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Reading Specialist Certification Program

Drexel University School of Education - Online

The​ ​Reading​ ​Specialist​ ​Certification​ ​program​ at​ ​Drexel​ ​University’s​ ​School​ ​of Education​ ​in​ ​Philadelphia,​ ​Pennsylvania​ aims​ ​to​ ​prepare​ graduate​ students​ ​to​ ​work with​ ​individuals​ ​with​ ​a​ ​range​ ​of​ ​reading​ ​abilities​ ​and​ ​needs​ ​by​ ​introducing​ ​them​ ​to multisensory​ ​approaches​ ​to​ ​reading​ ​instruction,​ ​and​ ​to​ ​a​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​diagnostic​ ​tools for​ ​planning​ ​and​ ​evaluation​ ​purposes,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​to​ ​monitor​ ​student​ ​performance​ ​and growth.​ ​Students​ enrolled​ ​in​ ​the​ ​online​ ​Reading​ ​Specialist​ ​Certification​ ​program​ will learn​ ​effective​ ​reading​ ​strategies,​ ​and​ ​become​ ​exceptionally​ ​skilled​ ​and​ ​qualified​ ​to support​ ​students​ ​with​ ​reading​ ​needs​ ​and​ ​provide​ ​literacy​ ​leadership​ ​and​ ​coaching​ ​to teachers​ ​and​ ​schools.

How ​to ​Become ​a ​Reading ​Specialist  

Drexel's Reading Specialist Certiciation program is a 31-credit program that can be completed in about 15 months. In addition to completing the 8 core courses that meet PA Department of Education’s requirements for professional competencies for Reading Specialists in training, the program also requires 5 core courses from the Wilson Multisensory Reading System program, providing our students with in-depth knowledge of language structure, multisensory, and diagnostic instructional techniques for 2nd through 12 grade students who need more intensive support in reading or have language-based disabilities.

For PA Reading Specialist certification, students must complete the PA Praxis exam Reading Specialist (Test Code #5301/0301) with passing score of 164. Graduates​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Reading​ ​Specialist​ ​Certificate​ ​program​ ​who​ ​have​ ​passed​ ​the appropriate​ ​Praxis​ ​exam​ ​and​ ​received​ ​the​ ​PA​ ​Reading​ ​Specialist​ ​add-on​ ​state certification​ ​will​ ​have​ ​the​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​become​ ​reading​ ​specialists,​ ​reading interventionists,​ ​literacy​ ​coaches,​ ​literacy​ ​mentors,​ ​literacy​ ​program​ ​directors, reading​ ​teachers,​ and​ ​literacy​ ​specialists​ ​working​ ​in​ ​a​ ​community-based​ ​literacy center.

Reading ​Specialist ​Certification ​Eligibility ​and ​Admission Requirements

Designed​ ​for​ ​teachers​ and​ ​education​ ​professionals​ who​ ​already​ ​possess​ ​an Instructional​ ​I​ ​certificate​ ​in​ ​PA​ ​or​ ​another​ ​state,​ ​the​ online​ Reading​ ​Specialist program​ ​aims​ ​to​ ​help​ ​graduate​ ​students​:

  • Understand​ ​how​ ​literacy​ ​is​ ​a​ ​meaning​ ​making​ ​process
  • Offer​ ​different​ ​ways​ ​of​ ​exploring​ ​children's​ ​responses​ ​to​ ​a​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​texts
  • Enrich​ ​reading​ ​and​ ​writing​ ​in​ ​content​ ​area​ ​classrooms;​ ​and​ ​to​ ​teach​ ​them​ ​how to​ ​incorporate​ ​research-based​ ​approaches

Students​ ​will​ ​graduate​ ​with​ ​a​ ​Reading​ ​Specialist​ ​Certification,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​a WILSON®​ ​Level​ ​I​ ​certificate.​ ​The​ ​WILSON®​ ​Level​ ​I​ ​certificate​ ​will​ ​allow​ students:

  • To​ ​learn​ ​the​ ​intricacies​ ​of​ ​the​ ​English​ ​language
  • To​ ​teach​ ​a​ ​direct​ ​instruction​ ​multisensory​ ​language-based​ ​program
  • To​ ​support​ ​students​ ​who​ ​need​ ​extra​ ​reading​ ​assistance

Students​ ​who​ ​have​ ​obtained​ ​a​ ​WILSON®​ ​Level​ ​I​ ​certificate​ ​within​ ​the​ ​past​ ​five​ ​years are​ ​eligible​ ​to​ ​transfer​ ​up​ ​to​ ​10​ ​credits​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​Reading​ ​Specialist​ ​Certification.

Reading ​Specialist ​Certification ​Features ​& Program ​Benefits

Drexel​ ​University​ ​is​ ​one​ ​of​ ​a​ ​few​ ​select​ ​universities​ ​to​ ​offer​ ​WILSON®​ ​Level​ ​I courses​ ​as​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​core​ ​requirements.​ ​Students​ ​will​ ​receive​ ​a​ ​Level​ ​I certificate​ ​from​ ​WILSON®​ ​in​ ​addition​ ​to​ ​a​ Pennsylvania​ ​Reading​ ​Specialist Certification.

  • Learn​ ​from​ ​highly​ ​qualified​ ​faculty​ ​who​ ​have​ ​expertise​ ​in​ ​online​ ​teaching​ ​and are​ ​practitioner-scholars​ ​in​ ​the​ ​field​ ​of​ ​literacy.
  • Fully​ ​accredited​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Middle​ ​States​ ​Commission​ ​on​ ​Higher​ ​Education. Drexel​ ​University's​ ​teacher​ ​education​ and​ ​reading​ ​specialist​ programs​ ​are approved​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Pennsylvania​ ​Department​ ​of​ ​Education.
  • Flexible,​ ​completely​ ​online​ reading​ ​specialist​ degree​ ​program​ ​that​ ​fits​ ​easily into​ ​your​ ​busy​ ​work​ ​and​ ​personal​ ​schedule.
  • The​ ​Reading​ ​Specialist​ ​program​ ​is​ ​financial​ ​aid​ ​eligible.
  • Credits​ ​are​ ​eligible​ ​for​ ​transfer​ ​into​ ​the​ MS​ ​in​ ​Teaching,​ ​Learning,​ ​and Curriculum​ ​program​.
  • Course​ ​descriptions​ ​may​ ​be​ ​found​ ​in​ ​the​ Drexel​ ​University​ ​Course​ ​Catalog.

How ​to ​Apply ​to ​the ​Reading ​Specialist ​Certification Program

The Reading Specialist certification program is offered 100% online. You can get started by filling out the Drexel Online application.