Reading Instruction

Enhance your skills in teaching reading across the curriculum!

The coursework for the Reading Instruction degree and certificate program will prepare teachers to support individual students, classroom teachers, and the general reading program in the school. This program includes a practicum where the participant works with an individual student and focuses on the reading program in the school.

This programs leads to MSDE certification as a reading specialist. Certification as a Reading Specialist requires three years satisfactory teaching experience and completion of the required 3-credit introduction or survey special education course.

Program Options Available for:

  • Master of Education degree (36-39 credits) or
  • Professional Development Certificate (24 credits)

Degree requirements

This 36-credit graduate program includes a minimum of 15 credits in the core courses, 12 credits in reading instruction, three credits in action research, six credits in clinical courses, and three credits in an elective. 12 credits count towards the reading teacher endorsement. The 39-credit degree leads to Reading Specialist certification.

Core courses

ED 601 – Theories of Development: A Lifespan Perspective (3 credits)

ED 605 – Research Methods (3 credits)

ED 639 – Psychological and Linguistic Foundations of Reading (3 credits)

Select two courses (6 credits)

ED 602 – Social and Psychological Forces Affecting Youth (3 credits)

ED 603 – Personality Development and Self-Esteem (3 credits)

ED 604 – Contemporary Issues in Education (3 credits)

Action Research

ED 606 – Action Research/Special Project (3 credits)

Reading Instruction

ED 625 – Strategies and Resources in Teaching Reading (3 credits)

ED 626 – Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties (3 credits)

ED 637 – Practicum Part I, Reading Diagnosis and Instruction (3 credits)

ED 635 – Practicum Part II, Role of the Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach (3 credits)

Clinical Courses

ED 651 – Educating for Character (1.5 credits)

ED 652 – Mediation of Conflict (1.5 credits)

ED 636 – Overview of Intervention Strategies (1.5 credits)

Select two courses (3 credits)

ED 638A – Special Project Seminar in Reading Interventions: Word Identification (1.5 credits)

ED 638B – Special Project Seminar in Reading Intervention: Comprehension (1.5 credits)

ED 638C – Special Project Seminar in Reading Intervention: Vocabulary (1.5 credits)

ED 647A – Remedial Reading Techniques for Students with Severe Reading Difficulties (1.5 credits)


ED 672 – Assessing Needs and Evaluating Progress (3 credits)

Specialization Standards

Standard 1: Foundational Knowledge

Candidates demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical, historical, and evidence-based foundations of literacy and language and the ways in which they interrelate and the role of literacy professionals in schools.

Standard 2: Curriculum and Instruction

Candidates use foundational knowledge to critique and implement literacy curricula to meet the needs of all learners and to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based literacy instruction for all learners.

Standard 3: Assessment and Evaluation

Candidates understand, select, and use valid, reliable, fair and appropriate assessment tools to screen, diagnose, and measure student literacy achievement; inform instruction and evaluate interventions; participate in professional learning and experiences; explain assessment results and advocate for appropriate literacy practices to relevant stakeholders.

Standard 4: Diversity and Equity

Candidates demonstrate knowledge of research, relevant theories, pedagogies, essential concepts of diversity and equity; demonstrate and provide opportunities for understanding all forms of diversity as central to students’ identities; create classrooms and schools that are inclusive and affirming; advocate for equity at school, district, and community levels.

Standard 5: Learners and the Literacy Environment

Candidates meet the developmental needs of all learners and collaborate with school personnel to use a variety of print and digital materials to engage and motivate all learners; integrate digital technologies in appropriate, safe, and effective ways; foster a positive climate that supports a literacy-rich learning environment.

Standard 6: Professional Learning and Leadership

Candidates recognize the importance of, participate in, and facilitate ongoing professional learning as part of career-long leadership roles and responsibilities.

Standard 7: Practicum/Clinical Experiences (for specialized literacy professionals only)

Candidates apply theory and best practice in multiple supervised practicum/clinical experiences