Certified teachers who want to specialize in reading education can do so by earning their Master of Education, Curriculum and Instruction – Reading. Offered by the University of Louisiana Monroe, this online degree program has flexible start times throughout the year, and teachers can continue working while they earn the degree.
ULM’s M.Ed. degree, which is geared toward teachers with a minimum of three years’ experience, opens the door to additional career opportunities and the potential for higher pay. It also provides the skills needed for teachers to help students improve their reading abilities — through providing one-on-one contact, by serving as a coach to other teachers or by assisting with the coordination of instructional programs.
The Importance of Reading
For teachers, ensuring their students can read is part of their calling. The International Literacy Association writes, “The ability to read, write and communicate connects people to one another and empowers them to achieve things they never thought possible.” Conversely, a student who experiences difficulty in reading is more at risk for school failure as well as problems such as absenteeism or delinquency, according to Reach Out and Read San Diego.
The website, Learn to Read, points out several reasons why reading is important, including the fact that literacy is fundamental to functioning well in society. It is important because it develops the mind and imagination, allowing a person to learn about new topics. Reading is important when it comes to doing well in school and, later, to finding employment. Teachers who strive to ensure their students can read well will find their passion enhanced with the skill set they develop through obtaining their M.Ed., C&I – Reading degree.
Comprehensive, Research-Based Coursework
ULM’s M.Ed., C&I – Reading program’s research-based coursework provides a solid foundation for a specialization in reading. Courses include READ 5002: Balanced Reading Instruction, which integrates reading, writing, speaking and listening strategies to increase a student’s fluency and comprehension when reading. The in-depth study of diagnostic tests and methods in READ 5025: Diagnosis and Correction of Reading Difficulties is reinforced by the clinical/laboratory experience provided in READ 5007: Practicum in Reading.
Students develop leadership skills in EDLE 5005: Teacher Leader II: Improving School Performance, which is a performance-based course that looks at the role leadership plays in such settings as school culture, team activities and learning communities. Additional courses cover topics ranging from the assessment and accountability of learning systems to teaching strategies for exceptional students and students with special needs.
In all, ULM’s M.Ed., C&I – Reading program includes 36 hours of coursework consisting of 12 eight-week classes worth three credit hours each. The program’s accelerated, online format allows students to complete the degree in as few as 15 months. Regionally accredited, ULM is a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
Foundation for Success
Combining their experience with their advanced knowledge, degree holders are positioned to take on new roles focused on reading, including serving as reading interventionists and reading coaches. They will also have opportunities to work in an administrative role, such as that of a curriculum coordinator. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a “relatively high” possibility for an increased salary when moving into these types of positions as a result of earning an M.Ed. degree.