New ATU Degree Seeks to Boost K-12 Literacy

Arkansas Tech University is offering a new opportunity for education professionals seeking an advanced credential.

The ATU Master of Education degree in K-12 literacy answers the call made by the Arkansas Reading Initiative for Student Excellence (RISE) program by providing more highly-trained teachers who are prepared to enhance reading programs.

RISE was introduced by Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education in January 2017.

“With this demand for a greater number and more specifically-prepared reading teachers, the supply is currently not adequate,” said Dr. Tim Carter, interim associate dean in the ATU College of Education. “The new K-12 literacy master’s degree program at Arkansas Tech will assist in meeting this demand.”

Approved by the ATU Board of Trustees in October 2017, the Arkansas Tech K-12 literacy master’s degree was subsequently approved by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board in January 2018.

According to the program proposal written by the ATU College of Education, the ATU K-12 literacy master’s degree “will prepare K-12 literacy/reading specialists who will positively impact student reading development by meeting the standards expected of reading specialists as denoted by the Arkansas Department of Education and the International Literacy Association.”

Master’s degree students first enrolled in the program during summer 2018. Classes are now forming for fall 2018.

In addition to completion of the master’s degree, the reading specialist K-12 and dyslexia therapist K-12 licensure endorsements are available to students enrolled in the program.

“Literacy abilities continue to be of vital importance in our society,” said Dr. Lynn Walsh, professor of curriculum and instruction at ATU and program director for the K-12 literacy master’s degree. “We are pleased to offer this program to prepare literacy experts to meet this need.”

For more information, call (479) 968-0291 or visit