Educational Specialist in Language and Literacy

This program prepares educators to contribute meaningfully in schools and communities as teachers, leaders, advocates, and practitioner-researchers. 

Students in this program develop expertise in effective, evidence-based strategies, programs, and policies that support literacy learning and reading achievement at PreK-12, college, or adult levels. The program curriculum emphasizes collaborative inquiry and innovation, equity, advocacy, and professional leadership and learning. The degree is geared towards teachers, administrators, and others who already hold a master’s degree and have a special interest in language, literacy, and reading education. 

This program prepares candidates to advance in careers such as; 

  • English Language Arts teachers
  • Reading Specialists
  • Literacy coaches
  • Title I reading teachers
  • Curriculum specialists
  • Instructional coaches and team leaders
  • Reading/literacy lab teachers
  • Response to Intervention (RTI) leaders
  • Content area literacy experts
  • Special education teachers
  • Community college Instructors
  • Adjunct college/university instructors
  • Corrective and remedial reading experts
  • Developmental reading and writing instructors
  • Adult literacy teachers
  • District reading leaders
  • Non-profit professionals
  • Professional development leaders
  • Program evaluators and consultants
  • Reading clinicians and diagnosticians
  • Community educators 

Program features

  • All courses are available online, and no campus visits are required
  • 30-36 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree
  • Includes an option to obtain Missouri K-12 Special Reading Certification
  • You can choose to take classes on a full or part time basis
  • Most students take two classes per semester and earn their degree in under two years 

Program Admissions

Application Deadline

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. You can begin the program in any semester. Completed applications must be received at least 10 days prior to the start of classes for the following semester to ensure a timely admissions decision.

Admissions Requirements

  • Grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4-point scale
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (a master’s degree is strongly recommended)
  • Teaching certification OR Minimum of 2 years experience working in an educational setting
  • Completed application, including transcripts, a one-page Statement of Purpose and two letters of recommendation

Admissions requirements are available in the UMKC Catalog. The online graduate application and the official transcripts will need to be sent directly to the UMKC Admissions Office. 

Submit your Statement of Purpose and two letters of recommendation directly to:

Division of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies 
Connie Fischer 

615 E. 52nd Street, room 310 
Kansas City, MO 64110