Literacy Education addresses the promotion of literacy, with specific emphasis on reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Urban literacy issues and research pertaining to children living at the poverty level are of particular interest to our literacy education faculty. The program of study is designed around the International Literacy Association (ILA)/National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) standards that address what literacy professionals need to know and what they are able to do. These standards emphasize reflective professionals who have proficiency in three broad categories: (1) knowledge and beliefs about literacy, (2) instruction and assessment, and (3) organizing and enhancing a literacy program.

No matter what your career goals, local or global, we have a masters or doctoral program to meet your professional needs. Our online Master of Science program is ranked 8th in the top 20 online MS in Reading and Literacy programs in the country. Our literacy graduates are teaching in major school districts, comprehensive universities or college-level literacy programs, serving as clinical supervisors, literacy coaches and/or as literacy/language arts supervisors.

Our faculty are influential in setting the national agenda of improving the success of children living in poverty through research, school and district-wide interventions, serving on NGO’s boards, consulting, and authoring textbooks for pre-service and in-service teachers. The faculty are engaged in improving instruction in urban schools through projects like the award-winning Memphis Literacy Academy and the federally-funded Memphis Striving Readers Project, as well as working with other school districts across the nation. Seminal books are authored by our faculty, such as Technology to Teach Literacy: A Resource for K-8 Teachers, Literacy in Times of Crisis, Handbook of Research on Digital Tools for Writing Instruction in K-12 Settings and Content Literacy Strategies for Improving Student Achievement. The Literacy faculty is widely published in a variety of scholarly journals such as: Curriculum Inquiry, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Journal of Latinos in Education, Journal of Literacy Research, and The Reading Teacher.

Literacy Coordinator

Dr. Laurie MacGillivray, Associate Professor


Dr. Laurie MacGillivray
416 B Ball Hall