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Literacy Education

The Literacy Education program equips educators to serve as literacy leaders in the K-12 setting and offers educators an opportunity to earn endorsement credentials to become Reading Specialists in Virginia. We pride ourselves in providing our graduates with all the skills they need to help all students develop essential literacy skills through culturally responsive curriculum and instruction. We offer two pathways to become and endorsed Reading Specialist in Virginia – M.S. in Literacy Education, 30 hours, six semesters or Reading Specialist Certificate for teachers who already have an education-related master’s degree, 24 hours, five semesters.

two teachers guiding a young student

Why Study Literacy Education at Radford?

  • The program is fully online.
  • Students in the M.S. program may qualify to participate in TEACH grant.
  • Virginia educators qualify for reduced tuition rates.
  • Program and courses are aligned with the Virginia Department of Education standards, are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and follow the International Literacy Association’s Standards for Reading Professionals.
  • Almost all of our students complete their degree while working as full-time educators.
  • Mandatory fees associated with online status reduces the total cost of our program by over $3,000!

Careers and Internships

In the master’s program, you will participate in school-based coaching cycles to prepare them as literacy leaders in their schools.

In both the M.S. degree and Certificate program, you get to take a practicum course where you design, implement, and evaluate comprehensive instructional interventions for striving readers in their schools. This practicum is supervised by faculty in the department and practicing reading specialists.

Common career paths for Literacy Education students include:

  • Reading Specialist for Elementary, Middle, and High Schools (K-12 endorsement)
  • Literacy Coach
  • Classroom Teacher with a literacy specialization

Opportunities for Literacy Education students at Radford

Regional cohorts are available to students with participating school divisions in the area. We have an established history of partnering with regional school divisions. The benefits of regional cohorts include meetings with the local ELA Curriculum Coordinator and professional development for ongoing teacher support.

Admissions Requirements

Applications for both the degree and certificate program are accepted on a rolling admission basis. Literacy Education degree program requirements:

  • Minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 overall.
  • Send official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate coursework including degrees conferred.
  • Submit an essay (typed, double spaced, three pages in length), that includes the following:
    1. What past work experiences and interests influenced your decision to apply for the reading education program?
    2. Describe your short- and long-term goals and career aspirations as they relate to the reading program.
      (Essays will be evaluated by the admissions committee as part of the application).
  • References should be from two individuals who can address your history of successful teaching experiences with students and your potential for academic and professional success in the field of literacy education.
  • Submit a copy of your teaching license.
  • 100% of our students pass the accreditation exam on the first try


  • 100% online program

We want to get to know you better and we are excited that you are ready to take your next step and learn more about us. We are here to help you and look forward to working with you during your college search process.