Our Reading Specialist Certificate program is a fully online, asynchronous, 16-credit program designed to boost your professional knowledge about reading instruction. It is for practicing teachers who already have a Master’s degree, or who are in the process of earning one. This certificate supports the development of advanced knowledge in literacy development, curriculum, instruction and assessment. Students engage in coursework and practicum experiences in the use of assessment, curricular, and instructional knowledge to determine and meet the literacy needs of all students. The requirements for the program are aligned with the Nevada State Reading Specialist Endorsement requirements.

Note: Students who are enrolled in this program solely may not qualify for Federal Financial Aid.

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Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes

The program objectives for this certificate program are aligned with the International Reading Association’s Standards for Reading Professionals. Graduates of the Reading Specialist Endorsement program will be able to:

  • Explain key components of literacy development, including: phonemic awareness, phonics knowledge, vocabulary knowledge, fluency, comprehension skills and strategies, and writing skills and strategies
  • Use research and theory to critique, design, and implement literacy curricula and evidence-based instruction for all learners in culturally responsive classrooms and schools
  • Evaluate and use valid, reliable, fair, and appropriate literacy assessment tools and data to measure student literacy achievement, make instructional decisions, and communicate with relevant stakeholders  
  • Evaluate leading research articles and policies on a wide variety of literacy topics and translate research to practice for a wide range of audiences, such as educators, administrators, parents, and community members 

Admission Requirements

Students applying to receive the endorsement only must have:

  • Completed a Master’s degree previously, or be concurrently completing a Master’s degree
  • 3 years of teaching experience, or will be completing their 3rd year by the end of the certificate program
  • Have a valid elementary or secondary teaching license

Priority consideration will be given to applicants who meet the Graduate School admission requirements and:

  • Have an overall cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better (on a 4-point scale) or 3.0 for the last half of the undergraduate degree
  • Submit TOEFL scores (international applicants only);
  • Complete the Graduate School application
  • Complete the Literacy Studies Program Application, including:
    • application form,
    • a signed disposition statement for the degree sought,
    • confidential letters of recommendation from two persons who can comment on your professional qualifications and/or ability to be successful in graduate work,
    • a brief (1-2 page) resume, and
    • a brief (1-3 page) typed essay describing your educational philosophy and purpose for pursuing the certificate.