Literacy Education

When you study Literacy Education at RWU, you’ll prepare to become a certified reading specialist/consultant for preschool through grade 12. This two-year part-time program clusters coursework and real-world field experiences into three levels -- explorations, investigations and professionalism -- to give you the knowledge and expertise to design reading programs, assess students’ needs and become a leader in literacy education.

The Literacy Education Master of Arts

Click to Open

The Roger Williams University Master of Arts in Literacy Education is a 31-credit program, leading to certification as a PK-12 Reading Specialist/Consultant in Rhode Island and in member states of the Interstate Certification Compact (ICC).

The two-year program is part-time and graduate students take two courses in the fall, spring, and summer terms, and one course in the winter intersession. Students complete the program as a cohort, benefitting from a collegial atmosphere with the same group of students completing the entire program together. All learning experiences are guided by the National Standards for Reading Professionals as set forth by the International Reading Association.

The program includes nine courses, clustered into three Curriculum Levels, and arranged in a developmental sequence: Level I, Explorations; Level II, Investigations; and Level III, Professionalism. In Level I, Explorations, candidates develop a knowledge base and participate in field experiences in two introductory courses. In Level II, Investigations, candidates develop expertise in instructional and assessment skills that are critical to their roles as literacy professionals. In Level III, Professionalism, candidates build on the broad based knowledge they developed in the first two phases and prepare to assume and carry out leadership roles as literacy professionals.

Applying to the Master of Arts in Literacy Program

To be considered for admission to the Master of Arts in Literacy degree program, applicants must hold an earned Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university and a current valid teacher’s license. To apply, submit the following:
  1. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  2. Personal statement (two double-spaced pages maximum) explaining why you want to become a literacy specialist.
  3. Two letters of recommendation attesting to your potential to succeed in graduate school and to work with children.
  4. Current resume or CV.
  5. Copy of current teacher’s certificate or license.
  6. If your first language is not English, an official report of TOEFL or IELTS results.
  7. Completed application form accompanied by the $50 application fee.

The School of Education also requires a personal interview as part of the admissions process.

Requirements for the Master of Arts in Literacy Education

(All courses are THREE CREDITS unless otherwise indicated)

Curriculum Level 1: Explorations

EDU610Introduction to Literacy Research 
EDU616Research-Based Literacy Practices I: Writing Across the Curriculum, K-12 

Curriculum Level 2: Investigations

EDU618Literature for Children and Young Adults 
EDU620Research-Based Literacy Practices II: Reading Across the Curriculum, K-12 
EDU622Research Based Literacy Practices III: Preparing Strategic Readers, K-12 
EDU634Assessment of Reading and Writing Difficulties 
EDU638Clinical Experience in Literacy Education(6 credits)

Curriculum Level 3: Professionalism

EDU650Leadership for Literacy Professionals 
EDU654Advanced Literacy Research Seminar(4 credits)

Upcoming Events

Click to Open

Virtual Information Sessions

Short on time or just want to learn more about us from the comfort of your home, school, or office? Join us for a Virtual Information Session.

Monday, December 10, 2018
All part-time RWU graduate programs will be covered during this session.
5:30pm - 6:15pm EST

Tuesday, January 8, 2019
All part-time RWU graduate programs will be covered during this session.
12:30pm - 1:15pm EST

Visit for a list of all upcoming on-campus and virtual events.

A headshot of Sarah DelSanto standing on campus

A Love of Reading

Sarah Jane DelSanto, RWU Class of 2017 Literacy Education

Sarah Jane DelSanto, who graduated with an elementary education degree from RWU in 2015, has a love of reading. To stoke that passion, DelSanto has returned to RWU as a graduate student. Read her reflections on her experience and what she hopes to achieve.

Read full story


  • Delivery Method: hybrid
  • Start Term: Spring only
  • Course Load: Part-time only
  • Program Duration: Two years
  • 2019-2020 Program Schedule
  • Tuition information can be found here
  • Admission Deadline: Rolling