • FOED 6630 - Educational Tests and Measurements

    3credit hours

    Basic concepts in educational measurement and evaluation; evaluation as a part of the teaching-learning process; utilization of evaluation for instructional improvement.

  • LIBS 6310 - Materials for Literacy of Children

    3credit hours

    Materials suitable for babies, toddlers, and elementary school children. Includes study of reading skills, recreational reading, non-fiction, criteria for evaluating, selecting, and integrating national standards into programming for these patrons. The partnership between library and school curriculum will be included.

  • PSY 6530 - The Psychology of Reading and Reading Development

    3credit hours

    Overview of the cognitive processes involved in reading. The structure of both oral and written language; cognitive mechanisms in reading; language development and the acquisition of reading skills; developmental and acquired disorders of language and reading.

  • SPSE 6800 - Curriculum Design and Instruction for ELs

    3credit hours

    Analysis of curriculum models for instruction in the EL classroom. Considers elements of differentiated instruction, transformative literacy frameworks, and standards-based content in lesson planning, embedded assessment tasks, and units plans with appropriate accommodations and adjustments for second language learners. Fieldwork required.

  • SPSE 6820 - Second Language Acquisition: Language, Culture, Theory, Practice

    3credit hours

    Focus on specific theories and research pertaining to second language acquisition for the PreK-12 EL and regular education classroom teacher. Emphasis on cultural aspects that influence language acquisition, elements of language, sound systems, cognitive processes, and the psychology of language learning. Required for add-on endorsement in ESL.

  • SPSE 6830 - Assessment and Evaluation of English Language Learners

    3credit hours

    Examines the role of assessment in the education of linguistically diverse students in the PreK-12 classroom. Focus on formal and informal methods of assessing language proficiency, state and national testing initiatives, test preparation, and interpretation of test results. Fieldwork required.

  • YOED 6020 - Literacy and Content Instruction for ELs

    3credit hours

    Analysis and application of strategies, instructional methods, and techniques appropriate for developing and implementing transformative literacy and standards-based content instruction for English learners in the classroom. Focus on state and nationally adopted models for addressing culture within integrated language and academic content lessons and unit plans. Fieldwork required.

Program Notes

Any course requiring admission to Teacher Education may require observations, case studies, or other time in PreK-12 classes.

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.

Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance

This program is available fully online.

For More Information or Explore Your Options​

Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program OR work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.

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Contact Information

Dr. Joan Boulware


Who is My Advisor?

Dr. Joan Boulware

Dr. Katie Schrodt

Mailing Address

Department of Elementary and Special Education
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 69
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN  37132

College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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