Dec 07, 2022  
2016-2017 SGPP Catalog and Handbook 
2016-2017 SGPP Catalog and Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Literacy Education, M.A.

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The Master of Arts in Literacy Education focuses on development of reading and writing from kindergarten through community college, with an emphasis on research-based intervention strategies for struggling readers.  The first seven courses have been approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching as a K-12 Reading Teacher program.  Licensed teachers who complete this seven-course sequence and pass the corresponding Minnesota Teacher Licensing Examination (MTLE) qualify for the Minnesota K-12 Reading Teacher license.  Wisconsin K-12 Reading Teachers with two or more years of teaching experience are also eligible for the Wisconsin 316 reading license.  More information on testing can be found on the MTLE website (

Additional courses leading to the M.A. in Literacy Education require another 15 months and focus on literacy development. The leadership practicum is completed in an educational setting (K-12 school, technical college, or community-based literacy organization) of the candidate’s choice.  Candidates for the degree have an opportunity to choose and develop a topic of interest in reading or writing across multiple courses, culminating with an opportunity to present a personally-designed research project.

Program Outcomes

Consistent with the mission of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and the Board of Teaching requirements for licensure as K-12 reading teachers and reading leaders, the M.A. in Literacy Education program expects its graduates to be able to do the following upon program completion:

  1. Understand the foundations of reading processes and instruction.
  2. Employ a wide range of instructional practices, approaches, methods, and curriculum materials to support reading instruction.
  3. Apply a variety of assessment tools and practices to plan and evaluate effective reading instruction.
  4. Create a literate environment that fosters reading.
  5. Value professional development as a career-long effort and responsibility.
  6. Communicate and collaborate effectively through appropriate modalities across a range of situations.
  7. Evaluate, synthesize, and apply research related to educational practice.

Program Structure and Delivery

The K-12 Reading Teacher courses, which may be taken as a stand-alone certificate program, can be completed in 15 months. Additional courses leading to the M.A. in Literacy Education require another 15 months to complete.

The program is designed to fit the schedule of employed persons who want to take classes on weekends and during the summer. Courses are delivered in a blended format, integrating face-to-face classroom meetings and online activities or interactions in a planned, instructionally valuable manner.

Students can complete the program at the Winona campus, Minneapolis campus, or at selected Saint Mary’s University outreach sites.

Degree Requirements

  K-12 Reading Teacher Courses 17 cr.
  Literacy Education Completion Courses 17 or 18 cr.
  Total credits 34 or 35 cr.


K-12 Reading Leader

Graduates of the Saint Mary’s University M.A. in Literacy Education who are literacy leaders at a district level may apply for the portfolio process leading to recommendation for licensure as a Reading Leader. Candidates for the Reading Leader endorsement will be those licensed K-12 Reading Teachers who have spent considerable time working with adults–colleagues, administrators, and parents–to foster literacy development at a district level.  A mastery test is not required for licensure as a Reading Leader.



The faculty and advisers for the K-12 Reading Teacher/Master of Arts in Literacy Education program have earned doctorate or master’s degrees. Faculty are selected for their educational and professional experience and expertise and proven ability to teach adult students.

Admission Requirements

The Master’s degree in Literacy Education is open to individuals who have completed an undergraduate degree. Applicants who wish to qualify for the K-12 Reading Teacher endorsement must have or be eligible for a Minnesota classroom teacher license.

Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall GPA of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants must demonstrate the language proficiency necessary for successful graduate coursework. All applicants must complete an interview with a program administrator.

Transfer Credits

Students may transfer up to 6 graduate credits of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota GPDE continuing education coursework designed to align with Minnesota reading standards or 6 other reading graduate credits into the program.  For the latter, course syllabi will be evaluated in comparison to current Minnesota Reading Teacher standards and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota K-12 Reading Teacher program learning objectives.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  2. An official transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated by a university accepted evaluation source, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).
  3. A reflective essay which includes the following:
    1. brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
    2. statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and his or her reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
    3. description of the areas the applicant considers to be his or her strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
    4. personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Letter(s) of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  6. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities campus.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55404

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