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Master of Education in Literacy Development & Instruction

Cleveland State University's Master of Education in Literacy Development & Instruction specialization meets the needs of teachers, clinicians, and others who provide literacy-related services to children or adults. The program also is of interest to those who wish to study reading and writing as language processes. Within this program, the acquisition and development of literate behaviors are viewed as inherent components of language learning in general, including second-language acquisition.

A wide range of available course offerings make this program attractive to individuals with diverse interests and career goals. Students may pursue concentrations leading to endorsement in Reading or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) on an existing Ohio teaching license. There is a third concentration for non-school personnel with an interest in Adult Literacy.

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Department of Teacher Education
Phone: 216.687.4600

Admission Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
  • Undergraduate Transcripts
  • For all programs that do not lead to a teaching license through the Ohio Department of Education, candidates must have a score at the 50th percentile on the Miller Analogies Test or on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of Graduate Record Examination. However, a student applying for any program except Counseling is exempt from this requirement if:
    • The baccalaureate degree is less than six years old at the time of application AND the undergraduate cumulative grade-point average is at least 2.75; OR
    • The baccalaureate degree is more than six years old at the time of application AND the undergraduate cumulative grade-point average is at least 3.0; OR
    • The student has completed twelve or more semester credits of Cleveland State graduate course work (including EDB 601  or HPR 601 ) AND received a grade of B- or better in EDB 601  or HPR 601  with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 and grades of B or better in the other courses.
  • To be admitted to a teaching licensure program in the College of Education and Human Services as a graduate student, all candidates must satisfy the following requirements:
    • Test requirement.  Candidates must receive acceptable scores within the past six years on one of the following content knowledge tests, demonstrating performance in approximately the top 50% of the national distribution:
      • ACT: math 20, reading 20, English 20
      • SAT:  math 510, reading 500, writing 490
      • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CASE):  math 150, reading 156, writing 162
      • GRE:  quantitative 152, verbal 151, writing 3.5
      • Miller Analogies Test: 50th percentile rank for total group
    • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. 
      • Candidates admitted as a non-degree graduate student must earn a GPA of 3.0 or above after completing 12 graduate credit hours, including EDB 601, and satisfying all other licensure program admissions to be admitted into a licensure program.
    • Proficiency in math and English at the college level.
      • Grade of B- or better in a college level math and college level English class.   (Candidates for the Chinese language teaching licensure are required to satisfy the program's TOEFL admission requirements in lieu of this requirement.)
    • Background check. 
      • All prospective licensure candidates must pay for an initial BCI/FBI check at the time of their initial visit to the Education Student Services Center (except for MUST and international students, who are required to have a BCI/FBI check prior to starting their first field experience).  Throughout their licensure program, candidates are required to pay for and complete additional BCI/FBI fingerprinting checks to ensure that a valid report is always on file with the Office of Field Services as required for field placement. Prospective candidates with criminal records indicating convicted offenses considered by the Ohio Department of Education to be "absolute bars" to licensure will be denied acceptance to the college and any registration permissions for subsequent semesters will be revoked.  Prospective candidates with criminal records indicating convicted offenses eligible for rehabilitation will be referred to the Ohio Department of Education Office of Professional Conduct to determine whether they will be able to obtain a teaching license.
    • Post-baccalaureate and graduate candidates who complete all academic content courses prior to CSU professional course work (e.g. adolescent/young adult or middle grades licensure areas) must take and pass the relevant Ohio Assessments for Educators content knowledge assessment prior to admission.  Candidates who need to take content courses at Cleveland State are allowed to take content knowledge assessments prior to student teaching.

-International students are required to have met at least one of the following English language proficiency requirements:

  • TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based): 78 (including at least 20 in reading, 21 in listening, 17 in writing, and 20 in speaking)
  • TOEFL PBT (Paper-Based): 550
  • IELTS: 6.0 and at least 5.0 in each section
  • PTE (Pearson’s Test of English): 50
  • iTEP: 5.0

Admission Deadlines

All applications must be submitted and complete on the following application deadline dates:

  • Domestic Students
    • Rolling
  • International Students
    • Fall Semester - May 15th
    • Spring Semester - October 15th
    • Summer Semester - March 15th

Program Requirements


  • EDB 601 - Educational Research
  • ETE 501 - Technology Strand
  • Select one of the following courses:
    • EDB 604 - Social Issues & Education
    • EDB 606 - Philosophy of Education
    • EDB 608 - School & Society In The American Past
    • EDB 609 - Comparative & International Education
  • One of the following courses must be selected in consultation with an academic advisor:
    • EDC 501 - Child Development (not an option for Adult Literacy program)
    • EDB 620 - Psychology of the Adolescent Learner  (not an option for Adult Literacy program)
    • EDB 628 - Psychology of Learning & Instruction
    • ALD 605 - Adult Learning & Development Theories and Practice


  • EDB 612 - Curriculum Theory & Instruction

Reading Endorsement

  • EDL 502 - Foundations of Literacy: Theory & Practice
  • EDL 503 - Assessment & Evaluation of Diverse Literacy Learners
  • EDL 504 - Literacy Development for Diverse Literacy Learners
  • EDL 695 - Seminar In Literacy Research
  • Reading Elective
    • Select one based on advisor approval (undergraduate coursework can not be used toward graduate degree):
    • EDL 511 - Emergent Literacy or
    • EDL 512 - Literature-Based Reading Methods For Children or
    • EDL 513 - Literature-Based Reading Programs For Adolescents or
    • EDL 505 - Content Area Literacy 
  • Elective
    • Degree candidates must complete at least one credit from the following options:
    • Independent study or
    • TESOL course or
    • Alternative option approved by advisor

NOTE: This credit is not required for candidates pursuing only the Reading Endorsement without a degree

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

  • EDC 500 - Diversity in Educational Settings
  • EDL 506 - Second Language Learning & Pedagogy
  • EDL 507 - TESOL Methods and Materials
  • EDL 508 - Applied Linguistics for Teachers *
  • EDL 509 - Assessment and Evaluation in the ESL/Bilingual Classroom
  • EDL 510 - Pedagogical Grammar *
  • EST 573 - Practicum in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages(TESOL)

NOTE: *A graduate-level linguistics course (3 credits minimum, selected with advisor) can be used in place of EDL 508 or EDL 510

Adult Literacy

  • EDL 502 - Foundations of Literacy: Theory & Practice
  • EDL 503 - Assessment & Evaluation of Diverse Literacy Learners
  • EDL 504 - Literacy Development for Diverse Literacy Learners
  • EDL 505 - Content Area Literacy
  • EDL 514 - Adult Literacy
  • EDL 695 - Seminar In Literacy Research

Students must complete one of the following exit requirements:

  • EDL 695 - Seminar In Literacy Research (Reading and Adult Literacy Specialization) or
  • Comprehensive Exam
  • EST 698 - Master's Project or EST 699 - Thesis 
Did You Know?

The median annual wage for adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers was $53,630 in May 2018.

Bureau of Labor Statistics


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Career Outcomes

  • The program designed for licensed teachers to gain further qualifications and skills for working with students to develop literacy skills. 
  • Non-licensed teachers can also benefit. There is plenty of demand in the U.S. and abroad for TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers and for adult literacy development. 
  • These are some of the local institutions that are hiring CSU grads: Cleveland Heights School District, Cleveland School District, Parma City Schools, Berlitz, PSI Solutions, and A+ Solutions.