Most Affordable Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Degrees

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Every day, young students struggle to keep up with their classmates because of a reading disability.

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Reading and literacy is a foundation for learning. However, many students struggle. Reading and Literacy professionals work with students and adults to diagnose and treat reading disabilities. They work one-on-one with people as well as research new methods to improve literacy rates across communities.

A Master’s in Reading and Literacy is an advanced degree meant for adults who already have some experience in education. Going back to school can be expensive and time-consuming, but these 35 online degrees are meant for the busy adult on a budget. Keep reading to see College Choice’s top pick of the most affordable online degrees for this field.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Degrees

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What kind of Master’s in Reading and Literacy should you get?

The two major types of degrees for this major are a Master’s in Education degree or a Master of Arts degree. Some schools may even offer a Master of Science. While all programs will generally teach the same content, MEd degrees will have a strong teaching component that are either for already licensed teachers or for future teachers. The MA and MS degree will focus more on research.

An online degree may be a good option for busy working professionals. Classes are primarily asynchronous, meaning that students can complete lectures, coursework, and tests on their own time. If classes are occasionally synchronous at set meeting times, they will usually be in the evenings and only meet a few times throughout the week. Online degrees are also generally more affordable, too.

Check out our ranking of the Best online Master’s in Reading and Literacy degrees here.

How much money do people make with an online Master’s in Reading and Literacy?

According to PayScale, the average salary of those who hold an MEd in Reading and Literacy make $52,000 annually. In general, special education teachers make an average of $56,800. Reading specialists who focus more on curriculum development and policy make slightly more, with an average salary of $62,270. It should be noted that these statistics do not directly account for experience and location.

Teachers employed in generous school districts will also receive several other benefits such as healthcare, paid-time off for vacation or sick days, bonuses, and retirement plans. Generally, teachers who stay in their school district over several years will see a positive growth in their salaries. Thus, future educators should not just look at the starting salary before deciding to get in to the business, but factor in all the benefits.

What can you do with an online Master’s in Reading and Literacy?

This degree will prepare professionals to understand, diagnose, and treat various reading and literacy disabilities. Depending on the certification, educators will be able to work with students anywhere from the preschool level to 12th grade. Some people may also work with adults. Therefore, those working in this field will need to have a solid understanding of the various types of literacy issues that exist, how to test for them and improvement, and how to implement solid learning plans of action.

Other professionals may not work directly with students but may work in school districts or other educational learning facilities. These people do research on literacy studies and develop standards and common curriculum for schools to follow. Both career paths are very rewarding and require passionate people who hope to see improved literacy confidence.

What are the requirements for an online Master’s in Reading and Literacy?

Most MEd degrees will require applicants to already have some teaching experience (usually about three years) and have a teaching license. Because this major is more of a specialization degree, applicants will need to show that they have basic classroom knowledge. However, some programs do not require a certification and have pathways where students can get their basic teaching certification and the Reading and Literacy specialization.

In addition to a certification, applicants will also need letters of recommendation, a personal statement, transcripts, and possibly submission of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores. Throughout the program, students will take a variety of theory and teaching courses, and may be required to do an on-site practicum or internship for credit. These hands-on learning experiences will be held in local schools or other educational facilities.

  1. Northeastern State University
    Location

    Tahlequah, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Northeastern State University has a long history that dates back to 1846 when it began as the Cherokee National Female Seminary. Its roots and strong connection to the Cherokee Nation make it one of the most prominent state universities within Oklahoma today. Since 1909, NSU became officially recognized as a state institution and is the fourth-largest public institution within the state. Students at NSU are encouraged to reach new borders in their academic life and beyond. In 2017, over $36 million in scholarships and grants were given to its students.

    Program Features

    Earn the necessary competencies needed to be a successful teacher who aids in children’s reading and writing skills through NSU’s online MEd in Reading degree.

    • 32 credit-hours with a capstone project
    • Meets competencies of the International Literacy Association (ILA)
    • Research component

    Notables

    Graduates are eligible to take the state certification test to become a classroom teacher upon graduation.

  2. Louisiana State University-Shreveport
    Location

    Shreveport, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Known for its unusual mascot, the “River Monster,” Louisiana State University Shreveport is a four-year university that is part of the LSU system. LSUS is known for its active campus life – students are engaged in a variety of sports, faith-based organizations, academic associations, and other extracurriculars. Online students are able to be fully-immersed in the campus while meeting their career goals. Students can complete their MEd degree in as little as ten months.

    Program Features

    LSUS’s online MEd in Reading & Literacy degree focuses on practical knowledge through hands-on experiences.

    • In partnership with the International Reading Association
    • Personal advisor
    • Payment options available

    Notables

    Some students may be eligible for a federal TEACH grant that can award over $3,000 per year.

  3. Eastern New Mexico University
    Location

    Portales, NM

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Eastern New Mexico University is a highly affordable four-year institution, ranked as having the #5 best tuition within the state. Not only that, but over $400,000 worth of scholarships are awarded to students annually. At ENMU, students are encouraged to learn the necessary skills for their career through liberal learning. There are over 60 degrees to pursue from the bachelor’s to master’s degree, both offered online and on-campus.

    Program Features

    An affordable program that will give students the foundation they need to succeed as an educator is ENMU’s online MEd with an emphasis in Reading and Literacy.

    • Grants and assistantships available
    • Blackboard online system with recorded lectures
    • Option to write a thesis or take comprehensive exam

    Notables

    Out-of-state students who enroll with only six or less credit-hours can qualify for in-state tuition.

  4. California State University-San Marcos
    Location

    San Marcos, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    As a relatively new institution that was founded only 28-years ago, California State University San Marcos is all about innovation and preparing students for the challenges ahead. San Marcos is located only an hour from the U.S.-Mexico border, and thus offers a diverse setting filled with rich cultural exchange. As of fall 2018, over 17,000 students are enrolled in CSUSM, with 90 percent of its students receiving some form of financial aid. Seventy-eight percent of graduating students are employed within six-months of graduation.

    Program Features

    Graduates of CSUSM’s online MA in Reading, Language, and Literacy degree will be prepared to take on the challenges of teaching reading and literacy in a preK-12 setting.

    • 36 credit-hours
    • Basic teaching credential + three years of full-time teaching experience required
    • Spring and summer terms

    Notables

    Upon graduation, some potential jobs include department chair, literacy coach, or curriculum specialist.

  5. Appalachian State University
    Location

    Boone, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Appalachian State University is one of 17 schools in the University of North Carolina state system. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the beautiful campus showcases the state’s beauty. Appalachian State was founded in 1899 with the goal of creating the state’s next generation of teachers. Through community outreach, enhanced technology, and research, the school expanded to offer other degrees. Appalachian is still known for its small classes and strong community ties.

    Program Features

    Interested in becoming a reading specialist for children from K-12? Appalachian State’s online hybrid MA degree in Reading Education is designed for motivated professional educators.

    • Part-time degree
    • Classroom/Clinical concentration available
    • Scheduled class meetings + coursework on your own time

    Notables

    As a licensure program, graduates will be eligible for the Master teaching licensure.

  6. University of Houston-Victoria
    Location

    Victoria, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Houston – Victoria was founded in the late 1960s with the goal of bringing higher education to the city of Victoria. As a medium-sized school, over 4,400 students are enrolled among their 70 undergraduate and graduate degrees. UHV is known for its affordability and strong athletics teams. In fact, UHV boasts a tuition rate that is among the lowest within the state. Annually, more than $37 million worth of financial aid is given out to students.

    Program Features

    Offered through the School of Education, Health Professions and Human Development, UHV’s online MEd in Curriculum & Instruction is a flexible degree for working adults.

    • Specialists: Reading Specialist and Literacy Studies
    • Ideal for experienced teachers
    • External scholarships available

    Notables

    Students can choose to just concentrate on Literacy Studies or both Literacy Studies and a Reading Specialty.

  7. West Virginia University
    Location

    Morgantown, WV

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    West Virginia University is a nationally-recognized research institution whose main campus is located in Morgantown. It is currently classified as an R1: Doctoral University, the highest category for research as stated by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Across WVU’s three campuses, over 31,000 students are enrolled both online and on-campus. WVU Online is a fully-functioning distance learning campus utilizing the Blackboard system. Students have access to resources 24/7 along with active support from faculty.

    Program Features

    WVU’s online MA in Literacy Education is a certification-granting degree that is recognized by the state board.

    • Curriculum following the International Literacy Association
    • $594 per credit-hour for in-state and out-of-state residents
    • Sample Courses: Literacy Leadership, Developing Reading Interests, Assessment of Reading Ability

    Notables

    Students who do not yet have a Master’s degree will take 30 credit-hours, while those who already possess it will only take 24.

  8. The University of West Florida
    Location

    Pensacola, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of West Florida is a campus that encourages students to think bigger and strive higher. UWF began classes in 1967, and over the decades began to offer new programs and on-campus organizations. Today the university operates five colleges with about 13,000 enrolled students. To the people in the state and the surrounding city of Pensacola where UWF is located, the university represents change and a commitment to learning. According to research UWF has an annual economic impact of $1 billion within the state.

    Program Features

    An innovative program to the subject of Reading and Literacy is offered online through UWF’s MEd in Reading degree.

    • For current teachers
    • Curriculum based on the International Reading Association
    • Fall, Summer, Spring start dates

    Notables

    Degree holders will be eligible for the K-12 Reading Endorsement and Reading Certification within the state of Florida.

  9. Sam Houston State University
    Location

    Huntsville, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Named after one of Texas’s greatest heroes, Sam Houston, Sam Houston State University has over 130 years of history in higher education. SHSU went through a lot of changes over the years, beginning as a Methodist school for boys, then becoming a full-fledged co-educational university. SHSU strives to offer education to the modern student, and thus has several distance learning programs to choose from. SHSU Online is one of the nation’s leaders in e-learning, with several nationally-recognized programs and affordable tuition.

    Program Features

    Actively practice the skills you will need to assist students with reading through SHSU’s online MEd in Reading/Language Arts degree.

    • 36 credit-hours
    • Graduate scholarships available
    • Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions

    Notables

    Graduates will be eligible for the Texas Reading Specialist Certification. Successful candidates will have a teaching certification and two years of teaching experience.

  10. University of South Florida
    Location

    Tampa, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of South Florida prides itself on being a leader in higher education within the state. Located in the vibrant city of Tampa, the university offers 14 colleges with over 180 majors. More than 50,000 students are currently enrolled at USF. Diversity and cultural understanding are a huge aspect emphasized on USF’s campuses, with 128 countries around the world represented among its student population. Excellent research and graduate programs also characterize USF, with its research expenditure being ranked among the top 25 among public institutions within the nation.

    Program Features

    Learn effective literacy practices through USF’s online MA degree in Reading.

    • Focus on media literacy and technology
    • Prepares teachers for public, private, and online schools
    • Interdisciplinary

    Notables

    This program offers multiple plans. While Plan II is for those with a teaching certificate, Plan III is for non-certified teachers who may wish to be employed outside the school system.

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