Concentration in Literacy Education

Degree overview
The concentration in Literacy Education, part of the University of Maine’s PreK-12 Education Ph.D. program, focuses on theoretical research traditions, historical perspectives, and diverse epistemologies and methodologies that frame the study of literacy in varied settings, with emphasis on the distinct needs of rural areas. Through coursework, collaborative research and the opportunity to publish and present research findings, students develop the skills and strategies to answer their own questions related to literacy education. The program’s hallmarks include its selectivity, small size and close mentoring by nationally recognized faculty. Enrollment is limited to no more than 12 students, to ensure quality and close relationships with faculty. We prepare doctoral students to be literacy leaders and advocates in their communities.

Careers in literacy education
Graduates of our doctoral program have gone on to serve in other academic institutions as professors and researchers, in government or nonprofit education organizations, and as members of the National Writing Project. Many of our graduates also work in schools, as administrators and curriculum coordinators with a strong understanding of current literacy research and practice.

Program delivery
Literacy education doctoral students at the University of Maine are part of the College of Education and Human Development’s innovative Ph.D. in PreK-12 Education program. Students are part of two cohorts: A core cohort, made up of individuals pursuing the same area of study (Literacy) and a second cohort of individuals from our other concentrations. This model encourages dialogue across multiple, yet related disciplines, while enabling students to develop in-depth expertise in their focus area. To the degree possible, courses are adapted to the needs, interests and schedules of the group.

Starting in the fall of 2020, we also offer a series of courses in adult and family literacy. For more information on this series, download our flier:


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

To apply
Applicants for the doctoral program must have a master’s or Certificate of Advanced Study degree. Applications should be submitted through the University of Maine Graduate School. For more information on how to apply contact Program Coordinator Susan Bennett-Armistead,

Literacy faculty

Susan Bennett-Armistead, Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Literacy
Debra Lewis Hogate, Maine Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy Trainer
Richard Kent, Professor of Literacy and Director Emeritus Maine Writing Project
William Dee Nichols, Professor of Literacy
Timothy Reagan, Professor of Applied Linguistics and Foreign Language Education
Mary Rosser, Reading Recovery University Training Center Director and Coordinator of Literacy Professional Development Programs
Jane Wellman-Little, Lecturer

Professional Learning Outcomes and Curriculum Plan information