Language & Literacy Graduate Program

The graduate program leading to the Master of Education degree (M. Ed.), with a specialization in Language and Literacy (i.e. reading) education, addresses the North Carolina Masters/Advanced Competencies which include standards in Instructional Expertise, Knowledge of Learners, Research Expertise, Connecting Subject Matter and Learners, and Professional Development and Leadership.

The program leading to the Master of Education degree (M. Ed.) in Language and Literacy (i.e. reading) education provides advanced professional training for individuals holding, or qualified to hold, North Carolina Class "A" teacher licensure in at least one area of education. The 33-semester hour program is comprised of 21 hours in the specialization, 6 hours of practica, and 6 hours of electives. Based on the view of the professional as a decision-maker, the program addresses the needs for conceptual and procedural bases for decision making, for specific practices, and for structured reflection.

A variety of delivery methods available to meet student needs. This program serves teachers focused to becoming the best classroom literacy teachers possible. It will help educators be able to plan, implement, and deliver a quality, comprehensive literacy program. This program leads to K-12 Reading Add-on Licensure. Students who complete this degree do not need to pass the PRAXIS exam in order to receive their add-on license. The program is designed to prepare graduates to function effectively in a variety of roles, including: Literacy or Instructional Coach, K-12 teacher with specialized knowledge in literacy teaching and learning, partnership teacher, internship supervisor, site coordinator for undergraduate field experiences, adjunct professor to teach undergraduate methods courses, professional development leader, mentor or graduate students, District literacy coordinator, tutor, etc.

Program of Study

Language and Literacy Specialty (21 hours)

  • EDN 536 Teaching and Learning in the Content Areas Using Multiple Literacies (3)
  • EDN 538 The Teaching of Writing from a Writer's Perspective (3)
  • EDN 541 The Role of Literature and the Curriculum (3)
  • EDN 558 Language, Literacy, and Culture (3)
  • EDN 566 Research in Literacy Education (3)
  • EDN 584 Development of Language and Literacy Curriculum (3) (prerequisite EDN 566)
  • EDN 586 Professional Roles and Systems for Change in Literacy Education (3)

Practica (6 hours)

  • EDN 588 Assessments in Language and Literacy (prerequisite EDN 584) (3), co-requisite EDN 589)
  • EDN 589 Tutoring and Coaching for Literacy Development (co-requisite EDN 588) (3)

Electives (6 hours)

  • Recommended Electives: EDN 504, EDN 507, EDN 537, EDN 540, EDN 545, EDN 547, EDN 550, EDN 552, EDN 568, EDN 581, EDN 595 LIC 552, LIC 555 and other courses as approved by the advisor.

Note: Each student is required to complete the comprehensive examination process as defined by the Language and Literacy faculty prior to completion of the program.

Exit Requirements

Competence in appropriate inquiry procedures will be developed in the required course, EDN 566. Students are required to complete an action research project and an educational change project, and to prepare and present a comprehensive culminating project, which represents students' learning throughout the program. The project must be satisfactorily completed prior to the completion of the program. Download the Comprehensive Exam Application >

Students qualify for recommendation for graduate level licensure in reading by completing the Master of Education in Language & Literacy.

Photo ofLicensure Only

Individuals who hold a master's degree in education in a related area may qualify to be recommended for graduate level licensure in reading by completing 18 additional hours of approved course work. The individual must complete a minimum of twelve hours of work at UNCW.

Program Strands

The Language and Literacy Program strands are the basis for the design of the program both in terms of required courses and elective choices. Each course in the program of study addresses all strands of the program but focuses on strands that are essential to than particular aspect of literacy education. During the comprehensive examination process the student is called to consider their personal growth in each strand of the program through the selection of artifacts that clearly represent their knowledge for each strand of literacy education.

I. Foundational Knowledge
II. Application of Foundational Knowledge
a. Curriculum and Instruction
b. Assessment and Evaluation
c. Literate Environment
d. Student Learning
III. Diversity
IV. Professionalism
V. Leadership
VI. Reflection

Program Hallmarks

Significant learning experiences integrated into the program include the following:

  • action research
  • change project
  • self study
  • genre study
  • author study
  • inquiry project
  • tutoring
  • peer coaching
  • case study
  • technology integration project
  • experiences with diverse learners across the grade levels

Photo of L&L students in EnglandSpecial Features

Students are encouraged to use elective hours to take advantage of special courses and study abroad to England, Belize, South Africa, and Japan. Visit our International webpage for more information.

The Watson College of Education is a national site for training Teacher Leaders in Reading Recovery. Dr. Barbara Honchell is the Coordinator of Reading Recovery. For more information, please click on the Reading Recovery website.