Master of Arts in Literacy Instruction - Teacher Education

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Master of Arts in Literacy Instruction Michigan State University
Master of Arts in Literacy Instruction > Prospective Students

Student & Alumni Testimonials


Anar Rajabali-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Anar Rajabali
I came to the online MAED as a teacher who wanted to learn innovative and imaginative ways of literacy instruction and to explore the theories and philosophies that were informing my own teaching practice. With an interest in poetry, pedagogy and holistic education, I was drawn to MSU for the scope and breadth of its research in language arts and literacy development and the high level of scholarship that is expanding, contributing and informing the field. I joined a vigorous online community of educators and practitioners where we conversed, shared and developed our own voices. The program was both critical and creative with a keen focus on instilling theory and research with best practices, inspiring students to explore and find their best teaching selves. For me, it was a discovery of my own passion for contemplative studies in education where the MAED became a platform in which I was then to pursue my PhD in Language and Literacy Education at The University of British Columbia where I graduated in 2017. It was professors such as Dr. Janine Certo and Dr. Laura Apol, who through their own teaching and scholarship, sparked and shaped my own thinking about the role of poetry in the classroom and in society. I am grateful to the exceptional level of education that I received at MSU, which gave me the very foundation to be a scholar in the field of literacy and arts based education.
Beth Jones-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Beth Jones
I am a first grade teacher in Dewitt, MI, and I chose to come to MSU for the Literacy Masters program because I went to Michigan State for the undergraduate program and I really enjoyed it. It helped me to become a more reflective teacher, and to learn more about my practice and best practices in literacy instruction. A couple of classes that I really enjoyed were the writing methods class. I had Janine Certo as my professor and she really helped me think about my own writing practice and what I want to do in my classroom. I also took another class, TE 843 with Randi Stanulis, and she was wonderful. She really helped us to think about what we wanted to learn personally and helped us find ways to research it and apply it in our classroom. I think people should choose the Masters program at MSU just because it helps you become a reflective teacher and think about your own practice. And there are wonderful professors and wonderful students to work with and collaborate with.
Erika Cross-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Erika Cross
The reason why I chose to come to Michigan State to pursue a Masters in Literacy was because of the dedication that I think this university and the program itself has to their students. It definitely is a program that furthers your growth, individually as well as professionally. Michigan State has also prepared myself in making the switch from a classroom teacher to a literacy coach, in my case the instructional literacy specialist. I've had the pleasure of working with Dr. Patricia Edwards for several of my literacy classes. If I have a question, I know who to go to, resources to pull. For me, I am an active learner here. I am very motivated. And, for the first time I see myself pursuing something other than just a Masters. I don't see it ending here. I think that both the professors and the content that we are studying and learning has provided me with just that extra boost, and the support that we receive here, to go a step further and to continue my education here at Michigan State.
Jennifer Schaibley-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Jennifer Schaibley
I teach fifth grade in Brighton, MI. I started out as an undergrad here, and really one of the main reasons I continued on is because MSU makes it so easy to transition from the undergrad into the graduate program. You are already taking graduate courses during your internship year, and a lot of those go right toward your requirements. I've had some great professors. I've had Pat Edwards and Laura Apol, two that really stand out in my mind. They've always been very supportive, very flexible, and they really try to help you fit all of the pieces together, personal and academic. It's a strong program. The biggest thing that I liked about it was that it really was applicable to the classroom. You didn't feel like you were doing busy work. You didn't feel like you were just completing papers and assignments just for the sake of doing them for courses, but they really tried to make things you did in your class things that you could go back and use in your classroom.
Kelly Thieme-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Kelly Thieme
Kelly L. Thieme, MA 2000, is the Literacy Coordinator at the Collierville Literacy Council in Collierville, TN. Kelly heads the Literacy Program, which focuses on teaching adults to read through a balanced individualized literacy program. She then trains adult volunteers to carry out that specific instructional plan. The literacy students at the CLC are having strong success with reaching their goals. Kelly recently presented this new program at the Annual 2011 USCAL Conference. Kelly misses MSU and all she learned from the MA Literacy Program. The teacher-researcher projects conducted with Susan Florio-Ruane have inspired her to keep up with current research and remain a student of quality literacy instruction. Pat Edwards taught Kelly so much about the family literacy connection, which is the underpinning for a large part of the Literacy Project that she now heads. Kelly has often staid that she would love to get her Ph.D. but only if she could do it at MSU.
Kysha Crenshaw-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Kysha Crenshaw
I graduated in 2007 with a Masters of Arts Degree in Literacy and Language Instruction. I currently teach first grade in Waverly Community schools. I chose this program because I am an early childhood educator and I wanted to delve deeper into the process of teaching literacy to young children. my undergraduate degree through the teacher education program at MSU, so I was very confident that I could expect nothing less than the most knowledgeable professors to learn from and collaborate with. I was treated like a professional in this program. My ideas and comments were always valued. I was able to build and shape my own philosophy of literacy with the guidance of my professors and peers. I was also able to build a network of colleagues in many different districts that I am able to reach out to as ideas about literacy and literacy instruction continue to change. Since leaving the program I feel very confident in my own skills in teaching literacy to young children. I also feel more confident in sharing my ideas with colleagues and in taking a leadership role in issues surrounding literacy instruction in my building. I would highly recommend this program.
Laura Wilson-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Laura Wilson
My name is Laura Wilson, and I have been teaching sixth grade English in Hillsdale, MI. I did my undergraduate work at Michigan State University, so I definitely wanted to pursue a Masters degree here. I am very passionate about teaching reading and writing, and I really wanted to stay current with best practices, so I chose to go into the literacy program, and it has been absolutely wonderful. You have professors that are very dedicated to literacy. They give you a lot of feedback, and one-on-one attention. One class that really stood out for me is TE 848, an on-line class on writing instruction taught by Janine Certo. She is a wonderful professor, and she gives you lots of feedback, and the way I teach writing now is completely changed because of this course. Dr. Patricia Edwards is also another awesome professor. She allows just tons of time for discussion about current issues and best practices, and I've really gotten a lot out of her courses. I really strongly recommend the literacy instruction program at Michigan State because you come out of it feeling very, very confident as a teacher, and you feel like you can go into the classroom and use all of the strategies and everything that you've learned. I feel like the program in literacy instruction has really prepared me to be a leader in my classroom and outside of the classroom.
Mark McCarthy-Literacy Instruction Graduate Student
Mark McCarthy
I'm Mark McCarthy and I graduated from the online MAED program in 2011. I'm currently in my fourth year teaching in China, and currently holding two positions. Primarily, I teach American History to undergraduates, and English speaking and listening to postgraduates at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China. My second position is teaching English literature and writing at a private high school that prepares students for attending college in the US. The MAED program was a great choice for me in a number of ways. The main reason I sought out and selected MSU was the online nature of the program, and that it was situated in a respected, highly rated education department. Since I work abroad and wanted to further my professional development without returning home, the program was ideal. A fantastic element of the program is that I was able to merge the theoretical and the practical because I was working while studying. I would learn new ideas and try them in my classroom, use my students as test groups for curriculum design projects, and, in an overall way, personalize my learning. I addressed the questions I had about why I had difficulty helping students become better readers and writers through hands-on research and selecting practices that better suited my students and my teaching style. My work as a writing instructor has had the most visible improvement because I spent a lot of time working with students throughout the coursework I had undertaken. Additionally, my teaching philosophy became clearer, and my classroom management and self-reflection skills have improved. I hope my students are as happy with the results of my MA program as I am.
Jennifer Schaibley
Master of Arts in Literacy Instruction
I teach fifth grade in Brighton, MI. I started out as an undergrad here, and really one of the main reasons I continued on is because MSU makes it so easy to transition from the undergrad into the graduate program. You are already taking graduate courses during your internship year, and a lot of those go right toward your requirements. I've had some great professors. I've had Pat Edwards and Laura Apol, two that really stand out in my mind. ... ... read more