Reading Education – Certificate and MEd

**This program is on a temporary hiatus and is not accepting new candidates at this time. This program is undergoing an exciting reimagining process and will relaunch in summer 2025. Please consider joining the program at that time. For questions, contact our admissions team at soeinfo@pitt.edu​​**

Are you a current teacher who wants to better support all readers in your classroom?

The School of Education offers preparation that leads to certification as a Reading Specialist (K-12) from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

At Pitt, you can earn a standalone Reading Specialist Certificate (24 credits) or combine it with a Master of Education in Reading Education for an additional six credits (30 credits total).

We provide candidates with opportunities to build specialized knowledge, engage in principled practice in supervised settings, and prepare for leadership roles in schools and school districts.

Coursework is completed in a blended format of on-campus and online study that is ideal for working professionals.

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Program Facts

Degree Types

Reading Specialist Certificate
Master of Education in Reading Education

Credit Hours

24 - 30 credits

Format

Hybrid Online

Time Commitment

Full-time or Part-Time

Duration

1 year (full-time students)
2-3 years (part-time students)

Term of Enrollment

Fall, Spring, and Summer

Application Deadline

Rolling admissions (no deadline)

Admissions Requirements

Must be licensed teacher
No GRE required

Program Overview

Two Pathways

At Pitt, you can earn a standalone Reading Specialist Certificate (24 credits) or combine it with a Master of Education in Reading Education for an additional six credits (30 credits total).

Learning Objectives

The program addresses the International Literacy Association’s Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals (2017) in the areas of:

  • Foundational Knowledge
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Diversity
  • Literate Environment
  • Professional Learning and Leadership
Hybrid Format

Coursework is completed in a blended format of on-campus and online study that is convenient for working teachers.

Get Certified

Upon completion of the program and a passing score on the Praxis exam, candidates are eligible to earn the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Reading Specialist Certificate. This program provides candidates with the PDE-required 24 post-baccalaureate credits to earn the Level II teaching certificate.

Stipend Available

Candidates have the option to participate in a year-long internship in a local school district that provides participants with a tax-free, tuition stipend.

Curriculum

Certificate-Only

This 24-credit program provides the Reading Specialist graduate Certificate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Education.

The curriculum is fully aligned with the standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Education for the K-12 Reading Specialist certification.

A minimum of 24 credit hours are required for this program.

  • TLL 2203 – LANGUAGE AND LANGUAGE SYSTEMS
  • TLL 2211 – COMPREHENSION AND VOCABULARY
  • TLL 2216 – LITERACY ASSESSMENTS AND INTERVENTION MODELS
  • TLL 2217 – LITERACY PRACTICUM WITH ELEMENTARY STUDENTS
  • TLL 2219 – DISCIPLINARY LITERACY
  • TLL 2218 – LITERACY PRACTICUM WITH ADOLESCENT STUDENTS
  • TLL 2243 – THEORY & PRAC IN TCHNG WRITING
  • TLL 2281 – LEADERSHIP SCHOOL LITERACY PROGM

MEd and Certificate

This 30-credit program provides students with two advanced credentials: a Master of Education (MEd) in Reading Education and the Reading Specialist Certificate of Advanced Study (K-12).

The curriculum is fully aligned with the standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Education for the K-12 Reading Specialist certification.

Additionally, there is a six-credit sequence of research courses that allow students to study their own practice as educators and advance their knowledge in the field of reading education.

Students must complete 30 credits for this program. In addition to the 24 credits required for the certificate, they complete 6 credits in a research-focused area.

  • TLL 2203 – LANGUAGE AND LANGUAGE SYSTEMS
  • TLL 2211 – COMPREHENSION AND VOCABULARY
  • TLL 2216 – LITERACY ASSESSMENTS AND INTERVENTION MODELS
  • TLL 2217 – LITERACY PRACTICUM WITH ELEMENTARY STUDENTS
  • TLL 2219 – DISCIPLINARY LITERACY
  • TLL 2218 – LITERACY PRACTICUM WITH ADOLESCENT STUDENTS
  • TLL 2243 – THEORY & PRAC IN TCHNG WRITING
  • TLL 2281 – LEADERSHIP SCHOOL LITERACY PROGM
  • TLL 2405 – INTRODUCTION TO ACTION RESEARCH METHODS or
  • EDUC 2201 – INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
  • TLL 2290 – RESEARCH SEMINR FOR MED STUDENTS

Prerequisites

1. All applicants must have a current teaching certificate. 

2. Students must take the following courses as prerequisites:

  • Teaching of Reading OR Language Arts (3 credits)
  • Human Development OR Educational Psychology (3 credits)
  • Children’s or Adolescent Literature (3 credits)
  • Teaching English Language Learners (3 credits)
  • Foundations of Special Education (3 credits)
  • Students with Disabilities in the Classroom – Elementary or Secondary (3 credits)
  • Literacy Assessment and Instruction for Children with Disabilities in Inclusive Settings (3 credits)

3. From the list above, the following courses may be taken as electives throughout the course of the program if they have not been taken as prerequisites:

  • Teaching of English Language Learners (3 credits)
  • Foundations of Special Education (3 credits)
  • Students with Disabilities – Elementary or Secondary (3 credits)
  • Literacy Assessment and Instruction (3 credits)

Upcoming Info Sessions

General Info Session (Virtual)

June 3, 2024 | Noon-1 PM

Register now

Career Pathways

The majority of candidates pursue PreK-12 teaching positions as a reading specialist, literacy coach, or classroom teacher.  In addition, some candidates enter Ed.D. or Ph.D. programs in the field of education or educational leadership.