Effective Spring 2017 - The Master of Arts in Reading is not accepting any new students. Students interested in earning the Reading Teacher endorsement to their initial license may wish to pursue the  

 Reading Teacher Endorsement Certificate.

Current students, please refer to the FAQ web page linked here to learn about the "teach out" process. Please meet with your Academic Advisor regarding your current Study Plan.


Helping students become proficient readers makes a difference in their lives and the overall education a school delivers. The Master of Arts in Reading and Literacy program at Governors State University prepares candidates to be a Reading Specialist and provide staff development for an increasingly diverse student population. Candidates must hold an Illinois (or comparable out-of-state) Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, or Special Education professional educator license and have completed at least two years of appropriate teaching experience prior to candidacy.

Outstanding Preparation

Candidates take coursework in diagnosis, remediation,  psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic foundations, reading program development, and narrative and expository writing instruction. Practicum experiences at both the elementary and secondary levels and completion of an action research project make for a comprehensive program. Knowledge areas and competencies incorporated were identified by the Professional Standards and Ethics Committee and the Advisory Group to the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education Joint Task Force of the International Reading Association.

For more information, contact the Program Coordinator, Dr. Megan McCaffrey or the Program Advisor Carla Johnson.

Meet the Program Faculty

Program Outline

Course Requirements for M.A. in Reading and Literacy

READ 6190 Narrative and Expository Writing Instruction, K-12 (3)
READ 6200 Language, Culture and Literacy (3)
READ 6210 Survey of Reading: Theory and Practice (3)
READ 6220 Teaching Reading in Content Areas (3)
READ 6230 Integrating Children’s and Adolescents’ Literature Across the Curriculum (3)
READ 7240 Literacy Assessment (3)
READ 7250 Strategies and Interventions for Struggling Readers (3)
READ 8260 Literacy Strategies 1-5 w/ Practicum (3)
READ 8270 Literacy Strategies 6-12 w/ Practicum (3)
READ 8828 Seminar in Reading (3)
READ 8830 Developing and Supervising Reading Programs (3)

EDUC 8999 Culminating Experience (3)

Total - 36 Hours


Program Requirements

In addition to meeting all university requirements for a Master’s degree, students:

  1. Must earn “B” or better in each course
  2. May apply a maximum of nine hours of course credit from other accredited institutions toward the degree requirements, subject to approval by the faculty of the M.A. in Reading program
  3. Must complete all required course work, including transfer credits, within eight calendar years
  4. Must display the dispositions expected of graduate students as listed in the "Teacher Education and Licensure" section of the GSU catalog
  5. Must be admitted to candidacy before being taking READ7240
  6. Must provide evidence of having passed the ICTS Exam (176 Reading Specialist) and/or the program comprehensive exam before being admitted to READ7260 or 7270
  7. Must pass the required comprehensive examination for the program during the semester immediately following completion of READ7260 or READ7270, whichever is first
  8. Be recommended by the M.A. in Reading and Literacy program faculty.

Note: A maximum of nine credit hours of previous graduate reading course work may be applied to the degree requirements. Only courses potentially equivalent to specific M.A. in Reading and Literacy courses (READ6190, 6200, 6220, and 6230) will be considered. Courses must have been taken no longer than six years prior to application for admission to the M.A. in Reading and Literacy program. Petitions and documents for these applied credits must be submitted before or at the same time as application for admission to the M.A. in Reading and Literacy program (i.e., immediately after completing READ6210 and one additional READ course). No courses taken at other institutions after starting course work for the GSU M.A. in Reading and Literacy may be applied. All petitions for transfer credit will be evaluated by the M.A. in Reading and Literacy faculty. Under no circumstances will previous course work that does not closely match one of the above GSU READ courses be applied for credit to the GSU M.A. in Reading and Literacy degree. Credit hours earned in EDPD or undergraduate courses cannot be applied toward degree requirements. This restriction is necessary in order to maintain the program’s accreditation.


Program Admissions

Admission to the M.A. in Reading and Literacy program is available at two points each year, Summer term and Fall semester. Applications for Summer term admission are due by February 15. Applications for Fall semester admission are due by May 15.

After meeting the university admission criteria, in order to continue in the program, students must, before completing six hours of coursework (which must include at least one of the following courses: READ6200 or READ6210) submit to the College of Education in the supplemental application packet:

  • Transcripts showing a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher in all undergraduate work attempted and all grades in graduate course work at a “B” or better.
  • Syllabi and/or detailed narrative descriptions of previous graduate reading coursework to be evaluated for transfer credit (see below for restrictions).
  • Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (General Test), including a score of 4 or higher on the Writing Subtest.
  • A valid Illinois or comparable out-of-state Professional Educator License.
  • Evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency of the Illinois Certification Testing System or evidence of possessing an Illinois teaching certificate that required passing this test
  • Evidence of two years teaching experience in a recognized public or private school as directed in the application materials prior to candidacy.

This evidence must be submitted before taking READ7240. After the student has completed six semester hours in READ coursework, including READ6200 and/or READ6210, the faculty will review this information and recommend that the student be permitted to continue in the program, continue in the program conditionally, or recommend to the division chair that the student be dismissed from the program. To receive a recommendation to continue, the student must meet the knowledge, skills, and dispositions standards outlined in the "Teacher Education and Licensure" Section of the GSU catalog, as well as earn a grade of “B” or better in each READ class.


To continue in the program, the student must apply for and be accepted as a candidate for the M.A. in Reading and Literacy after completing 12 semester hours of graduate course work that must include the following four courses: READ6200, READ6210, READ6220 and one additional READ course listed on the student study plan. Candidacy must be attained prior to enrollment in READ7240. Students must submit to the Division of Education Graduate Advising Office an application for candidacy in the semester they expect to have completed the courses required for candidacy: September 30 for Fall semester, January 31 for Spring semester, or May 31 for Summer term. Application forms are available in the student portal.

To qualify for candidacy, a student must:

  • Have an approved degree study plan and have completed any undergraduate prerequisites for courses on the student study plan.
  • Have completed the courses listed above with a grade of “B” or higher.
  • Receive a positive recommendation from the Reading and Literacy faculty.

Note: Those applicants who have acquired the ISBE 24 hour Reading Teacher Endorsement through GSU course work (taken no more than six years prior to application for admission to the M.A. in Reading and Literacy program) must apply for candidacy before the end of the first semester during which they take additional, required courses for ISBE Reading Specialist endorsement/certification and the M.A. in Reading and Literacy degree.

Student Progress

Faculty continually monitor and evaluate student progress. A more detailed statement of the standards and processes followed by the reading faculty is available in the Graduate Reading Student Handbook located in the student portal.

Academic Advising

Academic Advising

The Division of Education provides professional Academic Advisors to serve the needs of all of its candidates. Your program Academic Advisor is the ideal first contact for:

  • Individuals considering a transfer into this degree program.
  • Newly admitted candidates who need to develop a plan of study, including evaluation of transfer credits.
  • Continuing candidates who have questions or comments on program policies, procedures and requirements.

    The Academic Advisor who works with the M.A. Reading program faculty and candidates is Ms. Carla Johnson. Ms. Johnson's office is located in the Faculty Office Center room G378. You may contact Ms. Johnson via phone: 708.235.3989 or email cjohnson@govst.edu.

    The program Coordinator is Dr. Megan McCaffrey. Dr. McCaffrey's office is located in the Faculty Office Center room G210. You may contact Dr. McCaffrey with any questions you have regarding the program via email: mmccaffrey@govst.edu or phone 708.235.2122.