The University of Northern Iowa is also featured in our ranking Top 20 Best Master’s in Reading and Literacy Online.
Master of Literacy Education
The University of Northern Iowa offers an online Master of Literacy Education program to any students who fulfill its requirements. The program is a comprehensive study of reading pedagogy, the assessment of reading instructional techniques, and the implementation of co-curricular strategies with other subjects in primary, middle, and secondary schools. Students must complete 33 credit hours to earn the degree. There are both thesis and nonthesis tracks available. Students completing the thesis must also complete the course in graduate research and eventually prepare for an oral defense. Students who do not complete a thesis must fulfill the university’s graduate research requirements and take a test that assesses student knowledge and ability to apply learned concepts to real-world situations. To be admitted to the program, students must provide at least two references from professional educators and pass an entrance exam. The GRE, however, is not required.
History of the University
Like many schools that were founded during or shortly after the Civil War, the University of Northern Iowa began life as a normal school. Normal schools were teacher training grounds, and in this case, the school arose from an orphanage that cared for the children of slain Union soldiers. At first, the school’s title was the Iowa State Normal School. It has gone through several name changes and became the University of Northern Iowa in 1967. In 2018 and beyond, the school offers more than 90 courses of study for both undergraduates and graduate students in fields as diverse as music and textiles and apparel. The university has a successful athletics program, too, and has even been ranked in the top 10 for NCAA Basketball. Its most notable sports alumnus is undoubtedly Kurt Warner, who led the St. Louis Rams to the Super Bowl title in 2000.
Chief among the university’s accreditations is that of the Higher Learning Commission, who issued a 10-year accreditation in 2011. The university is currently preparing for reaccreditation in 2020, which involves the work of several committees and task forces and is one of the biggest events every decade at the University of Northern Iowa. The university has also earned accreditations from the following entities:
•Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
•National Association of Schools of Music
•Council on Social Work Education
•American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
•Association of Technology Management and Applied Engineering Board of Accreditation
•Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
•Foundry Educational Foundation
•Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communication
•National Association of Schools of Theater
•National Recreation and Park Association Council on Accreditation
•National Association of School Psychologists
Additionally, the university has received approval from organizations in specific areas and is also a member of several educational organizations that have, themselves, been accredited. The university regularly reviews its accreditations and always strives to achieve the highest standards in any category or school program. There is no specific accreditation for the Master of Literacy Education program, but the university has received the approval of the Iowa State Board of Education for its manner of educating teachers, which is not surprising given the school’s history as an institution of higher learning for prospective teachers over the last 152 years.
Prospective students create an account on the university’s website, which they can then use to transfer scanned documents and other files necessary as part of the application process and also where they can maintain their application if they don’t have time to complete the process all at once. If they qualify, undergraduate students can also apply through the The Common Application, which is a nonprofit organization that makes it easy to apply to more than 750 schools across the nation. Either way, students must have a transcript mailed to the university admissions office by all previous schools attended. If the transcripts are electronic, it is allowable to have them sent via email to the admissions office. Graduate students submit their applications through the same web portal, and there is a link provided that gives graduate students thorough instructions in the different items they need to submit and also on the processes for submitting them. International students have their own form, which is easily downloaded and printed.
Tuition and other Fees
Iowa residents who live on campus must pay $17,886 annually. Out-of-state students must pay $28,428 annually. Students at the College of Business Administration must pay more: $19,628 and $30,170, respectively. Books and supplies, along with personal expenses and travel costs, come to roughly $4,000 annually as well. Graduate tuition in all cases is about $1,500 higher than undergraduate tuition. Those who do not live on campus can save $8,948 by eschewing the costs for room and board. Summer tuition at the University of Northern Iowa is measured by the number of credit hours the student undertakes. More than 80 percent of students at the university receive some sort of financial aid. Incoming freshmen must complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid every year they plan to attend school. It should be borne in mind that students must be accepted to the university prior to filing their financial aid applications. The awards are processed and given out in December every year. Scholarships, grants, and loans are all available, including RaiseMe! monies, which can be earned throughout high school for achievement and involvement. Students may also enroll in work-study programs or serve as resident assistants or resident directors in on-campus housing. Students may also work on campus even if they are not on a work-study program.
In all, the University of Northern Iowa is a nationally recognized and respected institution. The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report both rank the college itself and certain of its programs among the highest in the nation. It’s military-friendly and both environmentally and socially responsible. Even the Carnegie Foundation recognized the superlative achievements of the university and its students and granted it a prestigious, special designation in Community Engagement: Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnerships.