Online Master’s Literacy Program

The Literacy Studies Master's Program in the College of Education at the University of Nevada, Reno is concentrated on current research and theory in literacy education. It was designed in 2009 to focus on how notions of literacy are undergoing change as a result of social, cultural, economic, and technological practices and advances. The program was designed to address how literacy encompasses more than reading and writing and places special emphasis on the many literacies used in society today while assuming a critical perspective about relationships between literacies and empowerment in a multicultural and pluralistic world.

The master's program has been conceptualized, created, and taught exclusively by University of Nevada, Reno literacy faculty researchers who are consistently engaged in research and teaching in the field. Rigorous study of the recursive themes of technology, diversity, and critical analysis of literacy research and instruction are infused throughout each course. The program of study for each student includes primarily 700 level coursework focused on the examination of current literacy research findings, the understanding and evaluation of research, and the application of research to classroom practice. Students in the program have included certified teachers from kindergarten, elementary grades 1-5, junior high and high school, in addition to instructors teaching at the community college level. The program includes coursework that allows students who are certified teachers to obtain their Nevada State Reading Specialist Certification while other students have gone on to pursue doctoral study upon completion of the program.

The program has served students living in the local area to students residing in Hawaii, California, and Las Vegas. The online format has allowed students to experience a variety of modes of instruction such as interactive real time video and audio conferencing, research web use, online discussion formats, and integrated student created video presentations of their own application and evaluation of course research in their classrooms. Initial program courses provide a foundation for students' understanding of literacy research as well as the theoretical notions that undergird the discipline.

Specific courses dedicated to literacy areas such as civic literacy and children's literature are included to provide content background for students while pedagogically focused courses on teaching methods for specific populations and literacy assessments round out the program. All of the courses infuse related study and evaluation of literacy research in each focus area. The culminating course projects concentrate student attention onto how their understandings of current research can be applied and disseminated in their own educational contexts. The Online Literacy Master's Program is aligned with the University of Nevada, Reno literacy faculty's mission to enhance literacy in Nevada through research and teacher education.

Our ONLINE literacy master's program prepares and supports teachers and researchers in their study of multiple literacies and literacy education. The program provides the coursework required for the Nevada Reading Specialist Endorsement.

Literacy graduate courses may be taken without applying to the master's program. If you are interested in taking graduate courses in our program, please complete an application for graduate special status.

Student Testimonials

  • Goldie Gurling

    "I absolutely loved this program because I was able to learn new ideas and within that same week I could implement them in my classroom. I saw so much growth in my students as I implemented...[new] techniques. This has not only helped me become a better teacher overall, but it has helped with my literacy instruction in my classroom as well!"- Goldie Gurling, 5th grade teacher

  • Jillian Wichman

    "The Literacy Studies program strengthened my knowledge and enhanced my confidence as a literacy leader. The professors create an online learning environment that allows for a unique experience where are students can connect and learn from one another. Ultimately, everything I learned in the Literacy Studies program will make me a teacher who will positively impact the lives of students."- Jillian Wichman, special education teacher

  • Amy Jackson

    "Before starting this program I wasn't confident in my ability to teach reading, but the program has given me many tools on how to teach literacy to all levels of students. Working full-time with my own 4 young children, the online format of this program is ideal...The Master's Program in Literacy Studies is a very rigorous and comprehensive approach on teaching practicing teachers how to collect and analyze data. I was given the most up-to-date literacy materials and current research."- Amy Jackson, reading specialist