Student Testimonials

Reading and Literacy Education boasts a dynamic body of promising graduate students who come from diversely rich academic, professional and cultural backgrounds.

They work closely with program faculty in a variety of teaching, research and service activities that further develop their scholarships of discovery, integration, teaching, and engagement and that enhance their competitiveness for the job market upon graduation.

Past graduates have won prestigious national and international awards (e.g. International Reading Association Outstanding Dissertation Award, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Adolescent Literacy Predoctoral Fellowship, Kappa Delta Pi Scholarships), as well as awards from UF (e.g. Grinter Fellowship, Alumni Fellowship) and College of Education (e.g. Outstanding Graduate Research Award, Graduate Student Teaching Award). They have landed jobs in institutions of higher education, federal and state departments of education, PreK-12 schools, and other education-related agencies.

“Reading and Literacy Education at UF enabled me to actively participate in reading-based research, which further strengthened my abilities to work on interdisciplinary teams with regard to reading interventions and the infusion of children’s literature into core disciplinary fields. My experiences in the program also enabled me to combine my love of children’s literature, reading, and research with youth into a program of study that was of great benefit.”

-Dr. Jennifer Graff, Associate Professor, University of Georgia

“I have a distinct advantage over other junior faculty at my current university because of my experiences at the University of Florida. My time as a doctoral student in Reading and Literacy Education prepared me to develop and teach undergraduate and graduate-level courses, fostered a love of research and writing, and helped me form important relationships with both faculty and fellow graduate students. I felt tremendous support from my professors in the classroom and from my adviser. Additionally, my specialization in children’s literature and literacy opened doors for me to collaborate with faculty in other colleges, such as the Levin College of Law, and with teachers in local elementary schools. The opportunities I had as part of my doctoral program aided a smooth transition into a career in academia.”

-Dr. Mary Ellen Oslick, Assistant Professor, Stetson University

“Reading and Literacy Education at UF went above and beyond to both prepare and challenge students for futures in the field of education. The program made it possible for distance-learning students like me to gain the experience necessary to achieve an Ed.S. degree in reading and literacy education. This program has given me the knowledge to not only further my career, but also the confidence to achieve new heights in the area of reading. I will forever be grateful to the supportive faculty who helped me every step of the way.”

-Alyssa M. Perez, First Grade Teacher and Team Leader, West Hollywood Elementary School, Florida

“Beginning an online master’s degree seems like taking a leap of faith; however, the M.Ed. in reading education has reached far beyond my expectations and has been more than attainable due to the ever present assistance of my professors. Even though I am more than 400 miles from campus, contact is a simple click or call away. Everyone is quick to assist in a friendly manner and make you feel welcomed as a Gator despite the distance. The courses help aspiring reading teachers to develop a sound pedagogical framework and feel comfortable and confident in diagnosing and remediating reading difficulties. Innovative technologies are used in a way that will expand your repertoire of strategies and keep you on the cutting edge of best practices. I have been able to maintain my full-time teaching job, while participating successfully in online courses, and would highly recommend the program to anyone looking to better their education in this field.”

-Jacqueline Hancock, Stanley Switlik Elementary School, Marathon, Florida

“Reading and Literacy Education at the University of Florida has provided me with in-depth knowledge regarding each of the four areas of literacy development, and instilled in me a greater confidence and passion in teaching intensive learners in the English Language Arts (ELA) and content area reading. The online class modules were both easy to navigate and engaging, providing up-to-date information on best, research-based practices in the field of literary education that I was readily able to apply in the classroom in real-time. Additionally, the small cohort-like learning environment greatly lent itself to camaraderie among colleagues and advisors, who were genuinely concerned with supporting me in my academic and professional growth.”

-Natasha Butler-Thomas, 7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher, Margate Middle School, Broward County, Florida

“UF’s Reading and Literacy Education was vital to my success with my multi-grade, multi-age reading classes. I learned how to quickly discover student weaknesses and strengths with the proper diagnostic tools and how to engage students with appropriate texts. My classes in the program were small, interesting, and easy to apply to the real world classrooms we preside over. My professors were always available and happy to help. I couldn’t have had a better experience obtaining my master’s degree.”

-Jayme Gough Cushing, Reading Teacher at Pace Center for Girls, West Palm Beach, Florida and On-Site Trainer, Houston Achievement Place, Houston, Texas

“This has been my first experience with a degree-seeking graduate program of any nature and it has been a very enjoyable one thus far. I was initially apprehensive about taking an online master’s class so far from the actual campus, but the process has been almost entirely problem-free. Any technical issues, including registration challenges, course type and location concerns, and online course availability have been promptly answered and addressed with extremely timely responses and knowledgeable information. My adviser was easy to access and provided an entire course plan spanning the duration of the degree program. I’ve learned so much within the last few weeks and am thrilled to have access to the same, specialized courses that are normally only available on-site.”

-Jayme Depaolo, Middle School EC Teacher, Greenwood School, Jacksonville, Florida

“I am convinced that the ability to read is one of the most important skills I can teach a child. It is, in essence, the building block to becoming a life-long learner. The Master of Education in Reading Education at UF has solidified this conviction, while also equipping me with the tools to help struggling readers of all ages. Though I am not teaching “reading” per se this year, I’m realizing how true the saying: “Every teacher is a reading teacher.” I now know how to infuse reading instruction into my lessons, and my language arts students have become better readers and more effective writers as a result. Preparing students for their future is my goal and the Reading Education program has given me more arrows in my teaching quiver to use towards that end. Thank you!”

-Marissa Aulick, Language Arts and Reading Teacher at Fort Clark Middle School, Gainesville, Florida

“The Master of Education in Reading Education at the University of Florida has exceeded my goal of learning how to help struggling readers learn to read. I have learned about the importance of using research-based strategies to identify and resolve specific literacy problems. I have learned about the importance of the connections between reading and writing and the importance of community and cultural diversity in the classroom. The first rate professors here have modeled the best of teaching strategies even as they taught them to me. I have learned much more than I expected and feel confident in my ability to help find solutions for the struggling readers in our communities.”

-Barbara Jettner, Staff Development & Training Specialist, Florida Department of Revenue, Florida

“The Master of Education in Reading Education program appeals to a variety of learning styles. The balance between pedagogy and practical application, as well as knowledgeable and supportive professors, provided me with a rich educational experience.”

-Gloria Darlington, Reading Specialist, Buck Lodge Middle School, Adelphi, Maryland