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Questions and Concerns: Earning Your Master's Degree in Literacy Studies Online

Earn your master's degree in literacy online

If you're thinking about taking your teaching career to the next level, a master's in education is often the next logical step. Since there are several advanced degrees to choose from in your field, it's important to find the right program for you.

If you want to advance your ability to teach reading and writing, consider looking into a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in literacy studies. This graduate degree is also great if you're interested in working as a reading specialist, instructional coordinator or literacy coach. Ultimately, online master's programs in reading and literacy are for teachers who are interested in literacy education, literacy research or curriculum design.

There's certainly a lot to consider as you search for a graduate program. Follow the links below if you're curious about a specific element of online master's in education programs.

Degree Overview

Practicum & Certification

Graduate Degrees in Education

Career Path & Salary

Cost & Financial Aid

Time Commitment

The Online Experience

Why UTA?

What Is the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction – Literacy Studies Degree?

MEd C&I degree in literacy studies for teaching literacy and reading

The M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Literacy Studies is a great fit for licensed teachers who plan to become instructional leaders in literacy education. Teachers interested in staying abreast of state and national standards for literacy and teachers interested in focused professional development may wish to consider a master's degree with an emphasis in literacy.

Graduates are able to create, develop and implement expert strategies for maximizing student learning outcomes in literacy education and reading. The M.Ed. in Literacy Studies additionally explores how research and data are used to inform or update curriculum design. This degree prepares graduates to become instructional coordinators and prepare for their reading specialist certification.

What Can I Learn From a Master's in Literacy Program?

Candidates for a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction – Literacy Studies degree gain the skills they need to develop and implement literacy initiatives. These skills are applicable at every level of education, from individual students to the entire classroom, from a single school to an entire district. Teachers enrolled in this type of specialized online master's in education program acquire advanced knowledge of literacy learning and instruction. Degree candidates learn about literacy acquisition and culturally diverse teaching methods to successfully meet the instructional needs of all students, regardless of their reading level, learning style or background.

Students can meet their own professional learning objectives while working towards a 30-hour degree that doesn't require a thesis.

What Courses Will I Need for My Master's in C&I – Literacy Studies?

UTA's curriculum prepares students for reading specialist, ESL and MRT certifications

Aside from providing general knowledge about literacy education, coursework for the M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies covers literacy research and theory. Graduate students take part in instructional practicums while studying curriculum design. They also learn about literacy development in elementary learners, pre-adolescent learners and adolescent learners.

The online is a 30-credit program divided into seven classes and three practicums. UTA's curriculum is designed to prepare students for . Practicums are placed at the beginning, middle and end of coursework, successively building as degree candidates move through the program.

      • Literacy Practicum I: This course introduces graduate students to literacy instruction, theory and research. Lessons are applied in a K-12 environment.
      • Pre-Adolescent & Adolescent Literacy: In addition to theory, research and practice, this class explores developmental influences on literacy in adolescents and pre-adolescents. Coursework touches on curricular design for reading and oral communication as well as writing and digital literacy.
      • Foundations of Literacy Learning in EC-6 Classrooms: This course centers on reading and writing lessons for elementary literacy education, from early childhood to the sixth grade. Theoretical models, instructional strategies and classroom management are addressed alongside phonics, fluency and comprehension.
      • Language Learning: Educational Perspectives Practicum II: M.Ed. candidates will learn instructional practices and concerns for teaching ESL students through lessons addressing first and second language acquisition, linguistic science, and dialect.
      • Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults: Students respond to literature that reflects their experience. This course will consider inclusive materials to reflect diversities in culture, ethnicity, gender, ability and more. Guidelines to assess texts for curriculum inclusion will be discussed, as will teaching applications and adaptations for diverse student populations.
      • Content Area Reading and Writing: This course covers methods for teaching reading and writing as well as are pedagogical strategies to address differences between narrative and expository texts. Adaptation tactics for diverse learners are also discussed.
      • Understanding Literacy Research: Graduate students in this course will become familiar with literacy research and methodologies. Guidelines for navigating and critically assessing literacy research will be supplied and placed into practice along the way.
Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults
      • Literacy Assessment: This course provides teachers with tools and strategies for assessing students' literacy learning needs. Both formal and informal approaches to the assessment process will be explored.
      • Teaching the Writing Process: Drawing on writing process research and theory, this class explores how children develop as writers, and how teachers can effectively contribute to student development. Topics such as motivation and assessment will be addressed, as will digital writing and multimodal writing.
      • Literacy Practicum III: This practicum prepares degree candidates for their reading specialist certification, allowing them to apply research and theory in the field. Students will also explore literacy program development and literacy leadership as they compile their reading specialist program portfolio.

After completing coursework, graduate students eligible for certification will take part in a curriculum review and practice exam.

Learn more about our M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies online program!

How Do I Complete Practicum Requirements as an Online Student?

Every online graduate program in literacy education is different, but many conduct practicums through online modules or field work, or through a combination of both.

The vast majority of graduate students in UTA's Curriculum & Instruction – Literacy Studies online program are employed as teachers, or they have ready access to an educational environment where they may complete practicums. No matter which grade you teach or the educational institution you work with, a UTA advisor will help you design a customized plan for practicum lessons.

Lisa Schmalhausen, Online M.Ed. in C&I Literacy Studies Graduate in Houston, TX
A lot of the curriculum correlated with what I was doing in school anyway … So, I was able to utilize a lot of it. When I had to observe in other classes or do a project, a lot of times I just used my students or whatever I was doing at work.

How Does the M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies Lead to Reading Specialist Certification?

UTA's M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies is an approved educator preparation program in Texas

Teaching experience and a master's degree are typically required for a reading specialist certification. Accredited master's programs in literacy education (online or on-campus) feature coursework and field experiences that are designed to meet these requirements and prepare students for their state-issued reading specialist exam. However, because certification requirements vary, it's important to check with your state's education agency to ensure that the program you choose is compliant.

UTA's M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies is an approved educator preparation program in Texas, not only for reading specialist certification, but for and certificates as well. If you're not a Texas teacher, you may still be eligible for certification (always check with your state's education agency first).

Does an Online Master's in Literacy Studies Have the Same Admission Requirements as an On-Campus Degree?

common admissions requirements for master's degree in literacy

Admissions requirements for accredited universities may change according to institution, department and program, but they don't change between online and on-campus degrees. That means admissions requirements for online students are just as rigorous as they are for on-campus students.

For instance, every master's program will require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree, and most will require a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA). Many M.Ed. programs also require teaching experience and relevant letters of recommendation. Some M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies require a brief personal statement regarding your interest in the degree.

Degree candidates need at least two years of relevant work experience and two professional letters of recommendation (letters from supervisors are strongly encouraged). Given the degree's emphasis on field work, full-time employment in a teaching environment is highly recommended.

Minimum GPAs for unconditional admission are:

  • An undergraduate transcript with a 3.0 cumulative GPA, or
  • An undergraduate transcript with a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 credit hours, or
  • A graduate transcript with a 3.0 GPA over the last 9 credit hours

No GRE required for UTA students who meet the unconditional admission requirements.

 Kristy Grimes, Online M.Ed. in C&I Literacy Studies Graduate in Desoto, TX
I wanted to be a good role model … I had my daughter when I was 16 years old. I wanted to put that foundation there for [my kids] that just because you have these obstacles doesn't mean you should stop. I wanted to show them you can do it, regardless of what you have going on in your life.

Are Admission Requirements for the Online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Literacy Studies Different for In-State and Out-of-State Students?

Admissions requirements are the same for out-of-state students, but the supporting documents may be different

Admission requirements for an online degree are typically the same for all applicants. However, teacher licensing varies by state, so the application process will vary too, especially when it comes to supporting documents.

At UTA, admissions requirements remain the same for all M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies applicants, but the supporting documents required for admission are somewhat different. For instance, an applicant in Texas will be required to submit their Texas Education Agency number, teaching certificate and service record. Texas applicants will also complete Attestation and FERPA forms and submit a personal statement or written prompt response.

Out-of-state applicants will need to provide a work history and proof of teacher certification from their relevant state authority. Those who are eligible for certification may need to provide a brief personal statement and/or additional supporting documents as well.

What Is the Difference Between an MAT, MSE, M.S.Ed., and M.Ed.?

Educators have several options when it comes to earning a graduate degree. It's important to know the difference so you can choose the program that works best for you. Applicants with or without teaching experience might be interested in the MAT, or Master of Arts in Teaching, which focuses on pedagogy and methodology.

The MSE and M.S.Ed. are the same degree; both stand for Master of Science in Education, and both are designed for experienced teachers interested in continuing education, new licensures or career advancement.

The M.Ed. is designed for the same audience, but the M.S.Ed. often focuses on research analysis and skills assessment where the M.Ed. often focuses on research application and administration.

As with UTA's M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies, M.S.Ed. and M.Ed. degrees often center on specific subject areas. Your degree's concentration is ultimately more impactful than the slight difference between the M.S.Ed. and M.Ed. That's because subject areas not only determine your studies, they also influence your career.

Three different types of master's degree in education

Which Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction Is Right for Me?

If you want to pursue an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, there are several specializations to choose from. A master's degree in C&I teaches you to research, design, refine and assess your pedagogical strategy, but strategies change depending on subject matter. Pedagogies that work for teaching science don't necessarily work when teaching math or reading. That's why many universities with C&I programs offer specific specializations.

UTA offers three online M.Ed. in C&I program tracks: , and .

Which Master's Degree in Literacy Education Should I Choose?

If you plan on a career in literacy or reading education, there are several degree plans available. Aside from the M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies, some universities offer an MS in Reading, an MS in Reading Education, an MSE in Reading or an M.S.Ed. in Literacy. Here are a few strategies to determine which program is right for you:

  • Make sure the program is properly accredited: Employers prefer job candidates with degrees from accredited programs, and accreditation will affect your eligibility for licensure.
  • Look into licensure: Does the program lead to licensure in your state? What certifications does your program prepare you for? Is the curriculum designed to meet certification exam requirements?
  • Explore the curriculum: Ask for a course list and course descriptions so you can get a sense of what you'll learn. Do the course descriptions feel relevant to your career goals? Is the curriculum more focused on research or on practicums? Which focus appeals to you?

Many master's degrees in literacy are designed with the reading specialist certification exam in mind. The M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies at UTA prepares students for reading specialist certification. It also prepares students for ESL and MRT certification.

 Dr. Kathleen C. Tice, Clinical Assistant Professor at UTA
During their schooling, many students spend more time with teachers than with their parents, so we will make a difference. We get to decide whether it will be a positive difference or not.

Why Should I Pursue an M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies?

Literacy affects all areas of life

From physical health to economic health, from high school dropout rates to incarceration rates, literacy affects students throughout their lifetime. As much as it impacts individual lives, literacy influences societal outcomes as well. Literacy skills are fundamental to critical thinking skills, which are in turn fundamental to civic engagement and informed decision-making.

. If you're dedicated to literacy education, and you want to make a lasting positive impact on students' lives, then the M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies is right for you.

Dr. Kathryn Pole, Associate Professor at UTA
As educators, we influence every other profession. Literacy, especially, is the foundation for everything else!
 Caty Dearing, Online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Literacy Studies Graduate in White Settlement, Texas
Going through this master's degree program and coming out with a reading specialist certification allowed me to see the whole picture of literacy from start to finish.
 Caty Dearing, Online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Literacy Studies Graduate in White Settlement, Texas

What Can I Do With a Master's in Literacy?

Literacy coach

There are multiple career paths available to graduates with literacy- or reading-focused master's degree. Aside from working as a reading specialist, you can gain any of the following positions:

  • Adult literacy teacher
  • Education program coordinator
  • Instructional support teacher
  • Curriculum specialist
  • Literacy coach
  • Instructional coordinator

Some M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies grads work as curriculum or reading consultants. As consultants, degree holders may work for literacy outreach organizations and nonprofits. They may create and approve lesson plans, or they might consult on literacy textbooks and other educational resources. Others may choose to stay in the classroom and apply their new skills, and some continue on their doctorate.

What Is the Average Salary for Literacy and Reading Professionals?

Average income depends on your chosen career path. While an adult literacy teacher makes $40,720 on average, an instructional coordinator makes $57,678 per year. This table, with average incomes — regardless of education level — offers additional insight for a few different career outcomes:

Job Title Average Salary Source
Education Program Coordinator $44,798
Instructional Support Teacher $45,082
Reading Specialist $50,571
Curriculum Specialist $54,818
Literacy Coach $56,922
Instructional Coordinator $57,678

Data from March 2019

What Is the Career Outlook for Master's in Literacy Graduates?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), expected job growth for instructional coordinators is 11 percent between 2016 and 2026. Given this rate of growth, the BLS predicts that more than 17,000 new instructional coordinator positions will be created over the same period.

While UTA's online M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies program is available throughout most of the United States, roughly 85 percent of degree candidates live and work in Texas. That's largely due to state licensure and certification requirements, but the M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies is also popular because job outlooks in states with growing populations are particularly bright, and Texas has consistently been the leading state for population growth since 2006.

Employment trends in Texas are expected to keep pace. Burning Glass Technologies' Labor Insight data reports that, between 2018 and 2027, jobs for graduates with a master's degree in reading education are projected to grow at a rate of 24.56 percent in Texas (nationwide, these projections fall to 5.89 percent). In Texas, jobs for graduates with a literacy-focused master's degree are forecast to grow from roughly 156,000 in 2018 to 188,000 in 2027, resulting in an estimated 32,000 jobs created:

strong career outlook in Texas for master's in literacy graduates

Is a Master's Degree in Literacy Studies Worth It If I Want to Stay in the Classroom?

Yes. Teachers who plan on staying in the classroom after completing their master's in curriculum and instruction can expect a salary bump. Nationally, that raise is typically between $4,000 and $7,000.

PayScale (March, 2019) reports median salaries by occupation and degree:

Occupation B.Ed., Income M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction Income
Elementary School Teacher $43,799 $50,191
Middle School Teacher $44,697 $48,758
High School Teacher $44,317 $51,360

National median salaries don't take experience into account, and public school districts in Texas's major metro areas sometimes offer a smaller pay bump for master's degrees, combined with annual or biennial raises. It's also worth noting that public schools in Texas don't scale salaries between elementary, middle and high school teachers. Texas teacher salary schedules are often based on years of experience and education level, and you may be eligible for an additional salary increase or stipend with your ESL, Master Reading Teacher and reading specialist certifications. Nevertheless, this sampling of master's pay increases in populous districts throughout Texas provides an overview for in-state teachers who wish to remain in the classroom:

School District Salary Bump for Master's Degrees
Austin ISD Approximately $970 to $2,200, depending on experience
Fort Worth ISD Approximately $1,000 to $1,500, depending on experience
El Paso ISD $1,000, regardless of experience
Midland ISD $1,300, regardless of experience
Arlington ISD $1,500, regardless of experience
San Antonio ISD $2,000, regardless of experience
Corpus Christi ISD $1,000 for any master's; $2,000 for a master's relevant to teaching assignment
Brownsville ISD $1,500 for any master's; $3,000 for a master's in an educational field

Kristin Alvarado, Online M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies Candidate in Everman, TX
If I eventually leave the classroom, I would like to be a reading specialist working with kids who are struggling in the classroom … But I like being in the classroom right now. This degree will definitely help create job opportunities.

Is a Master's Degree in Literacy Studies a Good Investment?

Salary schedules for teachers with masters degrees

If you plan to complete your master's degree early on in your career, you should get a great return on your investment (whether you leave the classroom or not). If you've been teaching for a while, an M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies can still be a good bet, especially if you plan to become an Instructional Coordinator (average salary of $57,678) or a literacy coach (average salary $56,922). Regardless of career path and job title, PayScale (March, 2019) reports that graduates with a bachelor of education (early childhood and elementary) earn an average of $45,000 a year. Those with a bachelor of education (secondary) earn an average of $52,000 a year. The annual average salary jumps to $55,000 for graduates with a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

To determine whether an M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies is a good choice for you, consider where you are in your career and where you plan to go. This will give you a sense of your potential income between graduation and retirement. Subtract your current salary from your anticipated post-graduate school salary, add that difference up for each year you plan to work after graduation. From there, subtract the cost of tuition. The remaining sum gives a representation of your return on investment.

Consider the following example:

  • Current salary = $45,000 a year
  • Start earning $55,000 two years after completing a master's degree
  • Plan to work 20 years after graduation
  • Degree cost = $9,000
  • Potential increased earnings over the remainder of your career = $191,000

Of course, there is more to consider than the financial pay off of earning a master's degree in literacy. There are benefits for your students as well. You'll be able to immediately apply what you learn in your master's program courses to your own classroom, helping future generations in the invaluable area of literacy.

Lisa Schmalhausen, Online M.Ed. in C&I Literacy Studies graduate in Houston, TX
I probably got more out of it — because I had a lot of years of experience — than I would have if I had gone and earned my master's right away after getting my bachelor's. I think it paid off to have a lot of experience in the classroom.

What Is the Tuition for an Online Master of Education in C&I – Literacy Studies?

Choosing an online master's in literacy is all about finding the right balance between course content, time commitment, eligibility for advanced teaching certifications, and cost. When it comes to cost, tuition for an online master's in curriculum and instruction varies, so it's important to shop around. It's also important to watch out for pricing structures and hidden fees. That's because some universities charge more for out-of-state residents, even when those students are online. Some charge a flat rate for tuition while others charge by the credit hour. For the latter, you'll need to determine how many credit hours are required for graduation before you can determine the overall cost of tuition.

The University of Colorado Denver, for instance, charges $377 per credit hour for in-state students in their online M.A. in C&I – Reading and Writing program. Out-of-state students in the same program pay $452 per credit hour. The degree requires 30 credit hours, which comes to $11,310 for in-state tuition and $13,560 for out-of-state tuition. CU Denver additionally charges a fee of $100 per online course, a $108.50 per term fee, and a $2.96 per credit hour fee. So the real cost is much higher, and it changes depending on how long you take to complete your degree.

The University of San Diego charges the same rate for the in-state and out-of-state students enrolled in their online M.Ed. in Literacy and Digital Learning program. While they don't list any fees, they charge $710 per credit hour, which means tuition for the 30-hour degree is $21,300. Kansas State's online M.S. in C&I Reading Specialist program charges the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. At $567.90 per credit hour, K-State's curriculum and instruction degree requires between 31 and 35 credits for graduation. Thus, tuition is between $17,604.90 and $19,876.50.

The online arm of Texas-based Sam Houston State University offers an M.Ed. in Reading/Language Arts, and the program is designed for Texas teachers interested in reading specialist certification. Tuition for in-state students is $16,049.88 and $18,018 for out-of-state students.

UTA's online M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies, on the other hand, offers three certifications with the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. At $273.33 per credit hour, the total tuition for UTA's literacy studies program is $8,200.

Per credit hour tuition rates

University of San Diego $710
Kansas State $567.90
University of Colorado Denver (out-of-state) $452
University of Colorado Denver (in-state) $377
UTA $237.33

*Source: University websites, March 2019

Can I Deduct My Graduate Tuition and Textbooks From My Taxes?

Many education expenses are tax deductible, and the IRS website's Tax Benefits for Education Information Center will help you determine which tax credits or deductions apply to you. Qualified Education Expenses is another useful IRS link. There, you will find deduction and tax credit requirements for a number of education-related costs.

Are Online Graduate Students Eligible for Financial Aid?

Enroll in at least 6 hours per semester to qualify for financial aid

Federal financial aid applies to all students enrolled at an accredited university, and it doesn't matter if the program is online or on-campus. After filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), your information will be forwarded to your chosen graduate program(s). From there, you will learn which loans and awards are available to you.

UTA processes signed and completed FAFSAs within five business days. Some students may be asked for additional documentation after processing, but most will receive their Award Notification via email.

It is important to note that for UTA M.Ed. online programs, students must be enrolled in at least six hours per semester to qualify for financial aid assistance. A semester isn't the same as the seven-week terms in this instance; semesters are Spring, Summer or Fall. For example, students could take one three-hour course in August and another one in October to be eligible for aid. Call 866-489-2810 to learn more.

Are Online Students Eligible for TEACH Grants and Student Loan Forgiveness?

Students in accredited online programs qualify for financial aid

There are several federal grants and loan forgiveness programs specifically designed for teachers. Government and nonprofit employees are eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which cancels your student loan balance after 120 on-time payments are made. Those who teach for five years in a federally designated low-income school may be eligible for Teacher Loan Forgiveness. This program forgives between $5,000 and $17,500 of student loan debt. Several states offer loan forgiveness programs for resident teachers as well, and Texas is among them. The Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Assistance Program provides up to $2,500 in loan assistance for Texas educators certified in a shortage teaching field.

Yet another great option is the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant. The TEACH Grant supplies up to $3,752 per award year toward tuition for eligible education degrees, and recipients must agree to work for four years in a high-need, low-income field. UTA provides a helpful overview of the TEACH Grant program, and there's an online application form once students are enrolled.

If you don't plan to work in a high-need, nonprofit or public setting, there are still many scholarships and grants available from a variety of sources.

Can I Apply Military Tuition Assistance or the GI Bill Toward My Online Master's in C&I – Literacy Studies?

UTA is approved for Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits, the Montgomery GI Bill and Military Tuition Reimbursement

Accredited degree programs, online or on-campus, are often approved for military education benefits, including spousal and dependent benefits. UTA is approved for Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits, the Montgomery GI Bill and Military Tuition Reimbursement.

Online education is ideal for service members and their spouses. Students can complete coursework 24/7, and from anywhere in the world. Some online programs, including UTA, offer rolling admissions, which means you don't have to wait for a new academic year to get started on your degree.

To determine the benefit applications that work best for you, reach out to UTA's Veterans Affairs Office or contact an enrollment specialist at 866-489-2810.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Master's Degree in Literacy?

On-campus, a master's degree in education will take about two years to complete, and that's based on a full-time academic schedule. An online program allows for part-time study, but many online courses are accelerated, so the same degree can take less time.

At UTA, the online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Literacy Studies may be completed in as few as 18 months. Students interested in a lighter course load have up to six years to complete the program while remaining eligible for state certification (time spent in active military duty is not counted as part of this period, so service members will have even more flexibility while completing their degree)

Each course in UTA's online M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies takes only 7 weeks to complete. Practicums, which run concurrently with courses, take 15 weeks. Because courses are scheduled by the half semester, the program offers six convenient start dates each year.

 Estela Jaquez, Online M.Ed. in C&I Literacy Studies Student in Fort Worth, Texas
It's been manageable … I print the syllabus, the coursework and the calendar for the assignments. Then, I make it compatible with my work calendar. I always try to stay two weeks ahead in assignments.

Can I Keep Working While I Earn My Degree Online?

Yes. Online courses are designed for students who wish to balance life, family and career while also working toward their degree. In some cases, managing coursework and career isn't about flexibility alone. It's also about practical application. Licensure for teachers usually requires experience in the field. That's why some online M.Ed. programs, including UTA's M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies, ask you to simultaneously maintain the roles of graduate student and educator.

Kristin Alvarado, Online M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies Candidate in Everman, TX
I have to make the time and be organized. I make sure I have a calendar and list out all of my assignments for the week. I keep track of my due dates because they overlap … The program takes a lot of time management, but it is definitely worth it.
 Caty Dearing, Online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Literacy Studies Graduate in White Settlement, Texas
I could finish my school day and take my daughter to soccer practice, because I was able to look at things at the beginning of the week and set up my schedule. Once a week, I stayed at school and worked on my classwork after school.
 Caty Dearing, Online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Literacy Studies Graduate in White Settlement, Texas

How Do I Manage My Coursework While Working Full-Time?

Plan to study 7-9 hrs per week per class

Juggling work and graduate school is a lot for anyone, and time management is key. A general rule of thumb for determining your time commitment is doubling the number of credit hours for each class you take, then adding the amount of time you spend in class (participating in class discussions and course modules, for example). In other words, for every three credit hours, UTA recommends that you plan on spending seven to nine hours a week on your studies.

With that in mind, planning ahead is a great strategy for time management. Your course syllabus includes reading assignments, classwork and due dates from start to finish, so you can add everything to your calendar. Merging your personal calendar with your teaching and graduate school calendars will give you a good sense of your overall schedule. Be sure to log in daily to keep up with class discussions and announcements, and give yourself time to digest your readings and assignments.

"I would basically come home and do schoolwork an hour or two every evening ... On the weekends, I would usually put in four or five hours a day. The way it was set up when I did it — you did five weeks, then had a week off; you did five weeks, then had a week off. It was only one class at a time, so I could focus on whatever class I was taking." – , Online M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies Graduate in Houston, Texas

Learn more about our M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies online program!

Is There a Difference Between the Online Master's in C&I – Literacy Studies and an On-Campus Degree?

Curricula and assignments for online programs at accredited universities must meet the same standards as on-campus programs. Plus, on-campus faculty and online faculty are often the same. That's why many universities, like UTA, make no distinction between their online and on-campus diplomas.

Why Should I Choose an Accredited Degree Program?

UTA's  Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) accreditation

If you decide to earn a master's in reading education or literacy, make sure that your chosen program is accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), and nationally recognized by the International Literacy Association (ILA). UTA's College of Education, which oversees the M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies, is AAQEP-accredited. The online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in Literacy Studies program is also nationally recognized by the ILA.

The University of Texas at Arlington also holds state accreditation from the Texas Education Agency and regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Graduate programs at UTA are approved through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Degree programs that lead to state certification and licensure are governed by the Texas Education Agency/State Board of Education.

Accredited schools meet national and regional standards for curriculum content, academic standards and professional standards, which gives you a competitive edge in your field. Accreditation also affects your ability to receive federal financial aid and military benefits as well as your ability to transfer credits. Many employers seek job candidates with degrees from accredited programs, and most universities require accredited degrees for admission into doctoral programs. In other words, accreditation determines the value of your education and your diploma.

What Kind of Tech Will I Need for an Online Degree Program?

An LMS is like a virtual classroom

Online courses generally require a computer and an internet connection, though you can also access some materials through your phone or tablet. Many universities administer courses, both online and on-campus courses, via a learning management system (LMS) such as Blackboard or Canvas. An LMS is basically a virtual classroom — an online interface where you can participate in class discussions, access course materials and upload assignments.

In addition to these basic requirements, UTA also asks online students to download free versions of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash Player. The online master's in C&I – Literacy Studies program additionally requires the one-time purchase of the Tk20 portfolio manager ($100 plus tax and fees). Tk20 is an online data management system that's specifically designed for educators. It allows you to build your field experience portfolio and apply for state certification.

If you ever run into technical issues, assistance is available through UTA's Center for Distance Education at 817-272-5727 or

How Do I Participate in Online Coursework?

After logging into your first course through Blackboard or Canvas (or another LMS), you will be able to access course materials and the class calendar and syllabus. Most learning management systems are user-friendly and intuitive, and you navigate through them the same way you would navigate a website. Once you're logged in, you can find class policies, lesson modules and instructional videos. You can also view lessons and related exercises, participate in class discussions, and upload assignments.

Dr. Peggy Semingson, Associate Professor at UTA
Our students teach all day long. And they end up doing schoolwork in the late evening and weekends and in the cracks here and there, so that's why I try to help them learn using their mobile devices because they're not always in front of a computer.

Is the University Library Available to Online Students?

Many university libraries can be accessed via the internet, which means online students can use the same research databases as on-campus students. While online students at UTA don't have access to on-campus services, they do have access to all library services online, including databases and research assistance. UTA maintains the Ask a Librarian live chat, and you can find additional library assistance for online students at 888-565-9023.

How Can I Communicate With My Professors?

Many online professors maintain virtual office hours so you can meet via phone or video chat. Some prefer to chat via email, and some prefer to communicate by text. Often, professors use a combination of these methods. Either way, the education faculty at UTA generally responds to questions and messages within 24 hours. That's because UTA professors know coursework is time-sensitive, and that online graduate students often manage careers and families in addition to their studies.

The professors make each course wonderful, so I didn't feel lost online. If I have a question, they always get back to me within 24 hours or less.
 Estela Jaquez, Online M.Ed. in C&I Literacy Studies Student in Fort Worth, Texas

How Do I Communicate With My Classmates?

Class discussions and forums via LMS are a large part of online education, and you may find that you're regularly chatting with your fellow classmates. Logging in daily allows you to keep abreast of the conversation, and maintaining a strong online presence is a great way to network. Since UTA encourages online students to attend on-campus graduation, you'll likely have a chance to meet your cohort and celebrate your achievements together.

Why Should I Consider UTA?

The online M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies at UTA is nationally and regionally accredited. It offers three state certifications through a flexible and accelerated curriculum and at a comparatively low cost of tuition. Perhaps that's why UTA tops the College Choice Best Online Master's in Curriculum and Instruction Degrees list, ranking first out of 35 institutions. U.S. News & World Report also places UTA in the top 50 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs overall.

What really sets UTA apart is its commitment to each student's academic success. In addition to online advising and tutoring, every online student at UTA is assigned an academic coach who serves as a program liaison from enrollment to graduation. Academic coaches hold a master's or doctorate, so they understand the ins and outs of working toward an advanced degree. In other words, UTA's online programs foster a highly supportive environment. Faculty for UTA's Online Master's in C&I – Literacy Studies have even been known to help program grads prep for job interviews.

UTA's M.Ed. in Literacy is available in many states

The program was perfect for me as far as courses and professors go ... I felt more like a person they knew and wanted to know, even with distance learning, than I have felt in some brick-and-mortar classrooms. They really go out of their way to make you feel known, respected and cared about — I love that about UTA.
Holly Poe, Online M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies Graduate in Batesville, Mississippi
Dr. Dan Robinson, Professor and C&I Department Chair at UTA
Our faculty members model best practices classroom instruction that is based on research.

When Can I Enroll for an Online Master's in C&I – Literacy Studies?

On-campus graduate programs often begin in the fall, and some will have both fall and spring start dates. Several online programs, however, are more flexible, offering start dates in fall, spring and summer. UTA's accelerated online M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies goes a step further by dividing each semester in half and offering six convenient start dates each year. UTA's online program also offers rolling admissions, which means you can apply throughout the year to begin classes by the next available start date. Click here to find application deadlines and course schedules.

Learn more about our M.Ed. in C&I – Literacy Studies online program!


ETS: About the GRE General Test

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Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP)

College Choice: Best Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction Degrees

U.S. News & World Report: Best Online Graduate Education Programs


Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
Instructional Coordinators
Special Education Teachers
School and Career Counselors


Student Loan Hero: The Complete Guide to Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Instructional Support Teacher Salaries
Literacy Coach Salaries

International Literacy Association (ILA)

Qualified Education Expenses
Tax Benefits for Education Information Center

National Center for Biotechnology Information: Literacy and Health Outcomes

Employment Policies Institute: Literacy and the Entry-Level Workforce: The Role of Literacy and Policy in Labor Market Success

Average Adult Literacy Teacher Salary
Average Curriculum Specialist Salary
Average Education Administrator, Elementary and Secondary School Salary
Average Education Program Coordinator Salary
Average Instructional Coordinator Salary
Average Reading Specialist Salary
Average School Counselor Salary
Average Special Education Teacher, Preschool, Kindergarten, or Elementary School Salary
Average Special Education Teacher, Secondary School Salary
Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.), Early Childhood & Elementary Education Degree
Bachelor of Education (BE.d.), Secondary Education Degree
Master of Education (M.Ed.), Curriculum & Instruction Degree

Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Assistance Program Reading Specialist Certification Teaching Scholarships and Grants

Texas Education Agency

Texas School District Salary Schedules:
2021-2022 Salary Schedule, Arlington ISD
Continuing Teachers & Librarians 2018-2019, El Paso ISD
Corpus Christi ISD Teacher Salaries for 2018-2019
Midland ISD, 2018-2019 Compensation Manual

University of Texas at Arlington:
Academic Calendar
Add ESL Certification to Your Teaching Credentials
Ask a Librarian
Choices With an Online Master's Degree in Literacy Studies
How to Become a Master Reading Teacher in Texas
Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction – Literacy Studies Online
Reading Is Relevant for All Learning Areas
TEACH Grant Application
UTA Program Map

U.S. Department of Education:
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Program Integrity Questions and Answers – Credit Hour
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH)
Teacher Loan Forgiveness

UTA Faculty Profiles:
Dr. Kathleen C. Tice
Dr. Kathryn Pole
A Look at Microlearning with Dr. Peggy Semingson

UTA Student Profiles:
Estela Jaquez
Holly Poe
Lisa Schmalhausen

Statesman: U.S. Census: Texas Again Leads in Population Growth

Observer: US Prison System Plagued by High Illiteracy Rates

Top Master's in Education: What Is the Difference Between the MAT, MS in Education, and M.Ed.?

UNESCO: Why Literacy Matters

Annie E. Casey Foundation: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters