VCU Bulletins

Reading Specialist, Certificate in (Post-master’s certificate)

Christenbury, Dr. Leila
Chair, Department of Teaching and Learning
(804) 828-1305

Admission requirements summary

Reading Specialist, Certificate in (Post-master’s certificate)

of entry:


Mar 15
Nov 1
Mar 15


The certificate program is offered for individuals who aspire to become reading specialists. Applicants for the certificate program must hold a master’s degree in any specialty area related to education.

The certificate program is designed for students who wish to gain state licensure as a reading specialist in kindergarten through high school settings. Applicants are required to have at least three years of teaching experience in a reading-related field setting if they want to be recommended to the Department of Education for endorsement as a reading specialist in Virginia.

All requirements for admission to graduate school apply to applicants for the Post-master’s Certificate in Reading Specialist. All state department requirements for reading specialist (specifically the 12 hours of graduate or undergraduate work in selected areas) must be met.

Students are required to earn a minimum of 24 graduate hours beyond their current master’s degree, including the required reading courses, an approved reading selective and an elective in the School of Education that has been approved by the adviser. Advisers will recommend selective courses based upon student experience and goals. During the last semester of course work, students must complete a reading portfolio documenting their work in the program and related work experiences and pass the Virginia Reading Assessment. See adviser for specific due date. Candidates must receive a passing score on the Virginia Reading Assessment as a graduation requirement.

Persons completing the program are expected to demonstrate:

Student learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate content knowledge in reading education. Candidates demonstrate content knowledge in reading education as evidenced by the Reading for Virginia Educators/Virginia Reading Assessment scores and the Philosophy of Reading Paper.
  2. Effectively plan instruction. Candidates demonstrate that they can effectively plan reading and literacy instruction, or fulfill other professional responsibilities in reading education as evidenced by the Organizing and Implementing Reading Programs assessment.
  3. Effectively apply knowledge, skills and dispositions. Candidates demonstrate knowledge, skills and dispositions are applied effectively in practice as evidenced by the internship evaluation.
  4. Effect on student learning. Candidates demonstrate effects on student learning and provision of supportive learning environments for student learning as evidenced by the Internship Progress Report.
  5. Candidates demonstrate IRA standards proficiency. Candidates further demonstrate proficiency on IRA competencies as evidenced by the portfolio assessment and the Externship Action Research Report and Presentation assessment.
Required content courses
READ 600 Analysis and Correction of Reading Problems
READ 605 Organizing and Implementing Reading Programs
READ 700 Externship
TEDU 561 Reading Foundations: Sociological/Psychological Perspectives*
TEDU 562 Reading Instruction in the Content Areas*
TEDU 672 Internship
Approved literacy selective (select one of the following)
  READ 601 Psycholinguistics and Language Arts Curriculum (3)
  READ 602 Literacy for Adults (3)
  TEDU 500 Workshop in Education: topics in literacy (to be designated) (3)
  TEDU 525 Teaching Language Arts (3)
TEDU 526 Word Study (3)
  TEDU 528/ENGL 528 Children’s Literature II (3)
  TEDU 549 Diagnostic Reading in the Secondary School (3)
  TEDU /ENGL/LING 552 Teaching English as a Second Language (3)*
  TEDU 681 Investigations and Trends in Teaching
Electives should be used to ensure state regulations for the endorsement are met.

*These courses may also count as part of the ESL endorsement.

Endorsement in teaching English as a second language

Students who want to pursue an endorsement in teaching English as a second language may do so in conjunction with the M.Ed. in Reading. The endorsement requires 24 credit hours of study, none of which may be part of the master’s degree if TEDU 552 is selected as the restricted elective. Nine additional hours of ESL course work and six hours of a modern foreign language are also required. For additional information, see the school’s Added or add-on endorsements page in this Bulletin or contact Valerie Robnolt, Ph.D., at



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Last update: 9/5/2013

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