The University of Maine is also featured in our ranking Top 20 Best Master’s in Reading and Literacy Online.
Literacy and Reading Graduate Studies at University of Maine
There are three literacy-focused Master’s of Education programs at the University of Maine. The M.Ed. in Literacy Education is a 33-credit-hour program that includes an option for either a primary or secondary education focus. Teachers study current research in literacy topics and learn both the theory behind and the practical application of different techniques to help students with reading and writing. This program consists of a standard 15-hour track followed by 18 hours of electives. The core classes include Current Practices in Literacy Instruction, Writing in Schools and Colleges, and Seminar in Teacher Research.
While this degree does not earn official certification, the 42-credit-hour Literacy Specialist Master’s of Education does. This program follows a very specific schedule, occasionally allowing students to choose between 2 courses. Some required classes are Literacy Across the Curriculum, Literacy Assessment, and Teaching Children with Difficulties in Literacy. To graduate, along with completing necessary coursework, students need to either pass a comprehensive examination or prepare a portfolio showcasing their understanding of the subject. Upon completion, graduates are certified as Literacy Specialists for grades K-12 in Maine.
The third program focuses specifically on the writing aspect of literacy, and while the other programs are hybrid in delivery, requiring both online and on-campus participation, the M.Ed. Individualized Concentration program is entirely online with the option of an in-person summer practicum. Some of the required courses that make up the 33 hours of necessary coursework include Northeast Writing Institute, Digital Writing in Classrooms, and Special Topics in English Language Arts.
All of these programs are offered through the College of Education and Human Development which has been recognized as a leader in graduate education due to its low student-teacher ratio and commitment to innovation and research. U.S. News and World Report has ranked the school #75 in the entire nation on their list of Best Education Graduate Schools.
About University of Maine
The University of Maine is a public university located in Orono, a small town just south of the central part of the state. Starting as a land-grant institution which received federal lands in exchange for focusing on agricultural and engineering studies, it has expanded over the past 150 years to now offer over 200 different degree programs and enrolls more than 10,000 students per semester. The Orono location is the main campus of the 7 institutions that compose the University of Maine System. There is an emphasis on research in every area of study as well as a focus on both local and global sustainability practices. The school earned a place on Princeton Review’s list of Top 50 Green Colleges and is ranked one of the top 200 schools in the nation overall by U.S. News and World Report.
University of Maine Accreditation Details
Accreditation is an objective measure of a university that assures students that both the quality of education and management of the school meet certain standards. Employers also pay attention to the accreditation of a university when evaluating the preparedness of job applicants. This designation allows students to more seamlessly transfer credits between colleges as well. The University of Maine is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, or NEASC, which is the certifying body for schools in the six northeastern states in the U.S. as well as in many other countries. The organization focuses on continual improvement, pushing schools to develop innovative teaching methods and implement more effective administrative policies.
Along with university-wide accreditation, certain programs are individually certified by industry-specific organizations. At the University of Maine, the College of Education and Human Development is accredited by the CEAP, or the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness. The six undergraduate and twelve graduate programs have each been separately evaluated and approved during this process including the M.Ed. Literacy Education and M.Ed. Counselor Education with the Literacy Specialist concentration.
University of Maine Application Requirements
All three master’s programs in literacy at the University of Maine require a valid teaching certificate and at least two years of previous teaching experience. For a fall start date, all application materials need to be received by April 1st for the best chances of acceptance. These include a completed graduate school application along with the $65 fee and official transcripts from each school previously attended. Students applying for any of the master’s in education programs also need to submit Miller’s Analogy Test scores which are waived with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher in addition to three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.
Tuition and Financial Aid
For residents of Maine, graduate tuition and fees cost about $9000 per year, and for non-residents, the total is approximately $27,000 annually. The M.Ed. program consists of 33 hours of study, so the program costs roughly $16,000 for in-state students and $49,500 for those without established Maine residency. The Student Financial Aid Office works with each incoming student to determine funding needs and identify applicable resources. All students are encouraged to start this process by completing a FAFSA, or application for federal financial aid. From here, they can begin to plan out their finances for the course of the program. While some grants and federal aid is available to graduate students, it is limited at this level, and most students need to explore other options like student loans, either subsidized or unsubsidized.
The University of Maine does not offer any direct scholarships for students in their literacy programs, but the financial aid office has information about outside awards for which students can apply. Some of these are strictly need-based while others are awarded based on academic achievement or community service. Students who are continuing to work during their studies are advised to check with their employers because often they will have tuition reimbursement programs, especially for those already working in the education field. As Forbes reports, researchers are increasingly pointing to literacy as a key component not only to an individual’s success but also to the success of their children, and this has prompted the federal and state governments to offer incentives like loan forgiveness programs to professionals completing literacy education programs like those offered by the University of Maine.