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 Certification 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 Reading System® program, providing our students with in-depth knowledge of language structure, multisensory, and diagnostic instructional techniques for 2nd through 12 grade students and adults 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
To be admitted to the Reading Specialist program, students must 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.