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Reading Specialist

The Reading Specialist post-professional certificate provides a route to reading specialist endorsement for practicing educators who already hold a graduate degree in the field of education. The Virginia Department of Education requires that reading specialists have specific competencies in the areas of literacy assessment, instruction, intervention and coaching. The post-professional certificate provides graduates with the necessary competencies to obtain an endorsement to become a reading specialist in Virginia. 

Admission Criteria

The following admission requirements will apply to all applicants. All students must:

  • Submit a completed application and pay the application fee
  • Be a licensed teacher with three years of teaching experience or current school employment
  • Possess a graduate degree in an education-related field
  • Submit official transcripts for all coursework in higher education
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Submit a writing sample describing the applicant's purpose for pursuing a reading specialist endorsement, including short-term and long-term goals

Curriculum Requirements

The reading specialist endorsement through the Virginia Department of Education requires that students take course competencies in the areas of assessment and diagnostic teaching, communication, literacy instruction, writing, and leadership/coaching. Students seeking the reading specialist endorsement will take courses directly associated to these competencies.

The reading practicum is a required experience in a public setting that will allow students to practice the skills they have learned in their courses under the direction of a university supervisor. 

Required Courses - 24 credit hours

EDRD 624 - Leadership in Literacy: Administration, Supervision, and Coaching Credits: (3)
EDRD 630 - Teaching Reading in the Content Areas Credits: (3)
EDRD 641 - Assessment and Intervention for Language Development Credits: (3)
EDRD 688 - Foundation of Literacy Instruction Credits: (3)
EDRD 692 - Reading Diagnosis: Assessment to Inform Instruction Credits: (3)
EDRD 697 - Practicum: Diagnosis and Intervention in Literacy Credits: (6)
EDUC 670 - Basic Principles and Practices of Multicultural Education Credits: (3)

Practicum Requirement

Ninety clock hours of direct instruction with K-12 learners reading below grade level will be required for the six-credit hour practicum. Intervention planning and report-writing will take place in addition to the direct contact hours with K-12 learners reading below grade level. Since students in the certificate program are practicing skills learned in the program, the practicum requirement cannot be in their current position as a part of their employment and prior experience cannot be applied toward the ninety hour clock-hour requirement. A practicum performance assessment will be evaluated by the university supervisor. This assessment will be based on the student's assessment, intervention instruction and communication throughout the course of the practicum experience. If a student receives a grade of "C minus" or below for the practicum, the practicum will be repeated during the next available term to fulfill the practicum requirement.