M.Ed. in Literacy with Reading Specialist and ESL Emphases


Expand your passion for teaching reading and writing skills to new and diverse learner communities through our NCATE-accredited Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Literacy with Reading Specialist and ESL Emphases online degree program.

Many states and districts across the nation are requiring schools to have ESL-trained teachers. Our ESL emphasis program (paired with our Reading Specialist emphasis) will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to teach English literacy to a range of students from varied backgrounds.

Our in-depth M.Ed. curriculum gives you the resources to adapt your elementary or secondary lesson plans based on what you learn in your coursework, while also understanding and integrating cultural issues as part of your own instructional practice.

You will also be supported by our student-focused approach: gain from the knowledge, experience and practical advice of a network of other educational professionals that share your interests.

The traditional Literacy with Reading Specialist and ESL Emphases M.Ed. online progression can be completed in 34 months; our Fast Track option means qualified students can earn this NCATE-accredited master’s degree fully online in as little as 28 months.

We also offer State of Nebraska ESL/ELL endorsement certification to preK-12 candidates who already hold a teaching license and who complete the full M.Ed. degree program. M.Ed. students seeking this endorsement certification can do so by completing 15 predetermined hours of ESL/ELL coursework in this program; these courses build a foundation in ESL/ELL teaching methods, curriculum, assessment, and knowledge of English language structure.

ESL/ELL endorsement certification may be possible in other states, based on specific licensure requirements and program approval; the student holding a teaching license from another state should contact his/her state Department of Education to obtain in writing the stipulations for that state to accept Nebraska endorsement certification as fulfilling the requirements for ESL/ELL endorsement certification in that state.

The Next Start Date is June 27th

M.Ed. in Literacy with Reading Specialist and ESL Emphases Program Goals

In addition to meeting all the objectives and requirements for the M.Ed. in Literacy with Reading Specialist and ESL Emphases online degree program, successful candidates will also demonstrate the following skills and knowledge:
  • Identify and master appropriate teaching methods, materials, modifications, and assessments to meet the needs of diverse learners
  • Understand a wide range of cultural issues and adapt this knowledge to effectively instruct a diverse community of students
  • Learn innovative ways to help students not only learn to read and write, but also develop a love of reading and writing the English language
  • Know how to diagnose and address students' particular linguistic difficulties
  • Use your knowledge of decoding, vocabulary, study skills, spelling, and comprehension to help students make the most of their learning opportunities

Course Descriptions

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M.Ed. in Literacy with Reading Specialist and ESL Emphases Program Course Descriptions

Concordia University, Nebraska’s Master of Education in Literacy Education with Reading Specialist and ESL Emphases is a 51 credit-hour online degree program. This comprehensive program allows you to earn your M.Ed. degree with two emphases* in a concisely integrated curriculum. This degree program includes a three credit-hour ESL practicum (EDUC 527) and includes a three credit-hour field-based case study (EDUC 631) with specific, documented student interaction.

Traditional-progression students will take one course at a time and can complete their degree program in 34 months. Fast Track candidates have the option of doubling up courses at three specific times and can complete this program in as little as 28 months. Courses that can be taken concurrently are PSY 511 and EDUC 519; EDUC 622 and EDUC 635; and SOC 565 and EDUC 524. Fast Track candidates must declare their intention at time of enrollment. 

Literacy with Reading Specialist and ESL Emphases
51 credits
EDUC 566 (3)
Reading in the Middle and Secondary School
A foundations course in developmental reading for teachers of intermediate, junior (middle) and senior high students (grades 4-12), emphasizing reading in the content areas, comprehension levels, reading-study skills, oral interpretation of literature, recreational reading, and current issues in teaching the older student to become more proficient in reading.
EDUC 501 (3)
Contemporary Thought in Education
This course provides an examination of the theoretical and philosophical bases for contemporary educational patterns; and current educational issues. Interests of the participants will determine the areas of application to private and public education.
EDUC 594 (3)
Research Evaluation and Design
This course emphasizes the development of skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods, and the evaluation of various forms of existing information, with emphasis on the ability to relate this information to personal professional practice.
PSY 511 (3)
Psychological Foundations of Teaching and Learning
A study of selected theories of learning and their implications for the classroom setting. Applications of psychological principles and research to instructional situations with an emphasis on those that involve a Christian setting.
EDUC 519 (3)
Word Study: Decoding, Comprehension and Fluency
This course will examine recent research-based instructional practices regarding phonics, vocabulary, spelling and fluency. Special emphases include: phonemic awareness, print awareness, alphabetic knowledge, alphabetic principle, decoding, reading practice with decodable text, irregular and high frequency words, fluency, development spelling and comprehension. The graduate student will research current theory, instructional practice and assessment related to each of the word study components within specific literacy developmental stages.
EDUC 565 (3)
The Young Child: Language and Literacy Development
A foundations course in developmental reading for teachers of younger children (ages three through grade 3), emphasizing the characteristics of young children, oral language development, developing reading interests, the integration of all language arts in the beginning reading program, and current issues in teaching the young child to read.
EDUC 622 (3)
Teaching Writing in Grades PK-12
A close examination of the writing of children and youth, and the techniques for teaching writing; special emphasis on the relationship of writing to literature, reading and other language arts.
EDUC 635 (3)
Survey of Contemporary Literature from PK-12
A survey of contemporary literature for readers from pre-kindergarten level through grade 12. Students will become familiar with contemporary youth poetry and fiction, explore societal issues in literature, develop skills of literary analysis, and connect the use of literature to research in literary study and literacy learning.
EDUC 520 (3)
Literacy Assessment and Intervention
This course emphasizes the assessment and intervention process involving "striving" readers from diverse ability, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Special emphases include: identification of literacy difficulties, formal and informal assessment tools, evaluation, data analysis and appropriate intervention.
EDUC 630 (3)
Preliminary Design and Processes for a Case Study
This course emphasizes reading, discussing, and planning strategies to be implemented in a subsequent case study course. Set-up for the case study will include: criteria for how to select a student; actually selecting a student; how to gain parental consent; how to create a baseline for further interaction. Additional emphasis will be given in this course to diagnostic evaluation and the organization of the learning environment which will permit personalized literacy instruction for struggling readers. Time will be dedicated to the set-up of the final portfolio.
EDUC 631 (3)
Creating a Case Study in Literacy
This course will incorporate strategies that are geared to a specific K-12 student and are diagnostic (journal/log, plan/evaluate, re-plan/re-evaluate) in nature. Experiences will be coordinated in which the graduate student, under direct supervision, assesses reading abilities and develops individual educational programs and materials in reading for students with special needs: students experiencing literacy difficulties, gifted students, those with cultural differences, and/or varied linguistic backgrounds. The baseline information on the K-12 student (e.g. reading inventory, reading level, and miscue analysis) will be used for the development of a plan of action and subsequent engagement for remediation. The case study will be the last project for the final portfolio.
SOC 565 (3)
Serving and Leading in the Community and World
This course provides an in-depth examination of vocation, professional and organizational development and the ways educators, building on their personal beliefs and values, enact authentic service and leadership in a variety of contexts. Using the framework of evangelical Lutheran Christianity, participants explore, analyze and clarify, and apply vocation to their community and to the world.
EDUC 524 (3)
ESL/ELL Instruction
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the theory and practice of second language teaching and learning.
EDUC 525 (3)
ESL/ELL Curriculum and Assessment
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to second language curriculum selection, evaluation, and development as well as assessment and evaluation of second language learners. Prerequisite: EDUC 524.
EDUC 623 (3)
Linguistics for Educators
This course provides a rigorous overview of the elements of English linguistic study and its application to English language learning and teaching. The course examines grammars and theories of English, language diversity and change, language acquisition, and philosophy and application of language study and teaching.
EDUC 526 (3)
Language and Culture
Language and culture are two multidimensional and constantly changing phenomena that are integrally connected to everything that happens in the world. As any language is culturally conditioned, any culture is linguistically defined. Therefore, the main goal of this course is to examine the relationship between language and culture, as well as their effect on community, identity, beliefs, and values. This course guides the student in directly applying an understanding of language and culture to classroom practice and curriculum development.
EDUC 527 (3)
ESL/TESOL Capstone
The course is designed as a culminating experience for the ESL/TESOL graduate programs. Students are asked to reflect on key areas of learning and application that they have encountered throughout the ESL/TESOL graduate curriculum. The students will also critique and analyze various aspects of their fieldwork experience. All required documentation related to coursework and fieldwork experiences will be collected and reviewed. Prerequisites: EDUC 524, EDUC 525, EDUC 526; EDUC 623.


*All degrees and certifications are accredited by the Nebraska Department of Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The Nebraska Department of Education requires two years of teaching for the endorsement.

**Students seeking Reading Specialist and ESL certification in states other than Nebraska should determine the licensure requirements in the state(s) in which they will be seeking certification. Written approval that this program will be acceptable for licensure by their state's educational department should be obtained prior to beginning the program.


Career Opportunities

The following are just a few of the unique career opportunities possible with a M.Ed. in Literacy with Reading Specialist and ESL Emphases online degree available through Concordia University, Nebraska:

  • Instructor in ESL/ELL
  • Consultant/advisor in teaching ESL/ELL
  • Professional development, teaching English to non-native English speakers and low language native English speakers
  • Program Director, English language learners
  • English language development advisor to state legislators/agencies
  • Advisor to NGOs, governments and international corporations
  • Curriculum Director, programs for English language learners
  • Division or Department Chair
  • Teacher who wants to teach abroad: there are ample possibilities specifically in China, Japan, France, and India
  • Reading or literacy instructor
  • School-wide reading or literacy coach
  • Reading consultant or tutor
  • Advisor to publishers of reading textbooks for instruction
  • Professional development leader
  • Reading program advisor to local, state and national literacy organizations
  • Reading expertise advisor to local curriculum specialists

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