Earning an online master’s degree in reading and literacy education is a great step for current educators who want to advance their training. In general, enrolling in a graduate education program can do wonders for certified teachers who currently only hold an undergraduate diploma. Taking this next step in your academic career can offer specific information about learning theories, instructional practices, and specialist skills so you can achieve greater success – both for you and your students – in the classroom.
Specifically, earning a master’s degree in reading and literacy can help teachers at all grade levels improve their students’ comprehension abilities and performance in language classes. Dyslexia and other reading-related learning disabilities are quite common, and literacy specialists can be quite valuable and helpful in schools.
To get started, take a look at our list below of the 10 cheapest schools with programs in this area. If you’re looking for a truly affordable education, this is definitely the place to start. We ranked schools from most to least expensive, assigning public institutions an approximate tuition by considering both their in-state and out-of-state costs.
Ranking the Cheap Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Education Degree Programs
10. Liberty University
Online Master of Education: Reading Specialist Endorsement
Students hoping to pursue an online master’s degree in reading and literacy education should look at the M.E.d. Reading Specialist Endorsement from Liberty University. My Colleges and Careers ranks the university #3 in its list of the Top 10 Best Online Colleges. The 36-credit hour program offers the bulk of its material online, only requiring students to visit campus three times for intensive training. The program itself is designed to instruct students on how to build, plan, and implement a reading curriculum that works in real classroom settings. After graduation, alumni regularly seek employment as reading specialists or literacy coaches.
9. University of West Georgia
Online Master of Education with a Major in Reading Instruction
The University of West Georgia’s master’s degree in reading and literacy online features a focus in Reading Instruction. Ideal for currently certified educators, this graduate degree explores topics In literacy studies and research, student motivation, and collaborative interaction. The 30-credit hour program gives students the option to enroll in classes such as “Literacy Education in the Digital Age,” “Trends in Literacy Education,” and “The Diagnosis and Treatment of Reading Disabilities.” Requirements for admission into the program include a 2.7 undergraduate GPA, an undergraduate teaching degree, and eligibility for a level 4 teaching certificate. The University of Georgia is listed as Military Friendly® School by The “Military Friendly” ranking website.
Tuition: $3,456/yr (In-state) $13,410/yr (Out-of-state)
8. Hamline University
Online MA in Literacy Education
Hamline University’s accredited online master’s in reading and literacy education prides itself on keeping up to date with the changing needs of education professionals. Students learn to teach using 21st-century techniques and study learning theory through such classes as “Critical and Digital Literacy.” Hamline’s literacy education program provides a solid foundation in both theoretical and practical instruction, cross-cultural development, and student interaction across all developmental levels. Its 34-credit program is a mix of on-campus and online courses, which students take through cohorts. Students who wish to try some on-campus classes can start in the Fall, while online learners must wait until the Spring semester. U.S. News recognizes Hamline as a top Midwestern university, ranking it 12th out of over 100 colleges.
7. Wilmington University
Online Reading/ESOL Literacy Master of Education
Wilmington University’s Master of Education in Reading/ESOL Literacy is geared towards students who want to be Reading Specialists and ESL teachers for grades K-12. The rigorous program targets serious students, as it requires a minimum of 400 clock hours of practice and a total of 50-credit hours. Students spend time working in both elementary and secondary schools and also must deliver a research project prior to graduating with their online master’s degree in reading and literacy education. The course is available both in-person at the Dover, Georgetown, and Wilson Graduate Center campuses, as well as online. Wilmington University boasts a 17:1 ratio of students to teachers which allows students greater opportunities to work directly with their instructors.
6. University of Houston Victoria
Online Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction (Literacy)
Existing teachers who want to strengthen their educational foundation need to look at the University of Houston-Victoria. Its top online master’s degree in reading and literacy education includes 36 credit hours in topics such as multicultural study, instruction for students with literacy difficulties, and theory and writing for global learning. The program is designed to work around the already busy schedules of currently teaching professionals. At the end of the program, students must pass a comprehensive Master’s Exam and demonstrate mastery in one core class and two major classes. The university currently has an above average grade on College Prowler, maintaining a nearly 4 out of 5-star rating from current and former students.
Tuition: $4,353/yr (In-state) $10,906/yr (Out-of-state)
5. Saint Leo University
Online Master of Education: Reading Concentration
Certified teachers who want to develop advanced skills in the field of education and literacy might also consider the online master’s degree in reading and literacy education at Saint Leo University. The blended program provides a mix of in-person and online classes, easily accommodating busy adults with working schedules. Course material covers everything from research and theory to policymaking and second language acquisition. Graduates can also earn their K-12 reading certification and reading endorsement for the State of Florida. Additionally, students learn how to work with growing technologies like the MimioVote™ assessment system and interactive SMART boards. Military Advanced Educationmagazine recognizes Saint Leo as a top school for Military and Veteran education.
4. Graceland University
Online Master of Education in Literacy Instruction
U.S. News ranks Graceland University’s Education program as the 5th Best Online Graduate Education Program in the nation, making it one of the best online master’s degrees in reading and literacy education as well. The university’s coursework is designed to provide practical tools and skills that translate directly into the classroom, and experienced professors employ real examples of past graduates’ work in schools so current students can see exactly how to apply the information they’re learning. The program is 30-credits long and offers three starts per year (January, March, and June) although learners can also sign up for classes on campus if they wish.
3. Spring Arbor University
Online Master of Arts in Reading and Literacy
Spring Arbor University is a Christian based college with a focus on serving God and students. SAU’s faith-based approach to improving literacy in the classroom requires program members to begin working alongside the students they’ll be teaching even before they graduate. Students conduct real-world case studies and develop recommendations based on their findings, continually enhancing their professional knowledge and skills along the way. As a religious institution, Spring Arbor also encourages online learners to consider ethical and moral aspects of instruction. Spring Arbor’s affordable online master’s degree in reading and literacy education is only 12-courses long, but it nonetheless efficiently prepares graduates for the Michigan Test of Teacher Competency (MTTC) in Reading (BR). The Best Schools recently ranked Spring Arbor among its top 25 online graduate programs.
2. Ashland University
Online M.E.d. in Curriculum & Instruction: Literacy & Reading
Students who are serious about improving literacy and reading in the K-12 grades can get the education they desire through Ashland University’s cheap online master’s degree in reading and literacy education. The affordable yet high caliber program focuses on increasing both the depth and breadth of a teacher’s knowledge and skills in improving K-12 reading and literacy. Classes focus on using evidence-based instructional decisions to design and implement procedures in the classroom that improve student outcomes. Topics of discussion range from using technology in the 21st century to literacy in elementary classrooms and for adolescents. In 2011, Ashland University received an award from Princeton Review for being a “Best in the Midwest” college.
1. Louisiana State University
Online M.E.d. in Curriculum & Instruction: Reading & Literacy
Louisiana State University’s M.E.d Curriculum and Instruction: Reading and Literacy prepares students to find rewarding work as reading specialists, literacy coaches, or lead teachers. LSU’s 36-credit curriculum covers topics in creating professional learning communities, utilizing data for school improvement, and incorporating technology in education. The 100% online program affords each student a personal advisor who is dedicated to helping them graduate on time. While there is no thesis requirement, students must complete a final project and written manuscript, plus deliver an oral presentation in order to demonstrate subject mastery. Louisiana State University boasts incredibly qualified faculty, 80% of whom hold terminal degrees in their respective fields. Online master’s degree in reading and literacy education students can thus feel confident that they are learning from the best and brightest in the industry.
About the Author:
Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates’ careers. Check out her Google+ Profile.
- Top 10 Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in English Language Learning
- Scholarships for Reading and Literacy Education
This concludes our ranking of the top cheap online master’s in reading and literacy education degree programs 2015.