Marian University Announces Graduate Program in Reading Science

by News Release | Dec 20, 2023

The first Master's in Reading Science program in Indiana aims to build teacher knowledge to raise literacy rates.

Marian University has announced it will debut its newest graduate program, a Master's in Reading Science, in May 2024. The program is the first in Indiana and is aligned with the body of research referred to by many as the Science of Reading. Marian is now accepting applications to the Master's in Reading Science program, which is 100 percent online.

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), roughly one in three children in the United States cannot read at a basic level. The NAEP also reported that less than 33 percent of Indiana fourth graders were proficient in reading in 2021. The United States ranks 125th in literacy out of 194 other countries.

"At Marian, we know our education programs need to be a solution to the problem of low reading rates, not perpetuating the problem," said LaTonya Turner, Ph.D., dean of Fred S. Klipsch Educators College.

 A significant amount of research indicates when teachers have knowledge and support in using evidence-based practices in teaching and learning, students will be equipped with the foundational skills needed to become proficient readers and writers.

"The Science of Reading informs educators as to the what and how of teaching reading," said Karen Betz, coordinator of Reading Science programs in the Klipsch Educator's College. "We are excited for this particular program because it will develop the necessary content and practice opportunities that are needed to build literacy leaders."

Across the country, thirty-one state legislatures have decided to enact laws requiring schools to teach students to read based on the research. The Science of Reading is a vast, interdisciplinary body of knowledge that informs the teaching of reading and writing to all children. Reading and writing are not natural processes and require those teaching them to understand the language systems needed robustly.

"Marian University has been an excellent partner in furthering our mission to advance the awareness, understanding and use of evidence-based reading instruction across Indiana, and they have a demonstrated record in solidly educating future teachers in the science of reading," explained Melissa Fisher, president of The Reading League-Indiana. "Adding a master's degree in Reading Science will increase the level of education available in our state and will ultimately assist in assuring that all students, both in Indiana and beyond, are able to learn to read and that all teachers are able to teach them."

As part of the launch of the Master of Science in Reading Science program, Marian University has partnered with the M.A. Rooney Foundation, which has committed to providing a competitive scholarship to those enrolled in the program and who teach or lead teachers in an Indiana public, charter, or private school.

Marian University has started integrating the Science of Reading into its teaching curriculum since 2017. Marian was recognized as the best teacher preparation program in Indiana and only one of 48 programs to receive an A+ ranking nationwide for exemplary coverage of scientifically based reading instruction for elementary teacher candidates by the National Council on Teacher Quality.

The New York Times reported that the Science of Reading "has drawn support across economic, racial and political lines. Recently, a documentary by the John Corcoran Foundation and Nick Nanton highlighted the rising rates of illiteracy and sub-literacy in America. Their research notes that 54 percent of adults between the ages of 16 and 74 years old are reading at or below a 6th-grade level.

The first of its kind in Indiana, Marian's Master of Science in Reading  stands out as affordable, 100 percent online, and designed for working professionals.

Program Details:

● Two-year degree program

● Launching May 2024 for the summer semester

● 34-credit program

● 100 percent online

● Scholarship opportunity available for select students

● Now accepting applications:' s-in-reading-science-program

"The new Marian University Master's of Science in Reading degree allows educators to continue their learning of best practices to ensure that all kids learn how to read," according to the M. A. Rooney Foundation. The M.A. Rooney Scholarship, worth $5,000 towards the cost of the degree, will be granted to those who meet or exceed the set criteria.


News Media Contact

Brad R. Wucher
Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing Communications
(317) 955-6307
Stokley Mansion, Room #1

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