Program Overview

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Degree Offered

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Education, concentration in Literacy Education

We focus on literacy development across the grade levels and school-wide literacy leadership.

Online and hybrid
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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 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.


To determine eligibility to apply as an international applicant, please contact

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