Literacy Studies

This online certificate program provides you with a sequence of courses to enhance your ability to teach reading and writing in grades K-12. The program does not lead to state endorsement in reading, but it provides a strong foundation if you subsequently choose to seek such endorsement.

The online program is designed to meet the needs of:

General education and special education teachers seeking advanced training related to providing reading and language arts instruction to all students.

Program Specifics


Upon completion of these four reading courses, you will:

  • Use appropriate reading assessments to guide planning and to provide instruction
  • Describe and develop approaches that increase students’ understanding of vocabulary, phonics, and spelling
  • Experiment with various types of writing and theories of teaching writing, allowing students to gain knowledge, skills and processes necessary for the teaching of writing
  • Use tools that enable learners to comprehend texts and support the readers’ efforts to construct meaning from the text
  • Demonstrate how authentic materials can be used to enhance literacy instruction

Program assessment: Reading certificate portfolio

Program completers must possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that will enable them to plan and deliver instruction in literacy strategies beyond basic skills and to engage students in complex and interesting texts with increased comprehension. In order to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary for an effective reading instruction, students will prepare a Reading Portfolio.

The portfolio will be a compilation of evidence that demonstrates knowledge and expertise gained from the required courses and will address:

  • Assessment and diagnostic teaching
  • Reading and literature
  • Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Instruction
  • Writing

The portfolio will build over time and include artifacts, research, class materials, student-generated lesson plans, and reflections from program coursework and professional activities.

Pre-requisites: Prior completion of a bachelor’s degree is required for admissions to this certificate program.

Course requirements (12 credits):

  • RDNG 625: Survey of Effective Reading Methods
  • RDNG 640: Strategies for Teaching Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary
  • RDNG 643: Teaching Writing
  • RDNG 672: Reading and Study Skills in the Content Area

Further Degree Opportunities

Completion of this certificate provides a strong foundation for individuals who wish to continue their studies and complete the MEd in Reading Program as well as obtain the reading specialist endorsement. The degree program requires a total of 36 hours that incorporates the 12 hours identified above

The capstone project for the MEd in Reading Program is a 6 hour reading practicum and the presentation of the Reading Portfolio, which will be 33% complete at the end of the certificate program. State licensure for a reading specialist requires 3 years of teaching in which reading is a key component of instructional responsibilities and a 6-credit hour reading practicum.