Reading Specialist

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Master of Education: Reading Specialist - Credits: 30 (program code: 0150)

Certificate: Reading Specialist Certificate - Credits: 24 (program code: 0910)

Program Description

The reading specialist program at California University of Pennsylvania prepares competent literacy leaders by developing and enhancing the knowledge, professional practices and professionalism of certified classroom teachers and educators for work in all educational settings. The reading specialist must be prepared to develop and implement instructional practices and interventions designed to meet the needs of all learners, including struggling readers from diverse cultural, social and linguistic backgrounds. The reading specialist program strengthens candidates’ knowledge of research and theories, pedagogical skills, and expertise in implementing effective classroom and remedial reading instruction and school-wide literacy programs, as they become effective literacy leaders and literacy coaches who engage in collaborative decision-making with and advocate on behalf of teachers, students, families and communities.

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 skill identified in the International Literacy Association Standards for Reading Specialists.

The reading specialist program offers two options:

  • Master's Degree: This plan is appropriate for students who wish to earn a Master of Education degree and reading specialist certification on their Pennsylvania teaching certificate. In this option, students are required to complete 30 credits of graduate coursework. To graduate from the program, candidates must successfully complete a PracticumFolio during the reading practicum experience. To have the reading specialist certification added to a Pennsylvania teaching certificate, candidates must pass the Reading Specialist Praxis test. Candidates interested in certification outside Pennsylvania are required to secure and follow regulations from the other states or entities.
  • Certificate (Certification Preparation): This plan is appropriate for students who are seeking reading specialist certification only. In this option, students are required to complete 24 graduate credits. California University of Pennsylvania does not award certification. Those completing this program will be awarded a certificate from California University of Pennsylvania. This certificate does not relate to certification or licensure. To earn certification, those completing this program must apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which grants certification.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires all reading specialists to have 9 credits of special education and 3 credits of English as a second language. Therefore, if a student entering the reading specialist program does not have those courses in their undergraduate transcript, those credits must be earned prior to applying for the reading specialist certification through the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Delivery Mode

All courses are delivered online, except for the clinical practicum experience, which takes place on campus during a five-and-a-half week summer reading practicum.

Accreditation

The reading specialist program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP, formerly NCATE) and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education; the reading specialist program is nationally recognized by the International Literacy Association (ILA). 

Curriculum - Master of Education: Reading Specialist

Course Credits
RES 800  Methods of Research 3
RSP 700  Foundations of Literacy: Theory and Instruction 3
RSP 702  Literacy Assessment and Instruction 3
RSP 703  Practicum I: Assessment 3
RSP 704  Practicum II: Instruction 3
RSP 705  Psychology of Reading 3
RSP 706  Literacy Leadership 3
RSP 707  Creating and Fostering Literate Environments 3
RSP 708  Literacy Development for English Language Learners 3
RSP 734  Content Area Reading 3
Total 30

Curriculum - Reading Specialist Certificate

Course Credits
RSP 700  Foundations of Literacy: Theory and Instruction 3
RSP 702  Literacy Assessment and Instruction 3
RSP 703  Practicum I: Assessment 3
RSP 704  Practicum II: Instruction 3
RSP 705  Psychology of Reading 3
RSP 706  Literacy Leadership 3
RSP 707  Creating and Fostering Literate Environments 3
RSP 734  Content Area Reading 3
Total 24

Advisement

Students in the reading specialist program receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator. Each student is assigned to an academic adviser from the time they are accepted into the program of study. Advisers work with students to discuss, monitor and provide advisement as it relates to their program of study.

Program Website

For Additional Information

Email: gradschool@calu.edu
Phone: 724-938-4187

Program Coordinator

Diane Fine,  Ed.D., M.A. West Virginia University, M.Ed., California University of Pennsylvania, B.A. West Virginia Wesleyan College, Assistant Professor

Email: fine@calu.edu
Phone: 724-938-4495

Program Faculty

Holly Diehl, Ed.D. (West Virginia University), M.A. (Frostburg State University), B.S. (West Virginia University), Associate Professor; specializes in Curriculum and Instruction

Rebecca Maddas, D.Ed. (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), M.Ed., B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania), Assistant Professor; specializes in Curriculum, Instruction and Supervision

Diane Nettles, Ph.D., M.Ed., B.S. (University of South Florida), Professor; specializes in Curriculum and Instruction

Christine Peterson
, Ed.D. (West Virginia University), M.S. (Johns Hopkins University), B.S. Elementary (Edinboro University), Associate Professor; specializes in Instructional Technology and English as a Second Language

For faculty bios, visit: www.calu.edu/academics/faculty/index.htm.