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The Master of Education in Literacy Instruction program is designed to prepare candidates with a deep understanding of literacy instruction based on research-based best practices that are designed to meet the needs of all learners. Candidate’s learning centers around the International Literacy Association’s standards (2017) focusing on foundational knowledge of literacy instruction, curriculum design & implementation, assessment & evaluation, diversity & equity, learners & the literacy environment and professional learning & leadership.

The Master of Education in Literacy Instruction program at Centenary University will enable the candidates to meet the State requirements for the New Jersey Reading Specialist Certification while completing a Master of Education degree. This certification enables a teacher to provide reading/literacy instruction in Kindergarten through grade 12.

Students will have the following two options to pair with their M.Ed. in Literacy Instruction program:

  • Master of Education in Literacy Instruction with a NJ Reading Specialist Certification and Supervisor Licensure
  • Master of Education in Literacy Instruction with a NJ Reading Specialist Certification and ESL Certification

This program is offered in a blended format which alternates on ground learning in the classroom setting and online learning. If the course is blended it is listed next to the course title.

Program Goals

The program is offered online with a once-per-month residency requirement at our main campus in Hackettstown. In Centenary’s Master of Education in Literacy Instruction program, you will learn to:

  • Act as scholar-practitioners while applying contemporary research to theory in order to provide students with the most progressive, evidence-based pedagogy in literacy instruction.
  • Develop supportive, motivating, student-centered literacy curricula that is designed to meet the needs of diverse student populations.
  • Coach teachers and instructional leaders to enhance their knowledge and understanding of literacy curriculum and development in order to create optimal environments that maximize achievement.
  • Explore, analyze and synthesize contemporary research topics in literacy instruction such as access, critical literacy, diversity, motivation and equity.
  • Recognize the importance of our positionality as literacy leaders and use that knowledge to provide community service to at-risk children at no cost. During this practicum experience, powerful learning and developmental experiences are created through the practice of reflective inquiry.
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Career Paths

The New Jersey Reading Specialist Certification enables a teacher to provide literacy instruction in grades K-12.

  • Literacy Leaders
    • Curriculum directors
    • Curriculum supervisors
  • Interventionalists
  • Literacy Coaches
  • Consultants
  • Researchers
  • Improve your classroom practice
  • ESL teachers (K-12)


Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Literacy Instruction and ESL Certificate

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Literacy Instruction and Supervisor Licensure

University Catalog

Faculty/Instructor Bios

Lexis McCoy, Ed.D., Program Director

Dr. McCoy is the director of the Master of Education in Literacy Instruction Program and the English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Certification Program. She is an Associate Professor of Education and the faculty advisor to Kappa Delta Epsilon Honor Society. As a licensed school supervisor, certified reading specialist, and teacher, Lexis has worked in the capacity of reading specialist, curriculum developer, professional coach, and classroom teacher. She has additionally served as an educational consultant and professional development provider for the Department of Education and the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). Lexis completed her doctoral studies at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Her research focuses not only on literacy instruction but on the vital role that positive teacher-student relationships play in student learning. As a change agent in the field, she constantly seeks research-based, innovative practices to share to meet the ever-changing needs of student populations in order to create equitable learning experiences for all children. Lexis’ most influential learning and joy comes from observing her two sons and students as they grow and learn.

Stacy Davies, M.Ed.

Stacy Davies teaches in the Master of Education in Literacy Instruction Program at Centenary University. She holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s Degree in Reading from Centenary University. Stacy also completed her Reading Specialist certification at Centenary University. In addition to teaching degrees in Special and Elementary Education, Stacy is a licensed NJ School Supervisor. As a Dyslexia Therapist certified through the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), Stacy completed her multisensory instruction training through Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently a Special Education teacher with her English as a Second Language certification, Stacy believes there is never a one-size-fits all program for education and loves sharing her love of teaching children with her graduate students.

Susan Elias, Ed.D.

Dr. Elias has been leading cohorts in the Master of Education in Literacy Instruction Program at Centenary University for several years now. She holds an Educational Doctorate from Seton Hall University in K-12 Administration and an Educational Specialist degree from Seton Hall in Educational Leadership, Management, and Policy. Dr. Elias completed her Masters in Reading at Montclair State University and received her Reading Specialist certification. In addition, Dr. Elias holds Bachelors degrees from Rowan University in Elementary Education and Psychology as well as a Reading Certification. Throughout her educational experience, she has held the titles of Middle School Language Arts Teacher, Elementary Teacher, Literacy Coach, Curriculum Coordinator, Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction, Principal, and her current role as Director of Curriculum & Instruction. Susie emphasizes the importance of giving students access to books as well as the tools needed to live the life of a writer.

Jacqueline Epler, M.Ed./M.A.

Jackie Epler teaches in the Master of Education in Literacy Instruction Program at Centenary University. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English, Language, and Literature from Fairleigh Dickinson University, a Master’s Degree in Elementary and Secondary Teaching from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a Master’s Degree in Reading from Centenary University. She also earned her Reading Specialist and Supervisor certifications at Centenary. She has been an elementary teacher, a middle school language arts teacher, an instructional coach, and an Elementary Supervisor.  Jackie is a TFA alumna, former Associate for the Educator Collaborative, and former CEL Emerging Leader. Jackie believes in student-centered classrooms which foster student voice and choice. Her favorite educational quote is, “The fire of literacy is created by the sparks between a child, a book, and the person reading.” by Mem Fox.

Holly Guido, M.Ed.

Holly Guido has her Master of Education in Reading from Rider University and is a practicing Literacy Specialist. She is an instructor in both the Master of Education in Literacy Instruction Program and the undergraduate teacher preparation program at Centenary University as well as a Clinical Supervisor for the Undergraduate Teaching Program.  Holly has worked throughout the field of language and literacy since 1995 from a linguist in the US Navy to an auditory processing coach, an educational advocate, a reading specialist, and a mom to four children. She is a long time member of the International Literacy Association (ILA) and works with the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education (NJCIE). She has dedicated her career to helping individual, emergent readers find strategies and methods that work for them, so they can be confident, successful readers and learners. Her own love of reading and creative ideas toward instruction help her engage students at all levels. Her philosophy is, “a good book can take you places you may never otherwise get to visit.”

Lea Margosiak, M.Ed.

Lea Margosiak completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Centenary University. She is a certified reading specialist and has taught high school ELA for a number of years. Lea is currently the ELA Instructional Supervisor for grades 6 – 12 in Mount Olive School District. Lea is also an instructor in the Master of Education in Literacy Instruction Program at Centenary University teaching Content Area Literacy and leads the reading specialists’ practicum experience. Lea believes that it is possible for all students to have a continued love of reading regardless of their age or ability. She is passionate about fostering a natural curiosity in students through their interactions with all types of texts. Lea’s favorite quote regarding education is, “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” by Malala Yousafzai, which emphasizes that literacy provides students with the power to question the world around them.

Kimberly Moss, M.A.

Kimberly Moss co-spearheaded the English as a Second Language Certificate Program at Centenary University, writing curriculum and teaching graduate level courses.  She has a Masters of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is certified as a NJ Principal, Supervisor, ESL teacher and general education teacher.  Kimberly’s focus has been with students who are learning the English language for over 15 years as she has actively worked in grades K-12. Kimberly currently teaches in Jefferson Township and is the district ESL specialist.  She is passionate about helping her students reach their potential and gaining confidence while learning English. She also enjoys being able to support mainstream teachers by increasing their knowledge base of best practices for students who are learning language.

Colleen Starke, M.Ed.

Colleen Starke is a Centenary University graduate with her Master’s in Literacy Education. As a certified Reading Specialist, Supervisor, Teacher of Students with Disabilities K – 12, Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner, and Elementary Teacher, Colleen has been teaching in public schools for over a decade. Colleen is a perfect match to teach in our Master of Education in Literacy Instruction Program because of her passion for progressive practices and her love of authentic literature. Colleen’s experience extends beyond the classroom as she has enjoyed the learning experience of watching her own children develop language and literacy skills.

Financial Aid

Being able to pay for attending college is no easy task. Located in the Seay Building, the Office of Financial Aid offers assistance to you and your parents to ensure that you have the financial resources to focus on your education.

International Literacy Association Standards - Official Adopter

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