Graduate Program for experienced licensed K-12 teachers

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Education program with a concentration in Literacy Education is intended for experienced classroom teachers who want to prepare to become reading intervention teachers or reading specialists.


Information on how to apply can be found here: The Graduate School Application

James Madison University’s College of Education is distinguished through faculty and student achievements, academic rigor, excellence in teaching, student and faculty interactions and relationships, technological innovations, and national recognitions. The College prepares students to become professionals who are able to knowledgeably integrate diverse perspectives and positively impact the lives of all they serve.

The literacy program at JMU approaches literacy instruction from a sociocultural perspective with an emphasis on language. We believe that all students bring strengths and knowledge to the literacy experience and we believe in capitalizing on students’ strengths in order to develop their literacy skills. We believe it is critical for all teachers to understand the science of how young people learn to read and emphasize research-based approaches to supporting learners in developing strong literacy skills.

The purpose of the graduate program in education with a concentration in literacy education is to prepare literacy leaders who serve in a variety of capacities. Graduates of our program go on to become Reading Specialists, division-level literacy leaders. They also maintain their roles as classroom teachers, principals, or division leaders but gain a larger background in literacy to enhance performance. Goals for candidates completing the literacy program include developing expertise in reading and writing instruction for all students, with a special emphasis on students with unfinished literacy learning and for emerging bilingual learners; supporting students’ oral language development; becoming experts at assessment, including literacy assessments of individual students and assessments of the literacy program; and becoming leaders in professional development and in collaborations involving literacy instruction with teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, families and communities. In preparation for these professional roles, candidates in the reading program will develop:

  • Knowledge of the foundations of reading and writing processes and instruction
  • An understanding of a wide range of instructional practices, approaches, methods, and curriculum materials to support reading and writing instruction
  • Knowledge of a variety of assessment tools and practices to plan and evaluative effective reading instruction
  • Knowledge of how to create a literate environment that fosters reading and writing
  • A view of professional development as a career-long effort.

Off-Campus Program

This degree program is offered only in off-campus locations in conjunction with JMU Office of Professional and Continuing Education. If your Virginia school district would like to discuss the possibility of hosting the M.Ed. with a concentration in Literacy Education Program, please contact Dr. Mark Lewis, Program Coordinator (

Program Length

The sequence of courses can be completed within two year academic years, and all courses and field experiences are provided in the localities of each cohort group.


Candidates are eligible for two one-time merit-based awards:

  • Merlin and Ramsey-Blankenburg Awards

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question you don't see answered here? Check this out!

Hear from some recent graduates, Terri Yoder and Amanda Grover.

Have Questions? Contact:

Dr. Mark Lewis

Program Coordinator



literacy-awards.pngKnow an amazing Literacy Educator?

Click here to nominate someone for a JMU Literacy Award

  • Baccalaurete degree from a regionally accredited college/university
  • Undergraduate GPA 2.75 or higher
  • Valid teaching license
Application Materials
  • Professional Resume
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Personal statement on "Why do you want to earn an M.Ed. with a concentration in literacy?"
  • Two letters of recommendation that speak to your teaching performance and/or leadership potential
  • GRE is optional/not required
  • Applicants may be asked to complete an interview
Graduate Catalog Info
Meet our Literacy Program Faculty

Dr. Sarah Lupo

Associate Professor


Dr. Joy Myers

Director of On-Campus and Paraprofessional Teaching Fellows

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