Skip Navigation
search: People | Departments | Penn State | Web
Penn State mark
Penn State mark
University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Literacy Education (LEDUC)

Program Home Page

MARY NAPOLI, Program Coordinator
Penn State Harrisburg
Middletown, PA 17057


Degree Conferred:



The Graduate Faculty


The Program

The Master of Education in Literacy Education at Penn State Harrisburg is designed to provide full-time and part-time graduate students with a focused program of study in the field of literacy education. This advanced degree provides students with a comprehensive approach to literacy research, instructional practice, assessment, and leadership to meet the varied and diverse needs of preK-12 learners. Grounded in sociocultural and critical literacy approaches, the program affords literacy professionals: (1) specialized, in-depth knowledge about the teaching of literacy; (2) diagnostic and clinical skills necessary to support and plan instruction for a diverse range of students; (3) the ability to interpret, evaluate, and use literacy research to inform practice; (4) opportunities to use both digital and traditional texts to teach literacy across the curriculum; (5) knowledge about the role of social context in supporting preK-12 learners’ acquisition of language and literacy; and (6) the literacy leadership skills necessary to support and inform professional practice in preK-12 settings. Students also participate in a final capstone course that provides the opportunity to work closely with preK-12 learners in a faculty-supervised, clinical, or on-site setting. Throughout the program, students work closely with faculty and cultivate strong peer support networks.

The Literacy Education program is aligned with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (formerly known as NCATE) standards.

Following successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the Praxis examination for certification as a Pennsylvania Reading Specialist (K-12). A Literacy Leadership certificate and fellowship opportunities in the National Writing Project (NWP) are also available.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin. Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission.

Students must have achieved an overall junior/senior grade point average of 3.00 or higher on a 4.0 scale. For students applying for admission who have completed credits beyond the baccalaureate degree, we will evaluate the last (approximately) 60 credits completed.

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A brief (200-300 words) personal statement describing your interest in pursuing a master’s degree in Literacy Education
  • A valid Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate*
  • GRE, Miller Analogies Test, or educator certification exams, such as PECT or Praxis

* Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate must be with an evidence of a course in the methods of teaching reading, such as EDUC 320 (Methods in Teaching Beginning Readers) or 321 (Methods in Teaching Intermediate and Advanced Readers) with a grade of C or better.


Students must maintain a minimum 3.00 grade-point average, satisfactorily complete all required key assessments, and attain a grade of "C" or better in all required core courses. Students who do not make satisfactory progress will be notified in writing noting the specific deficiencies and requesting that they meet with the program coordinator to develop a remediation plan. Failure to meet or to satisfactorily complete the remediation plan will result in termination from the program.

All persons enrolled in Teacher Education Programs at Penn State Harrisburg are expected to demonstrate the professional dispositions that are aligned with the unit's vision statement. The faculty shall evaluate the approved dispositions demonstrated by the students in class and during field experiences. Students may be rated as exemplary, acceptable, or unacceptable. Students are expected to attain acceptable or exemplary ratings in order to graduate.

Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

The Master of Education degree in Literacy Education consists of 33 credits that prepare students for the Pennsylvania Reading Specialist Certification (K-12). The degree requirements for the Master of Education in Literacy Education include 21 credits in foundational, pedagogical, and advanced theoretical work in reading, writing and educational research design, two courses that make up the capstone clinical practicum (6 credits), and 6 additional credits of electives for a total of 33 credits. At least 18 credits must be taken at the 500 or 800 level, with at least 6 credits at the 500 level. A minimum grade-point average of 3.00 for work done at the University and acceptable or higher ratings on the professional dispositions are required for graduation.


Prescribed Course Requirements (27 Credits):
EDUC 452. Teaching Writing (3)
EDUC 477. Teaching Struggling Readers and Writers (3)
LLED 445. Teaching English in Bilingual/Dialectal Education (or an equivalent ELL course approved by the program coordinator) (3)
EDUC 561. Psychology of Reading (3)
EDUC 562. Diagnostic Evaluation of Reading Problems (3)
EDUC 563. Methods in Teaching Reading (3)
EDUC 564. Reading Clinic (3)
EDUC 565. Literacy and Leadership (3)
LLED 594. Research in Language and Literacy Education (3)

Students must enroll in EDUC 563 and EDUC 564 consecutively in the fall and spring during the same academic year. These courses serve as the culminating experience for the degree. In these courses, students complete a case study inquiry project designed to address the needs of a literacy-learner, engage in professional development and mentorship, and present their research findings to peers. In EDUC 563, students engage in observation and design of their case study inquiry project. In EDUC 564, under the supervision of faculty, students collect data, implement change, analyze results, and present their findings to colleagues. Students engage in ongoing professional development and mentorship in both courses.

Electives (6 credits):
Students may choose to take EDUC 422 Literature for Children and Adolescents (3), EDUC 432: Children’s Literature in Teaching Writing (3), or EDUC 472: Teaching Reading through the Content Areas (3).

Transfer Credits

Penn State allows a maximum of 10 transfer credits of high-quality graduate work to be applied toward the requirements for a graduate degree, subject to restrictions outlined in the Transfer Courses section of the Graduate Bulletin.

A maximum of 15 graduate credits taken as a non-degree student prior to admission to a graduate degree program may be applied to a graduate program, with departmental approval. The credits must have been earned within five years preceding entry into the degree program.

Forms for transfer of credit can be obtained from the graduate program office.

Accreditation and Licensure

This program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), formerly known as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), whose “performance-based system of accreditation fosters competent classroom teachers and other educators who work to improve the education of all P-12 students. CAEP believes every student deserves a caring, competent, and highly qualified teacher.”


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit courses below the 400 level in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2016

Blue Sheet Item #: 45-03

Review Date: 11/15/16

Faculty linked: 8/14/14


Look up course abbreviations

Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

Skip Popular Searches
  1. Graduate Course Descriptions
  2. Graduate Programs
  3. Doctoral Degree Requirements
  4. Master's Degree Requirements
  5. Application and Admission Procedures
  6. Credit Certificate Programs
  7. General Information
  8. Tuition and Cost
  9. Intercollege
  10. Academic Information and Procedures
Skip PDF and Print Options

Print Options