Literacy Education

Supplemental Content for Certificate of Graduate Study in Literacy Coaching

Our online post-master’s certificate program is designed for experienced educators to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to coach PreK-12 teachers in effective literacy instruction and promote professional learning in schools and districts.

The Literacy Coaching Components outlined in the International Literacy Association’s Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals (2017) serve as the framework for program outcomes.

Required Credits

  • 4 courses equalling 12 credit hours total

Program Format & Timeframe

  • 100% online
  • Seven-week courses
  • Complete the program in as little as one year

Upon program completion, you will be able to:

  • Develop a vision and goals for a comprehensive literacy program.
  • Coach classroom teachers and other school professionals in the literacy curriculum.
  • Collaborate with school leaders and teachers to interpret assessment data to inform instruction.
  • Advocate for equitable, culturally, and linguistically responsive literacy instruction.
  • Facilitate integration of digital literacies in support of school goals.
  • Lead professional learning experiences for individuals and groups in support of teacher inquiry and effective decision-making.

Applicant Qualifications

Criteria for admission include successful completion of a master’s degree in literacy or a closely related field and two years of classroom teaching experience. To earn a certificate, students must complete 75 percent of the required coursework at USM, and earn a grade of B (3.0) or better in each course. 


Application Procedures and Required Materials

Application Deadline:

August 1 for Fall semester; December 15 for Spring semester

Applicants are required to provide the following materials: 

  • Application: Online Application
  • Application fee: Waived for all applicants
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Personal Statement addressing the following prompt: Explain your interest in literacy leadership and coaching. Describe your philosophy of effective literacy teaching and learning and your vision for effectively supporting teachers to enact this philosophy. What personal qualities and professional experiences qualify you to pursue this certificate?
  • TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.


Where to send transcripts and application materials

Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Colleges and universities that participate in the electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to

For a transcript to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution.


International Applicants

The Certificate of Graduate Study programs are not eligible for a student visa (I-20) or scholarships. International students interested in enrolling in graduate programs that are eligible for a student visa should explore the masters and doctoral options offered at the University.


English Proficiency Test Scores

Official English proficiency examination scores are required from international applicants and/or applicants whose primary language is not English, unless the applicant has received a degree from an English-speaking institution. The University of Southern Maine accepts the following score reports sent directly from the testing agency.  TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for a graduate program.