M.Ed. with a concentration in Literacy with Literacy Specialist P-12 Endorsement

Would you like to be able to help struggling readers achieve and plan for literacy achievement school-wide? The Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a concentration in Literacy with Literacy Specialist P-12 Endorsement may be just what you are looking for to enhance your career!

The program is designed for certified teachers who plan to seek a master's degree. The M.Ed. with a concentration in Literacy with Literacy Specialist P-12 Endorsement was designed in collaboration with P-12 classroom teachers, district specialists, and university faculty for preparing reading specialists/literacy coaches. The program leads to a Kentucky "Literacy Specialist P-12" endorsement.

For more comprehensive information about literacy program options, visit the CEHD's Literacy Education website.

Program Highlights

What makes the UofL M.Ed. with a concentration in Literacy with Literacy Specialist P-12 Endorsement stand out from the rest?

The program:

  • Prepares candidates to be a reading specialist (work with students who are struggling readers) as well as a literacy coach (work with adults to advance literacy school-wide)
  • Meets the International Reading Association Standards for Reading Professionals (2010)
  • Has a strong emphasis on the balance among knowledge, skills, and strategies
  • Prepares candidates to work with students in literacy from birth through grade 12
  • Uses the Common Core Standards as a guide
  • Is taught by nationally recognized faculty in collaboration with practitioners
  • Focuses on meeting the needs of diverse learners
  • Emphasizes coaching and mentoring colleagues
  • Places your classroom and school as the focus of course discussions and assessments

Related Links

Program Curriculum

The curriculum for the M.Ed. in Literacy with Literacy Specialist P-12 Endorsement is based on the International Reading Association Standards for Reading Professionals (2010) for Reading Specialists/Literacy Coaches. Candidates complete a 36 credit hour program, which includes 24 hours of literacy coursework and 6 hours of supervised practicum.

Detailed requirements for completing this degree are provided in the Graduate Catalog.

Admission Requirements

Candidates for the Master of Education in Literacy are required to submit credentials supporting their academic ability to succeed at the graduate level as well as positive dispositions for teaching. Positive dispositions include: effective communication and critical thinking skills, professionalism, and commitment to diversity as well as the teaching profession. Admission credentials will include official transcripts, professional writing requirements, and letters of recommendation. A minimum of one year of teaching experience is required for admission to this program.

Candidates should review the following rubrics, used to assess admission credentials:

  1. Professional Dispositions Rubric [PDF]
  2. Diversity Rubric [PDF]
  3. Effective Written Communication Rubric [PDF]

Application Process

Questions about the application may be sent to gradadm@louisville.edu. Candidates should apply no later than three weeks prior to the beginning of the semester (August 1st for Fall, December 1st for Spring and April 1st for Summer). Candidates will be notified via e-mail regarding the admission decision.

Applicants to the M.Ed. in Literacy program must submit the following:

  • Completed Online Graduate Application for Admission
  • Application fee (non-refundable)
  • *Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended with a minimum GPA of 2.75 in the Bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA or higher for graduate work.

    Please have transcripts sent to:

    University of Louisville
    School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies
    2211 South Brook Street
    Houchens Bldg, Room 105
    Louisville, KY 40292

    Or gradadm@louisville.edu (for official electronic transcripts)

  • Two letters of recommendation – Please list the email addresses for two recommenders in the appropriate section of the online application. Recommenders will receive instructions and forms that they will complete electronically.
  • GRE Scores – Official scores must be sent to the University of Louisville Graduate Admissions Office using the code 1838.
  • Kentucky Teaching certificate or statement of eligibility – Candidates certified in Kentucky are not required to submit this documentation as the information can be verified through the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board.
  • Signed Technology and Code of Ethics Form [PDF]. Please print, sign and upload with the on-line application.
  • Current Resume
  • Professional Writing Requirements. Please complete the following and upload with your application. Each essay should be double-spaced (Times New Roman 12 point font) and no more than three pages.

    Essay #1

    • In what ways has your cultural heritage and background influenced the way you teach, and impacted your interactions with others who come from a different cultural background? Describe an example of an injustice or inequity that you witnessed, experienced, or became aware of during teaching - and your response at that time. Then, explain how you would respond if it occurred again. Finally, explain how you support respect for diversity in your classroom, and how you demonstrate a commitment to social justice and equity when teaching.

    Essay #2

    • Please review the Professional Dispositions Rubric [PDF] and consider how you would evaluate your areas of strength as well as those for potential growth in each of the categories. In your essay, please identify three categories that you would rate yourself as "target" or "exemplary" and explain why. Then, identify one area for professional growth, and explain how you envision this program supporting your growth in this area.

*Note: Candidates who earned a baccalaureate (and/or advanced) degree outside the U.S. and whose native language is not English must submit official TOEFL scores that meet minimum criteria, and must submit an evaluated transcript from WES (World Education Services) or ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators).

Contact Us

Learn more about our program faculty.

Lori Norton-Meier
Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education
College of Education and Human Development
University of Louisville Louisville, KY 40292
Office: 502-852-1316

Literacy Faculty

Career Pathways and Endorsement

Candidates who complete the M.Ed. in Literacy with Literacy Specialist P-12 Endorsement apply for the state Literacy Specialist P-12 Endorsement.

The Kentucky Literacy Specialist P-12 Endorsement prepares you to:

  • help students of any age learn to be successful readers and writers
  • help struggling readers achieve
  • be an effective school or district literacy coach.

Candidates who complete the MEd in Literacy with Literacy Specialist P-12 Endorsement apply for state endorsement in Kentucky Reading and Writing P-12.

In addition to the financial aid opportunities offered by the University, the College of Education & Human Development also has information about financial aid.

Other financial aid opportunities available include graduate assistantships and other employment opportunities.

Supervising and Resource Teachers

In recognition of valuable service to the preparation of teachers and the need for all teachers to have continual professional growth, a supervising teacher or a resource teacher for teacher interns may, with prior approval of the course-offering institution, take a maximum of six (6) credit hours per term at any public postsecondary institution and pay no tuition. The postsecondary institution shall waive the tuition up to a maximum of six (6) credit hours.

To apply, you must complete the Tuition Waiver Certification for Supervising and Resource Teachers Application [PDF]. It should be completed by the supervising teacher, certified by their principal, and returned to our office. Return the form to the Student Financial Aid Office at U of L.

Eligibility: 6 credit hours of tuition benefits for each semester served as a full responsibility supervising or resource teacher, or 3 credit hours of tuition benefits for each semester served as a shared supervising or resource teacher. Students may exercise the tuition waiver option up to twelve months following the assignment. Tuition benefits are paid directly to the University of Louisville.

I have some credit hours from another program/university. Can the credit be transferred?

Once you are admitted to the program, you may request to transfer up to 6 credit hours if your UofL advisor approves the request. Transfer requests are then submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

What degrees or endorsements do I receive if I complete the UofL M.Ed. in Literacy with Literacy Specialist P-12 Endorsement?

Successful candidates will graduate with a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Literacy with Literacy Specialist P-12 Endorsement and receive a Literacy Specialist P-12 Endorsement. If you already have a Master's degree, you will need to complete an additional master's degree to receive this endorsement. If this is a second master's degree, you may apply for Rank I hours as you complete the degree.

How long does it take to complete the MEd program?

The program can be completed in as few as two years or as many as six years.

I am a teacher and am in my school all day. When are courses offered?

All courses are offered outside the practicing teacher's day (evening, Saturday, summer). The program is designed so that many assignments are classroom or school-based. Practicum classes are completed during the summer session (Literacy Specialist Practicum) and in your own school (Literacy Coach Practicum).

Where are courses being delivered?

Courses are offered at UofL Belknap Campus and JCPS locations. A limited number of online courses are available at the present time.

I am not teaching at the present time. Will I be able to complete the program?

Yes. The program is designed so that many assignments are classroom or school-based. If you are not currently in a school, you will be placed in an approved setting to complete the assignments.