Reading Specialist

This graduate program prepares educators to meet the needs of a variety of literacy learners in grades PK-12. This program is suited to classroom teachers who seek to become literacy/reading specialists, teachers who want to provide appropriate instruction for the wide range of literacy/reading needs within the regular classroom, or teacher candidates seeking Instructional I certification.

Candidates may be admitted to the Reading Specialist program with or without Instructional I certification. Non-certified candidates will be able to complete Pennsylvania Instructional I Reading Specialist certification while pursuing this certification or the M.S. degree.

Learning Goals and Outcomes

  1. Candidates will demonstrate knowledge of major theoretical, conceptual, historical, and evidence-based foundations of literacy and language and the ways in which they interrelate.
  2. Candidates will design literacy curricula to meet the needs of a variety of literacy learners, especially those who experience difficulty with literacy.
  3. Candidates will design, implement, and evaluate small-group and individual evidence-based literacy instruction for learners, and collaborate with teachers to implement effective literacy practices.
  4. Candidates will understand, select, and use valid, reliable, fair, and appropriate assessment tools to inform instruction, evaluate interventions, and guide teachers in their understanding and use of assessment results.
  5. Candidates will strive to enact and advance equitable literacy teaching practices and policies at the classroom, school, district, and community levels.
  6. Candidates will demonstrate the ability to be reflective literacy professionals who apply their knowledge of adult learning to work collaboratively with colleagues and advocate on behalf of teachers, students, families, and communities.
  7. Candidates will complete supervised practicum experiences that include intervention work with students and working with their peers and experienced colleagues.

The M.S. degree requires a total of 30 credits, as follows:

Reading Component
EDU 646Language and Culture w/ Field3
EDU 671Writing in the Classroom3
EDU 700Psychology of Literacy3
EDU 701Assess & Instr in Liter K-33
EDU 702Assess & Instr in Liter 4-123
EDU 703Literacy Research3
EDU 704Plng & Org a Literacy Program3
EDU 705Literacy Practicum 16

 PDE Chapter 49 regulation courses are required if candidates have not been completed as part of the undergraduate program:

SPE 600Found & Current Issues: Sp Edu3
SPE 613Incl. Class Practices w/Field3
Along with EDU 646, the following courses lead to a Program Specialist Certificate in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). One or more of these courses may also be taken as electives.
EDU 710English Linguistics3
EDU 712Topics in Language Acquisition3
EDU 713Method Teach English Sec Lang3
EDU 714Intnshp ESL/Bilin Prog w/Field4

4+1 Program (Bachelor’s/Master’s Program)

The 4+1 program allows non-education and education majors at SJU to begin a master's degree as part of their undergraduate program.  Each of the teacher education 4+1 programs leads to PDE Instructional  Teaching Certification.  Undergraduate students from all disciplines who are interested in the 4+1 Reading program may take up to three graduate level courses (total of 9 credits) that will “double count” as elective undergraduate credits and as required credits in the graduate program.

4+1 Reading Specialist Program for SJU Education Majors (30 credits)

Education majors enrolled in certification programs in the Elementary/PK-4, Special Education, Double-Major Elementary/PK-4 and Special Education, Middle Grades, and Secondary Education programs may apply to a master’s program in Reading. Double-counted courses include:  EDU 671, EDU 700, and EDU 701 or 702. 

4+1 Reading Specialist Program for SJU Non-Education Majors (33 credits) 

Non-Education students enrolled in undergraduate programs in any major at SJU may apply to a master's program in Reading leading to PDE Instructional I Teaching Certification as a Reading Specialist PK-12. Double-counted courses include: EDU 646, EDU 671, EDU 700.

All candidates may elect to add an ESL program specialist certificate to their program of study.  All candidates must follow GPA requirements for PDE teaching certification and adhere to clearance guidelines applicable to certification students for their field experiences. Upon completion of the program, students must also complete Praxis testing requirements to be eligible for PDE instructional teaching certification. PDE does not require any Praxis tests for ESL program specialist certificate.