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MSEd Reading Specialist

You can be the teacher that makes a difference in your student’s ability to read.

The Reading Specialist program at Shenandoah University prepares caring, reflective professionals to be researchers of learning who can apply their academic training and skills to the needs of our diverse society. Our program prepares you to connect theory to practice, and to create classrooms and school communities where students learn in meaningful ways. The program offers you a balanced preparation in the vitally important areas of assessment, reading instruction, literature, research and the use of educational technology.

What Our Program Offers You

What our students learn/Skills you will acquire

The Master of Science in Education: Reading Specialist degree is designed to meet the current and changing literacy needs of school systems in the region. The program core includes courses whose content satisfies the competencies required by the Virginia Department of Education for K-12 Reading Specialist licensure.

Our academically oriented and rigorous graduate program follows the guidelines of the Standards for Reading Specialists (2010) developed by the International Reading Association. The guidelines delineate five standards in the Content Knowledge Base and the Pedagogical Knowledge Base involving multiple elements of philosophical and theoretical constructs. It’s designed to connect theory and practice to enable you to serve the needs of a diverse student population.

Our program includes the examination of foundations, current contexts and future possibilities of the professions. In addition to course requirements, you’ll experience internships and field research. We’ll encourage you to develop a proactive, problem-centered philosophy of practice. Our graduates are knowledge-driven, competent decision-makers and practitioners whose thinking is informed by reflective practice, and who are prepared to be caring, capable and thoughtful professionals.

What kind of issues/problems does this major prepare you to solve?

Research findings show a strong correlation between reading proficiency and academic success at all ages, from the primary school right through to university level. Throughout Virginia, reading teachers need to constantly adapt to meet the individualized needs of students. Shenandoah continually incorporates new techniques and strategies to accommodate a wide variety of reading problems, and the program is always evolving. The growing demand for literacy education in the community is resulting in a heightened interest among teachers and school administrators to continue their higher education careers at Shenandoah, and gain licensure as Reading Specialists.

What makes our program unique? 

The program’s cohort system enables you to pursue a master’s degree in teaching in a convenient, economic and timely manner. Enhance your individual capabilities, acquire knowledge and skills, collaborate and conduct action research to examine educational issues, test hypotheses and recommend solutions and further studies.

Our program includes hybrid or blended courses that utilize pertinent technology, including BlackBoard, Smartboard, Softchalk and the Internet. You’ll attend classes 50 percent of the time, and spend the remainder gaining hands-on experience in schools or other locations assessing and tutoring children.

Course Requirements

The Reading Specialist Program operates on a trimester (three-term) system, with an additional Summer II session, and candidates attend evening classes from August through the end of July. Candidates complete the required number of Reading courses, and then are able to select several electives in related areas of interest. A Professional Studies Certificate in Reading, with licensure, is available for teachers who already have a master’s degree. Candidates will:

  • Develop a plan of study with an advisor upon filing for matriculation.
  • Complete no more than 9 credits of course work toward the degree before matriculation.
  • Complete prescribed course work and other requirements within six years of matriculation.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA average of 3.0 or better with no more than two grades below B-.
RDG 523 Foundations of Reading Instruction Fall 3
RDG 533 Reading in the Content Areas Spring 3
RDG 524 Analysis & Remedial Techniques in Reading Summer I 3
RDG 530 Clinical Diagnosis & Treatment of Reading Difficulties Summer II 3
RDG 535 Language Development Fall 3
RDG 602 Organization & Supervision of the Reading Program Spring 3
RST 678 Action Research I Summer I 3
RDG 680 Graduate Reading Seminar Summer II 3
The following courses can be taken at any time during the program.
EDU 585 Educational Technology Applications TBD 3
Two electives of 3 credits each: Selected from areas such as Administration, Diversity, English, Measurement, Reading, Special Education, or TESOL.
    Total 33




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