Literacy with PDE Reading Specialist Certification

Take the lead in closing the achievement gap.

Data from National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) shows that on average, 50 percent of children are at or below the basic level of literacy proficiency required for their grade area. Enroll in Wilkes University's 30-credit online master's degree in literacy with Pa. Reading Specialist certification to positively impact all students by teaching them to be confident and careful readers while advancing your career.

Program Snapshot

Program Type Format Credit Hours
Master's Degree Online 30

Why Study Literacy at Wilkes?

Literacy is every teacher’s responsibility, and Wilkes University offers a comprehensive program that addresses the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary for effective literacy instruction and program planning.

The International Literacy Association (ILA) notes that illiteracy affects not only the daily life of those who experience it, but also society as a whole. If you’re passionate about helping others to read, write, listen, understand, and communicate effectively, a master’s degree in literacy can open doors for you and your students.

By combining theory and application, you will learn how to assess, diagnose and teach students to be active listeners, speakers, readers and writers. In addition, you will leave the program with the most current research-based tools necessary to facilitate literacy initiatives in your own school district.

Curriculum      Admission Requirements    Program Checklist

What Will You Learn as a Literacy Student?

  • You’ll learn what the science says about the teaching and learning of reading and how to apply these best practices in your classroom; how to design a curriculum that will meet the needs of diverse learners, particularly those who experience difficulty with literacy; and, how to utilize adult learning theory in order to initiate literacy initiatives within your classroom, school, district, and community.
  • You’ll take courses designed in response to the newest International Literacy Association (ILA) standards regarding the preparation of literacy professionals, with attention to 21st century literacies and brain-based research. In addition to the ILA standards, program courses are aligned with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).
  • You’ll explore courses and field experiences that are designed to ensure that you are prepared for the challenges you’ll face as a contemporary reading specialist and literacy leader.

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Program Highlights

Flexible Online Format

This program is conveniently conducted online with required field hours completed right where you reside. 130 field hours are embedded in the curriculum so you can apply what you learn to the classroom.

Clinical Experiences

In addition to a rigorous curriculum, this program includes opportunities for practicum/clinical experiences that allow for you to apply what you’ve learned about curriculum and instruction, diversity and equity, assessment and evaluation, and learners within the literacy environment.

Build Your Professional Skills

Graduates of our program not only understand literacy and deeply explore best practices in pedagogy, but they build organization and leadership skills that make them collaborative leaders in inclusive practices, assessment, and professional development within districts.

Make the Difference

Teaching literacy is so important today because on average, 50 percent of children are at or below the basic level of literacy proficiency required for their grade area. This program was designed to accommodate the working educator, and our close-knit community of teachers, staff and students is what makes the difference. 

The literacy master's program at Wilkes was the perfect balance of rigorous coursework, reflective discussions, and application of knowledge. I wanted my master's to be relatable and relevant to my current role as a secondary ELA teacher; this program provided that for me.

Katie Peachy '20

I loved being able to go at my own pace as far as selecting the amount of courses and moving ahead in the course work as I could.  I used the information I was learning immediately in my experiences teaching.

Carey Humes

Tuition & Aid

Graduate education tuition for the 2021-22 academic year is $522 per credit, or $1,566 per course. Deferment is available for employers who reimburse tuition and financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Careers & Outcomes

Those with master’s degrees in literacy can pursue a variety of career paths in supporting students with their reading and writing skills. Graduates often hold positions as reading specialists within K-12 districts. Other career paths include working in adult education, academic publishing and assessment, or within writing centers in higher education.

Job Titles: Literacy Specialist, Reading Specialist, Adult Education Instructor, Literacy Coach, Education Writer, Literacy Assessment Specialist, Literacy Curriculum Developer, Writing Center Coordinator, Educational Consultant

Pennsylvania Reading Specialist Certification

Upon successful completion of the master's degree curriculum, students may apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Reading Specialist certification. Candidates interested in the certification must hold a valid Pennsylvania Instructional I or II teaching certificate.

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