Master of Arts in Language and Literacy

The M.A. in Language and Literacy degree program, originally founded in 1956, was one of Stritch’s and the nation’s first graduate degrees to respond to the need for well-prepared teachers and specialists in reading. Reading Teacher (316) K-12 Certification is a 20-credit, graduate-level program offered through the Department of Language and Literacy. The coursework for the Reading Teacher certification is intended to prepare teachers to provide focused and intensive instruction for small groups of children, especially those who struggle with literacy development in grades K-12. Teachers can immediately apply the knowledge and skills gained from their coursework to their present classroom situations.


Courses Are Available

Face to Face
Main Campus

Program Details

●  Credits: 28
●  View Tuition and Fees

1.Foundational Knowledge

Candidates understand the theoretical and evidence-based foundations of reading and writing processes and instruction.


2. Curriculum and Instruction

Candidates use instructional approaches, materials, and an integrated, comprehensive, balanced curriculum to support student learning in reading and writing.


3. Assessment and Evaluation

Candidates use a variety of assessment tools and practices to plan and evaluate effective reading and writing instruction.


4. Diversity

Candidates create and engage their students in literacy practices that develop awareness, understanding, respect, and a valuing of differences in our society.


5. Literate Environment

Candidates create a literate environment that fosters reading and writing by integrating foundational knowledge, instructional practices, approaches and methods, curriculum materials, and the appropriate use of assessments.


6. Professional Learning and Leadership

Candidates recognize the importance of, demonstrate, and facilitate professional learning and leadership as a career-long effort and responsibility.

Standard A. 1. Content and Pedagogical Knowledge The provider ensures that candidates for professional specialties develop a deep understanding of the critical concepts and principles of their field of preparation and, by completion, are able to use professional specialty practices flexibly to advance the learning of all P-12 students toward attainment of college- and career-readiness standards.


Standard A. 2. Clinical Partnerships and Practice The provider ensures that effective partnerships and high-quality clinical practice are central to preparation


Standard A. 3. Candidate Quality and Selectivity The provider demonstrates that the quality of advanced program candidates is a continuing and purposeful part of its responsibility so that completers are prepared to perform effectively and can be recommended for certification where applicable


Standard A. 4. Program Impact The provider documents the satisfaction of its completers from advanced preparation programs and their employers with the relevance and effectiveness of their preparation


Standard A. 5. Provider Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement:  The provider maintains a quality assurance system comprised of valid data from multiple measures, including evidence of candidates’ and completers’ positive impact on P-12 student learning and development. The provider supports continuous improvement that is sustained and evidence-based, and that evaluates the effectiveness of its completers. The provider uses the results of inquiry and data collection to establish priorities, enhance program elements and capacity, and test innovations to improve completers’ impact on P-12 student learning and development.

Additional Information

Themes embedded throughout the program include:

  • Consideration of the unique academic, cultural, linguistic, socio-economic backgrounds that students bring to their learning when teachers are planning, instructing and assessing in the classroom.
  • Focus on language as the tool that teachers use to instruct and that children use to convey their understandings of the world, as well as the content of learning.
  • Consistent use of research to inform practice.
  • Analytic and developmental view for determining and providing literacy instruction

Standards and Program Outcomes

The program is connected to the International Reading Association’s Standards for Reading Professionals and aligned with INTASC Teacher Standards. See individual syllabi for course-related standards that are tied to program outcomes and assessment criteria. 


Pathway to the Master Degree in Literacy and Reading Specialist (17) License

Master of Arts Degree in Literacy

  • All credits earned upon completion of 316 coursework directly apply toward a Master of Arts Degree in Literacy. An additional 10 credits are required for the master degree. The start date of the MA program is dependent upon student enrollment numbers. Although the goal is to begin MA coursework immediately following the completion of the 316 program, this is not always possible. Action Research involves conducting research related to literacy, writing a manuscript, and presenting the research project (oral comprehensive examination). The following courses are required for the Master of Arts Degree in Literacy degree:
    • Statistics and Introduction to Research
    • Supervision (4 credits)
    • Action Research (2 credits)

Reading Specialist (17) License

Upon completion of the Master Degree, a three credit course is offered for Reading Specialist (17) license.

Transfer Credits You Already Earned

A maximum of nine graduate credits may be transferred from another accredited degree-granting institution. Download our guide that explains credit acquisition.

Application Process and Requirements

Prior Education

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (probationary acceptance may be granted). 

Professional Credential and Competency

  • A valid Wisconsin teaching license is required to receive the administrative licenses.

Admissions Application and Transcripts

Complete the Admissions Application
  • Submit the admissions application which is free to complete online. Applications for this program are reviewed on a rolling basis so allow sufficient time before the start of your program to be considered for admission.

Request Transcripts
  • Have official transcripts from each college or university you attended delivered directly to the Office of Admissions. Cardinal Stritch University alumni and current students should inquire with the admission counselor about locating transcripts already on file.
  • Transcripts from institutions outside of the United States require a course-by-course evaluation with GPA. Request the official report from ECE or WES to be sent directly to the Office of Admissions. Allow time for the evaluation to be completed since it could take up to 4-6 weeks to be created.

Information for International Students
  • If your prior education was not conducted in English, you must demonstrate proficiency with acceptable scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or an ESL program. Review the language and academic requirements to know if you are prepared for studying at Stritch. We can also help you obtain an F-1 student visa.

Two Attitude and Disposition Questionnaires

Attitude and disposition questionnaires should be completed by two individuals. Your building principal or department leader should complete one, and another individual who can comment on your professional leadership abilities should complete the other.

Requirements for 316 Reading Teacher Certification

Begin your admissions application online at no cost. Please note that those interested in this program should choose the Reading Teacher Certification option on the online application for admission.

To qualify for admission to the Reading Teacher program you must have:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university.
  2. GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. A photocopy of your teaching license
  4. Submit two attitude and disposition questionnaires, one completed by your building principal or department leader, and one completed by another individual who can comment on your professional leadership abilities.
  5. Have access to struggling readers

Applicants educated outside of the U.S. must follow academic admission procedures relating to English ability and credential evaluation described on the International Admissions webpage.


Send Application Materials to Admissions

Submit the application online and have additional materials sent to:

Cardinal Stritch University
Graduate Admissions
6801 N. Yates Road, #516
Milwaukee, WI  53217-3985

Funding Your Education

Stritch is competitively priced to make graduate education affordable. Counselors in our Financial Aid Office know that each student is unique and they are dedicated to helping identify ways to help students fund their education. Learn more about our tuition and the financial aid process.


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More than 38,000 Stritch alumni are recognized worldwide for their leadership roles in businesses, health care organizations, corporations, educational institutions, entrepreneurial ventures and non-profit organizations. Responsive to the needs of their communities, Stritch graduates are critical thinkers, ethical decision-makers and lifelong learners.

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