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Literacy Education MAE

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Understanding the intricacies of basic literacy skills, assessment, and the theories that frame literacy instruction prepares the classroom teacher for her work in developing literate citizens for a world in which literacy is critical.  The classroom teacher that has an expert’s perspective of the development of his/her students as readers and writers is able to plan and instruct in a classroom where student learning thrives, unhindered by literacy gaps that, in many cases, can be efficiently and effectively addressed by that skillful practitioner of reading and writing instruction. 

The WKU Master of Arts in Literacy is a 30-hour online program of study that offers understandings and abilities in literacy and the instruction of literacy. The WKU literacy graduate faculty is committed to mentoring students onto and along the path that includes theory, practice, and research in reading and writing. Graduate students that enter with a love of reading and writing are guided to develop an even deeper appreciation for the complexities and benefits of being literate, departing with urgency for scaffolding the literacy development of others. While the graduate degree in literacy is most often of benefit in the school classroom, there is no limit to the influence of those with knowledge of how a person develops as a reader and writer.

Traditional Admission

Step 1: Apply for graduate school at wku.edu/graduate. Click the red button in the center of the page saying “Apply Now.” Note: You will have to pay an application fee at the time you submit your application.

Step 2: Submit a copy of your Teacher Certification. All students applying to the M.A.E. in Literacy Education must hold a teacher certificate or have a statement of eligibility.

Step 3: Take the GRE and have your scores submitted to WKU (the following scores are applicable to scores obtained after 2013):

  1. Verbal & Quantitative Scores of 139 or above
  2. Writing Score of 3.5 or above
  3. GAP score of 578 or above. GAP = (GRE-V + GRE-Q) + (Undergrad GAP*100)

Note: You can apply and be admitted to the program and complete up to 9 hours before your GRE is complete. Therefore, you could start LTCY 519 during the summer at the same time you are preparing for and taking your GRE.

Alternate Route to Admission 

Applicants with teaching degrees from an accredited university and a 3.5 undergraduate GPA or higher have the option to submit a portfolio in lieu of GRE scores. 

Step 1: Apply for graduate school at wku.edu/graduate. Click the red button in the center of the page saying “Apply Now.” Note: You will have to pay an application fee at the time you submit your application.

Step 2: Submit a copy of your Teacher Certification. All students applying to the M.A.E. in Literacy Education must hold a teacher certificate or have a statement of eligibility.

Step 3: Submit a professional portfolio to Dr. Nancy Hulan nancy.hulan@wku.edu, Literacy program representative, “consisting of the record of vocational attainment and recognition; a statement of goals indicating commitment to pursue graduate education; letters of support from instructors, co-workers, or work supervisors; scholarly papers and/or projects; and any other supportive materials” (2010-2011 Graduate Catalog, p. 14).

This portfolio demonstrates your professional knowledge towards the profession and exemplifies why you would be an excellent candidate for the M.A.E. in Literacy program. Portfolio submissions must include:

  1. An introductory letter explaining your interest in and intention to pursue the MAE in Literacy Education (If there are questionable areas in your transcript or work samples, explain them here)
  2. At least two letters of recommendation from professors, cooperating teachers with whom you have worked, or others who can accurately share information about your teaching, course work, or character. 
  3. Two-three work samples demonstrating your experience in education, which can include any of the following:
    • Your critical performance piece from LTCY 420/LTCY 421 or
    • Copies of Lesson Plans (specific to Reading/Writing/Language Arts) with post-teaching assessment pieces and reflections
    • Leadership project materials from your Student Teaching Experiences 

The MAE in Literacy Education is a 30 hour program, with a thesis and non-thesis option available. There are five main components that make up the requirements for the program, including:

  • Professional Education Component (18 credit hours)
  • Specialization Component (3 credit hours)
  • Restricted Electives (3 credit hours)
  • *Thesis or non-thesis option (6 credit hours).

*Students in the MAE in Literacy Education Program select either a Thesis or Non-Thesis (Comprehensive Literacy Project) as a capstone experience in their program of study. The Thesis presentation and defense and the Comprehensive Literacy Project (CLP) presentation and subsequent oral discussion/questioning serve to replace traditional Comprehensive Exams (Comps). This degree is offered completely online.

PDF document Download complete degree requirements and the schedule of course offerings.

NOTE: To be recommended for the Reading P-12 Endorsement, one must submit a qualifying score on the PRAXIS II exam for Reading P-12. For current PRAXIS II information and exam codes, please consult the Kentucky page of the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Sample Course Schedule

Click here to see a sample student schedule for online students.


Financial Aid includes grants and loans for educational purposes. The government requires the student to file a form online to the government agency for this purpose which is called FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov  to apply. Once that form is completed and filed, the student will receive an email from WKU about the status. All financial aid comes through the WKU Student Financial Aid office and they communicate mostly through email. The email will explain all the grants and/or loans that are available to the student and how to receive the money.

Nearly all students are eligible for some form of financial assistance. In fact, over 90% of the students who applied for financial aid in recent years received an award offer. Every effort is made to assist you and your family in obtaining the resources necessary to meet the difference between the total cost of attending Western Kentucky University and your ability to contribute toward your education.

If you would like to apply for financial assistance (loans, grants, scholarships, veteran's benefits) the first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Please refer to the Financial Aid Guide for additional information and complete instructions.

Please keep in mind, student must maintain satisfactory academic progress to continue to qualify for financial aid. For additional information on receiving, and keeping your financial aid, please refer to the WKU Financial Aid website to review the complete policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress at wku.edu/financialaid/sap.php.

Eligibility for On Demand Courses

On Demand courses may also be covered by financial aid if the student has met basic eligibility requirements and has a current FAFSA on file. Students must fill out an Independent Learning Agreement found on the WKU Financial Assistance website. Students receiving financial aid must complete their course(s) in the current semester. For more information please contact the Student Financial Assistance office at (270) 745-2755.

Veterans and Active Military

All college courses offered by WKU Independent Learning have been approved for veterans and other persons eligible under the provisions of the GI Bill. Each student must assume the responsibility for submitting the proper forms to assure payment of appropriate entitlements. Please contact the Veterans Coordinator in Student Financial Assistance.

Department Contact

Dr. Nancy Hulan
Phone: (270) 745-4324
Email: nancy.hulan@wku.edu

WKU Online

Email: learn.online@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-5173
Toll-Free: (888) 4WKUWEB / (888) 495-8932
Website: wku.edu/online 

The Graduate School

Email: graduate.school@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-2446
Website: wku.edu/graduate  

For more information about the program, fill out the form below.

Did you know?  The Kentucky P-12 Professional Educator Rate is a special tuition rate for Kentucky teachers in specific master degree programs. It is $395 per credit hour. Click here to learn more!

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 Last Modified 1/10/20