Literacy Education (M.Ed., Ed.S.)

Degree overview
The University of Maine’s literacy education graduate programs provide the opportunity to explore vital issues of literacy research and instruction with nationally recognized faculty. The programs are designed to engage students in authentic and practical experiences whether working directly with children or adults in our literacy clinic, engaging with students in their own classrooms, conducting research in field settings, or developing a student’s own writing skills in summer writing institutes. Depending on your career goals, our programs can lead to state of Maine certification in literacy education. Graduates emerge as strong advocates for literacy in their schools and communities.

Careers in literacy education
Graduates of our programs become leaders in literacy in their own schools as knowledgeable teachers, curriculum coordinators, literacy specialists, literacy coaches and school administrators with a strong understanding of the demands of current literacy curricula.

Program delivery
The literacy education graduate programs include a mix of on-campus and online courses that meet the needs and schedules of working professionals. We offer degrees at the master’s level (M.Ed.), as well as an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in literacy education that provides graduate students the opportunity to continue exploring their academic interests beyond a master’s degree.

  • M.Ed., Literacy Specialist: Requires 39 credits of graduate level work and leads to Maine state certification as a K-12 literacy specialist. Basic requirements consist of core coursework in literacy and electives in related fields. Electives will be scheduled with advisor’s approval. Degrees are awarded upon successful completion of courses and either a written comprehensive exam or portfolio submitted to the academic advisor during the last semester of coursework.
  • M.Ed., Literacy Education: Requires 33 credits of graduate level work. This degree program is designed to further elementary and secondary teachers’ knowledge of literacy theories, practices and research. Students complete a core of 15 hours in literacy, as well as related electives chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.
  • M.Ed., Individualized Program in Writing and the Teaching of Writing (NOTE — This program is temporarily suspended and we are not accepting applications for new students at this time. Faculty will work out a plan with current students to ensure they can complete the program. We apologize for the inconvenience.): Requires 33 credits of graduate level work. This degree program is designed for teachers who want to gain experience in the teaching of writing in real and virtual contexts. The course of study is planned in consultation with a faculty advisor, and includes online academic year courses and on-campus summer options. The program also includes an online practicum guided by a writing mentor.

Education Specialist (Ed.S.), Literacy Education
For students who want to continue their studies beyond the master’s level, we offer an Ed.S. degree, an individually designed program that combines advanced coursework in specific areas of literacy with other professional and academic areas, such as human development, psychology, language and literature, research, and administration and supervision.

Tuition and fees
For current information about tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s office.

To apply
Applicants for the master’s programs must be certified elementary or secondary teachers with at least two years’ successful classroom experience. Applicants for the Ed.S. must have a master’s degree.  All degrees have a rolling admissions deadline and applications are processed through the University of Maine Graduate School.

For more information on how to apply, contact Graduate Program Coordinator Susan Bennett-Armistead,

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) statement

This program will prepare students to be eligible for licensure within the State of Maine. Visit the UMS State Authorization & Licensure page to learn more about the licensure requirements in other states and territories, in addition to the contact information needed to inquire further into the licensure requirements associated with this program.

Literacy faculty

Susan Bennett-Armistead, Ph.D., Graduate Program Coordinator, Associate Professor of Early Literacy
Timothy Reagan, Ph.D., Literacy Program Coordinator, Professor of Foreign Language Education
Debra Lewis Hogate, Maine Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy Trainer
Rich Kent, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Literacy
Caitlin Metheny, Lecturer of Literacy Education
Michelle McAnuff Gumbs, Associate Professor of Literacy
William “Dee” Nichols, Ph.D., Professor
Mary Rosser, Reading Recovery University Training Center Director and Coordinator of Literacy Professional Development Programs

Professional Learning Outcomes and Curriculum Plan information