Program Description

The Literacy Coaching concentration of the Literacy/Reading Instruction graduate certificate is designed for current Reading Specialists or others with a strong background in literacy who want to more effectively support teachers’ professional learning, and ultimately student achievement, through literacy coaching. Coursework provides an in-depth understanding of adult learning, effective professional development techniques, strategies for supporting collaboration and communication, using data to foster change, ways to more effectively use technology when working with teachers, and issues of diversity and equity in literacy instruction. For more information, visit

What it costs

The cost for this program is $693.25 per credit hour for VA state residents, $893.25 per credit hour for Non-VA residents. There is a 15% PreK-12 VA Educators Discount available for VA state residents who are eligible and apply. See the Cost tab below for a breakdown of tuition and fees. All of Mason’s tuition rates and fees can be found on our Student Accounts site.

Application Deadline

This program has a priority application deadline of April 1 for Fall and November 1 for Spring. Applications are accepted on a space-available basis after the priority deadlines. For all application information and deadlines, see the CEHD Admissions site. 

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Program Summary

100 Percent Online

Program: Literacy Coaching

Degree: Graduate Certificate

College/School: College of Education and Human Development

Credits: 12 total

Who should apply?

This 12-credit certificate program is designed for literacy leaders who either have a master’s degree in literacy (or a closely-related field) or hold license/endorsement as a Reading Specialist. Each course requires students to conduct related practice in their own schools or specified field-settings.

If you do not have a master’s degree or would like to pursue licensure as a K-12 Reading Specialist, the Literacy Program at George Mason University offers two hybrid online MEd programs that lead to licensure as a K-12 Reading Specialist: Literacy Leadership for Diverse Schools: K-12 Reading Specialist and ASTL: Literacy: Reading Specialist. There is also a hybrid Reading Specialist concentration within the Literacy/Reading Instruction graduate certificate for those who already hold a master’s degree but would like to become eligible for the K-12 Reading Specialist license in Virginia.

Why choose George Mason?

  • This graduate certificate supports the career development of Reading Specialists or other literacy leaders and is aligned with the newly released professional standards for literacy coaching from the International Literacy Association. It has no match in the state or region.
  • All four, eight-week courses are offered fully online.
  • This program can be completed in a single year on a part-time basis.
  • Mason’s Literacy program has been a “Nationally Recognized” program by the International Literacy Association since 2003.

Program requirements are subject to change; please refer to the Mason Course Catalog for the most up-to-date requirements.

All courses required for this program are offered in a fully online format and offerings vary by semester. Contact your advisor for more information.

Requirements: 12 Credits total

  • EDRD 680 Foundations of Coaching and Fostering Professional Learning | 3 credits
  • EDRD 681 Collaboration and Communication in Literacy Coaching | 3 credits
  • EDRD 682 Creating Change through Data-Oriented Coaching | 3 credits
  • EDRD 683 Trends and Issue in Literacy Instruction and Literacy Coaching | 3 credits

Tuition (2021-2022)

Virginia Resident$543.00
Non-Virginia Resident $743.00
Mandatory Student fee $150.25
Total Cost for Virginia Residents per Credit $693.25
Total Cost for Non-Virginia Residents per Credit $893.25
Graduate New Student Fee$60 (non-refundable, one-time fee)

Please Note: In addition to the tuition and fees described, various course and lab fees may be assessed depending on the course(s) in which the student is enrolled. Please refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees. Internship courses will incur a higher CEHD course fee to fund on-site assistance involving intensive clinical training/supervision.

*VA state residents who are eligible must apply for the 15% PreK-12 VA Educators Discount in order to take advantage of the lower tuition. Discount applies to tuition and mandatory student fees only.

Financial Aid

For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. For information regarding grants, tuition waivers and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department. Also, many school districts offer tuition reimbursement options. Speak to your employer for more information.

Career Opportunities

The Literacy Coaching graduate certificate supports the career development of Reading Specialists or other literacy leaders. It allows you to develop professional skills such as supporting adult learning, designing effective professional development, serving as a change agent in diverse schools, leading with digital technology, and advocating for equity in literacy education.

Further Studies

Literacy is also available as a primary or secondary specialization in the Ph.D. in Education program.

Program AdvisorJennifer I. Hathaway
Phone: (703) 993-5789
Academic Program OfficeLiteracy and Reading
Graduate School of Education
Phone: (703) 993-7611
Program Website
Follow CEHD on Twitter @MasonCEHD

All applicants should review the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) Admissions page. For international applicants, see guidelines for International Graduate Requirements.

Apply for Fall or Spring only. Any student accepted for Fall admission is eligible to take a course in the preceding summer if a required course is available.


  • Hold a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from a US institution that is accredited by one of the organizations found here
  • Hold a Master’s degree in literacy (or a closely-related field) or licensure/endorsement as a Reading Specialist
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of study (Some applicants with a lower GPA may be admitted provisionally if there is sufficient evidence of potential success)

Application Materials

  • Graduate application
  • Application fee
  • Resume, recently updated
  • Goals statement (750-1000 words) describing your academic and career goals related to the program
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (applicants do not need to send in transcripts for courses taken at George Mason University)
  • Official documents for any international credentials

If you have any questions during the application process, please contact the CEHD Admissions Office at or (703) 993-2892.