MASTER OF EDUCATION: Credits vary according to program plan
READING SPECIALIST CERTIFICATION ONLY (without Master of Education degree)
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Pennsylvania Department of Education
RSP candidates will study and apply theory and research in literacy acquisition, instruction and assessment. Candidates apply knowledge and expertise in a culminating practicum experience in which they work with struggling readers to assess literacy development to plan and implement appropriate instructional intervention and support. The mission of the Graduate Reading Specialist Program is to encourage the development of reading specialists who serve schools and communities with integrity, civility and responsibility, and who demonstrate superior knowledge and skills reflected in the International Reading Association Standards for Reading Specialists.
The reading specialist program offers three plans of study. In Plan A or Plan B candidates earn a Master of Education degree and advamced certification on thePennsylvania teaching certificate. In Plan C candidates earn advanced certification on the PA Teaching Certificate.
Plan A requires coursework and a research project. In Plan A, candidates choose between a program of study that involves 40 credits, including a 4-credit master's thesis, or a program of study that involves 38 credits, including a 2-credit research project. Plan A is recommended for students who are interested in research or administration, or who plan to pursue a doctoral degree in the future.
Plan B requires 36 credits of coursework. Plan B will prepare students for work in the classroom by strengthening instructional skills and theoretical orientation. It will also prepare them for the role of a reading specialist who may serve as a resource person to schools in addition to assessing and planning instruction to assist children and adults in the development of literacy skills.
Plan C requires 27-33 credits of coursework and enables candidates to earn advanced certification on the Pennsylvania teaching certificate only.All plans require successful completion of a Livetext Reading Specialist Portfolio Interview to be taken during the last semester of coursework.
Reading specialist candidates seeking to have RSP certification added to their Pennsylvania teaching certificate must pass the Praxis II Reading Specialist test.
Online and traditional courses are offered as well as hybrid courses that include a combination of traditional and online components.
- Official transcripts
- Minimum overall undergraduate 3.00 GPA or 3.00 GPA in last 48 college credits taken
- Graduate School Application plus $25 nonrefundable application fee
- Copy of teaching certificate before completion of first semester (students who fail to meet this requirement will not be approved for RSP candidacy)
- Current Act 34, 151 and 114 (fingerprint) clearances
Core Reading Courses (21 credits required)
RSP 700: Fundamentals of Literacy–Theory and Practice 3 credits
RSP 702: Diagnosis and Instruction 3 credits
RSP 703: Practicum - Assessment Case Study 3 credits
RSP 704: Practicum - Instruction Case Study 3 credits
RSP 705: Psychology of Reading 3 credits
RSP 706: Adult Literacy 3 credits
RSP 734: Content Area Reading 3 credits
English Language Learner Courses (3 credits required)
EDE 704: Teaching English as a Second Language 3 credits
EDU 650: Supporting the English Language Learner 3 credits
Educational Research Courses (3 credits required)
RES 800: Methods of Research 3 credits
ESP 800: Sem in Adv Behavior Analysis 3 credits
Related Electives (Plan A & B: 9 credits required; Plan C: 3 - 9 credits required)
EDE 700: Foundations and History of American Ed 3 credits
EDE 701: Development and Organization of Curr. 3 credits
EDE 706: Evaluation and Measurement 3 credits
EDE 715: Teaching Language Arts 3 credits
ESP 501: Intro to Exceptionality 3 credits
ESP 610: Foundations and Collaboration 3 credits
ESP 613: Evidence Based Practice 3 credits
ESP 701: Intro to Behavior Analysis 3 credits
PSY 712: Advanced Psychololgy of Learning 3 credits
PSY 720: Neuropsychology of Learning 3 credits
EDP 600: Statistical Methods 3 credits
Research with advisor's approval (Plan A only)
RES 829: Research Project 2 credits
RES 849: Master's Thesis 3 credits
Effective January 2011, students entering the program must have at least 9 credits in special education and 3 credits in teaching ESL. If you do not have a special education course in your undergraduate or other graduate transcript (approved by the graduate RSP coordinator), be sure to choose ESP courses when registering for related electives.
Certification only students who have transcripts that include 9 special education credits (approved by the graduate RSP coordinator) can obtain certification with 3 credits of related electives. Certification only students with no special education courses must take 9 credits of ESP courses from the list of related electives. Thus, the range of 27-33 credits for the certification only program.
*All plans require successful completion of Livetext Exit Portfolio Interview
*Endorsement for certification requires Praxis II RSP test.
Dr. Connie J. Armitage
School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
250 University Ave.
California, PA 15419
Dr. Connie J. Armitage, Program Coordinator; Ed.D., University of Pittsburgh; specializes in Reading
Dr. Holly Diehl, Ed.D., West Virgina University; specializes in Curriculum and Instruction
Dr. Diane Nettles, Ph.D., University of South Florida; specializes in Curriculum and Instruction
Dr. Christine Peterson, Ed.D., West Virginia University; specializes in Technology Education