<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-TJCKC2" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden"></iframe> Reading Specialist Certification Program | Drexel Online

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  • Reading Specialist Online Certification Program

    The Reading Specialist Certification program aims to prepare 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 will learn effective reading strategies, and become exceptionally skilled and qualified to support students with reading needs as well as be able to provide leadership and coaching in the area of literacy to teachers and schools.

    Designed for teachers who already possess an Instructional I certificate in PA or another State, the program aims to help students understand how literacy is a meaning making process, to offer different ways of exploring children's responses to a variety of texts, to 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 Reading System® (WRS) Level I Certification.

    The WRS Level I Certificate will allow students to learn the intricacies of the English language, to teach a direct instruction multi-sensory language-based program, and to support students who need extra reading support. Students who have obtained a WRS Level I certificate within the past five years are eligible to transfer up to 10 credits towards the Reading Specialist Certification. Learn more about the WRS language program.

    Graduates of the Reading Specialist Certificate program will have the opportunity to become reading specialists, reading interventionists, literacy coaches, literacy mentors, literacy program directors, and literacy specialists working in a community-based literacy center.

    Program Features

    • Drexel University is the first institution to include the core WRS Level I courses as a part of the core requirements. Students will receive a WRS Level I certificate in addition to a PA Reading Specialist Certification.
    • 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's teacher education programs are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
    • Flexible, completely online degree program that fits easily into your busy work and personal schedule.
    • Credits transfer into the MS in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum program

    CAEP Accredited Provider

    The Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP) accredits Drexel University School of Education educator preparation programs. CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. Drexel University meets rigorous national standards for education preparation set by the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation.

    Archived Webinars

    State restrictions may apply to some programs.


    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    Required Courses  
    EDLS 550 Theories of Reading and Writing 3.0
    EDLS 555 Understanding Literacy Through Sociocultural Perspectives* 3.0
    EDLS 560 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas (7-12)* 3.0
    EDLS 565 Constructing Meaning Through Reading and Writing 3.0
    EDLS 570 Literacy and Evaluation* 3.0
    EDLS 575 Responding to Children's and Young Adult Literature 3.0
    EDLS 620 Applied Methods in Multisensory Reading Instruction 1.0
    EDLS 622 Basic Word Study I 3.0
    EDLS 623 Basic Word Study II 3.0
    EDLS 624 Multisensory Practicum I* 1.0
    EDLS 625 Multisensory Practicum II* 1.0
    EDLS 626 Multisensory Practicum III* 1.0
    EDLS 650 Designing a Literacy Program* 3.0
    Total Credits 31.0

    *Field experiences and current updated clearances required

    View Course Descriptions

    Admissions Criteria

    • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (graduate degree GPA will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA)
    • Current Teacher Certification

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
    • Two letters of recommendation (professional or academic)
    • Personal statement (800 - 1600 words) that will give the admissions committee a better understanding of:
      • Why you are choosing this particular program of study
      • Your plans upon completion of the degree
      • How your current work experience will enhance your experience in this program
    • Resume
    • Proof of Teacher Certification
    • Additional requirements for International Students


    The tuition rate for the academic year 0-1 is $0 per credit.

    For the academic year 2024-2025, students enrolled in an online graduate academic program will be charged a graduate online program fee of $125 per year.

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations
      • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
      • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
      • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
      • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
      • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.


    Academic Calendar

    2023-2024 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2023

    September 26, 2023

    December 9, 2023

    December 11, 2023

    December 16, 2023

    Winter 2024

    January 8, 2024

    March 16, 2024

    March 18, 2024

    March 23, 2024

    Spring 2024

    April 1, 2024

    June 8, 2024

    June 10, 2024

    June 15, 2024

    Summer 2024

    June 24, 2024

    August 31, 2024

    September 3, 2024

    September 7, 2024


    Apply for admission to Drexel University

    This program is not currently accepting new applicants.

    Previously enrolled at Drexel? Learn more about readmission.

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