Master of Arts in Literacy Learning

Mission Statement:

The Marygrove College Education Department collaboratively prepares educators committed to the success of all students believing that quality education is vital to wholeness of persons, sustainability of communities, and a vibrant, just democratic society.  To that end, and grounded in the college's goals of competence, compassion, and commitment, the Education Department prepares educators through the development of professional habits of mind, heart, and practice:

Habits of Mind - Demonstrating flexibility in thinking about key theories and conceptual frameworks to address complex, adaptive challenges

Habits of Heart - Demonstrating behaviors and beliefs that connect learning to life, liberating the power and creativity of the human spirit.

Habits of Practice - Demonstrating the capacity to effectively engage and contribute to learning communities and systems within which education is embedded.

General Information

The Master of Arts in Literacy Learning is designed for individuals who have an interest in experiential learning and a commitment to community change through literacy development. Students explore literacy as transformative of socio-cultural, political and economic factors that impact individuals, families, and communities. Paulo Friere's approach to literacy learning as social activism serves as this program's framework. Individuals completing the program are prepared to work in a variety of community settings such as literacy centers, private tutoring, community literacy organizations, and faith-based literacy ministries and academic literacy paraprofessionals.

Admission Requirements

Admission Process 

Applicants must meet all of the general graduate admission requirements (see the "Graduate Admissions" section of this catalog). 

Applicants must have earned a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited institution.  Applicants are NOT required to have a teaching certification for admission into the program.  Please note - the Masters in Literacy Learning does NOT lead to the Elementary or Secondary Michigan Teaching Certification.

Student Requirements 

In addition to the admission requirements explained in the

"Graduate Admissions" section of the Marygrove College Graduate Catalog, for program acceptance all applicants must submit a typed 3-5 page essay that describes (1) a personal statement about his/her own literacy experiences (2) the rationale for selecting the MALL program and select a focus area: family literacy, adult literacy or community literacy, and (3) experiences, if any, with tutoring or working in some capacity with reluctant or struggling readers and writers.

Transfer Credits

A request for consideration of transfer of appropriate graduate credit from another institution (or program) may be made as part of the application process. Applicant may submit transcripts, along with course descriptions and syllabus to be reviewed for course substitutions. Only six credits will be accepted.

Program Application Checklist

  • Completed application, including signature and date
  • Official transcript(s) received directly from the college or university attended with grades posted for ALL undergraduate and graduate courses.

Application Deadlines

This program may be started only during the Fall or Winter term.

The Application deadline for Fall term, which starts in September, is the first Wednesday in August.

The application deadline for Winter term, which starts in January, is the first Wednesday in December.

Specific Program Requirements

To complete the Masters of Arts in Literacy Learning, students must complete 30 credits of approved coursework including an action research project.

Core Courses

LLE 500          Foundations of Literacy for Liberation  3 Credits

LLE 510         Socio-Cultural Factors and Literacy Learning  3 Credits

LLE  520        Literacy As Social Activism  3 Credits 

RDG 557       Methods for Teaching Intermediate and Secondary Reading  3 Credits

RDG 559       Literature Based Approaches to Reading Instruction  3 Credits

RDG 564       Methods in Elementary Reading and Other Language Arts  3 Credits

RDG 609       Diagnostic Techniques in Reading Instruction  3 Credits

Community Literacy Courses 

LLE 540        Community as a Literacy Learning Center  3 Credits

LLE 541        Leadership in Community Literacy Learning  3 Credits

LLE   639      Research in Literacy and Community Program Development  3 Credits

LLE 500 Foundations of Literacy for Liberation                                   

3 hours

This course is a historical, theoretical and sociological exploration of the foundation of literacy learning from a global and Western perspective.  It also examines Paulo Friere's pedagogical principles for utilizing literacy as a form social activism and liberation.

LLE  510 Socio-Cultural Factors and Literacy Learning   

3 hours

This course is an introduction to social and cultural factors, and diverse languages as underpinnings of issues diverse learners face in varied environments, including home, community, and school. Emphasis is on the social, cultural, linguistic, and academic challenges and opportunities, and research based strategies that support culturally responsive teaching.

LLE  520 Literacy As Social Activism                                                        

3 hours

This course explores global literacy, theories and issues related to traditional and nontraditional community engagement in reading and writing to create space for social activism and change. Participants engage in community literacy projects using multi-modal literacies.

RDG 557 Methods for Teaching Intermediate and Secondary Reading     

3 hours

This course specifically addresses adapting content instruction to meet the needs of intermediate and secondary school students with reading problems; analyzes the variations in vocabulary, format, comprehension, and study procedures in various content areas; presents teaching strategies for improving basic reading skills, content reading and writing proficiency of all students; and explores strategies for supporting literacy instruction across the curriculum. 

RDG 559 Literature Based Approaches to Reading Instruction   

3 hours

This course examines the history, description, rationale, and criteria for selection and evaluation of classic, contemporary, and culturally diverse literature for children and young adults. This course also presents specific strategies for using culturally conscious literature in literature based reading instruction, and explores a variety of strategies to foster literacy development and promote an enjoyment of literature.

RDG 564 Methods in Elementary Reading and Other Language Arts             

3 hours

This course presents criteria and procedures for reading, writing, listening, viewing, and speaking processes, and examines teaching strategies and materials that are consonant with human growth and development. This course also discusses research and management of classroom reading programs, grades K-8.

RDG 609 Diagnostic Techniques in Reading Instruction                    

3 hours


This course examines identification of reading disabilities and possible causative factors through the use of formal and informal tests and case study methods. This course also develops a comprehensive testing vocabulary in order to administer, interpret, and evaluate tests.

LLE 540 Community as a Literacy Learning Center                           

3 hours

This course is an introduction to the study of diverse literacy experiences within community spaces.   It examines the complexity of social, cultural and literacy practices imbedded in diverse urban communities and explores literacy strategies and techniques to document and sustain viable communities of practice. Participants explore past and current events that shape communities, and examine how people engage in new literacy practices to understand and facilitate sustainable social change.

LLE  Leadership in Community Literacy Learning                               

3 hours

This course is an analysis of communities and literacy learning, as well as characteristics of community literacy leadership. It examines social, political and economic factors that impact community viability, and organizational planning for sustainable community literacy development. Participants will work with a mentor recognized as a community literacy leader. The signature assignment for this course is for participants to develop a plan for a community literacy center.           

LLE 639  Research in Literacy and [Community] Program Development   

3 hours

This course provides opportunities for research that focuses on effective literacy instruction, and factors involved in successful curriculum development in community based programs. This course also covers techniques for formal and informal research. Students will design, conduct, and present a [field practice project].

Scholarship Programs

Scholarship Programs

Scholarships are awarded based on a student’s achievement—academic, talent, athletic, etc. Scholarships do NOT have to be repaid.

Residence Life at Marygrove College

Residence Life

As a resident of Florent Gillet, you will not only receive meals and convenient housing, you will also be surrounded by social and educational opportunities that promote growth and self-fulfillment.

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