Specialized Literacy and Second Language Master’s Degree Opens New Career Doors

The pandemic put its stamp on the field of education, dramatically affecting the roles teachers and students play. This shift in how instructors teach and how students learn will likely remain in place even after COVID-19 disappears from our daily news.

Teacher burnout and students falling behind make regular headlines, too. What’s rarely reported, unfortunately, are the positive classroom stories and personal profiles of how teachers reshaped what, for many, is a lifelong career choice they never plan to leave.

For educators who want to envision their future in new ways, one area they consider is going back to school themselves. And while adding the pursuit of a degree to an already-full plate may lack immediate appeal, teachers who decide to study online find it easier to manage with work and life responsibilities. (This is especially true if they earned their bachelor’s degree on a university campus.)

Masters in Second Language Education or Literacy

If you’re considering a teaching master’s degree, you’re exploring the types of programs available to you. You may know teaching peers with their master’s and have asked about their study experience.

Educators consider several paths when evaluating a graduate degree, including the Master of Arts in Teaching. Its focus is primarily on educating and classroom management. Another study area, the Master of Education (M. Ed.), is broader. It’s often seen as equally applicable to classroom teaching or working in administration, curriculum development or on the policy side of education.

For someone evaluating second language acquisition graduate programs online, this M.Ed can be compelling — and that’s because of the expanded career options and potential for a paycheck boost.

University of Cincinnati’s (UC’s) M.Ed in Literacy and Second Language Studies (LSLS) is entirely online. Its emphasis is on reading, writing and speaking as language processes. Teachers learn advanced strategies to tailor curriculum, interventions and assessments for students. The program’s designed to broaden and deepen an educator’s understanding of the social, cultural, linguistic and institutional factors that contribute to a learner’s ability to use reading, writing and speaking in their first or second language.

The background of UC’s students choosing the LSLS program is diverse. Some students are in early childhood or elementary education. Others teach English, Spanish or a STEM class to high school students. Some come from the Ohio area, and a growing number of students live outside the state.

What these educators have in common is a shared interest in the specialization aspect of UC’s graduate program and how it positions them for a variety of career opportunities, in or outside a classroom.

Benefits of Online Masters in Literacy for Teachers

UC’s approach to online education dates back more than 20 years now. We’ve been a recognized leader, offering accredited and affordable degrees ever since then — and we work hard to maintain our status as a university of choice for educators.

The hallmarks of our LSLS master’s degree and UC itself include:

  • Every aspect of the master’s program is online. You won’t be required to study on campus. You interact with UC instructors, staff and fellow students virtually, using the latest in collaboration and study tools.
  • You customize the degree to your availability and interests. You choose a full- or part-time study schedule, studying whenever and wherever you want. Our master’s program coursework includes several concentration areas (see below), so you can tailor your educational experience to what interests you the most.
  • You receive start-to-graduation support. Once you enroll, we introduce you to your faculty mentor and academic advisor. A third advocate in your corner is the Student Success Coordinator. They partner with you, so you get the most from the master’s program and your time with UC.
  • We offer scholarships and financial support. LSLS students are eligible for a Graduate Incentive Award scholarship which equates to 30% off instructional fees — and we can provide financial aid, as well.
  • UC is accredited, highly ranked and respected. Our online programs are cited among the nation’s best by U.S. News and World Report. From associate to doctoral, every degree is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contemporary, Relevant Curriculum

The 30 credit-hour program includes nine focused on core curriculum and a concentration area (21 credit hours) in PreK-12 Reading Instruction or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

The LSLS program highlights four emphases within its coursework. (Learn more about those here.)

Another big plus for the M.Ed in LSLS degree is its concentration areas, where you choose a niche that meshes with your career goals; the concentrations include:

  • PreK-16 Literacy and Learning Instruction, a graduate certificate if your interest is teaching reading and basic writing skills within community colleges and literacy programs.
  • PreK-12 Teaching English as a Second Language, a graduate certificate that gives you a deeper understanding of the effective methods to teach English language learners, English as an additional language and English language acquisition in the U.S.
  • Endorsement Graduate Certificate Programs, courses that include post-secondary literacy instruction and international/adult Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and allow you to further explore PreK-12 reading instruction and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, both 15 credits.

Take the Next Step to Learn More

No matter where you are today in your career as an educator — still new to teaching or very experienced — a focus on literacy and second language studies can add a new dimension and new energy to your career.

With a teaching master’s, there’s an opportunity to increase your lifelong earning potential. And specialty-wise, you’re better equipped to work in a variety of educational areas, including adult literacy, ESL instructing, school administration, intervention work or being a tutor or curriculum designer.

Ready to learn more about UC’s online M.Ed in LSLS program? Contact an advisor by email or phone at (866) 629-6075. Get your questions about upcoming start dates, admission requirements and more answered. Our team is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

Our LSLS program instructors and staff look forward to meeting you!

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