MEd in Literacy, Reading Specialist Concentration

Program Advisor:
Dr. Carrie E. Hong
Phone: (973) 720-2130
Office: V4083

Program Description:

This concentration is for teachers who are concerned with the development of literacy in our schools. In seeking to establish an effective literacy program, the specialist in reading must be able to diagnose and correct various kinds of reading and writing problems, work cooperatively with school staff specialists as well as basic skills instructors and community resource people, counsel parents of children who have reading/writing problems, give help to and demonstrate for teachers and administrators, and organize and administer a total literacy program. Through course offerings and clinical experiences, the faculty helps prepare graduate students who are certified teachers to work professionally in the highly specialized field of teaching reading and writing to students. Graduates of this program may be certified as reading specialists (Pre-K through twelfth grade) and as teachers of reading (Pre-K through adult). Graduates are also qualified to work with college students and adults who have reading problems.

There are two options in the program. One is for candidates to take a combination of on-campus and online courses. The other option is for candidates to complete course work online, including 20 hours of reading practicum requirements at their respective schools.*

The program is designed to prepare graduate students who are certified teachers to work professionally in the highly specialized field of teaching and writing to P-12 students. Graduates are also qualified to work with college-level students and adults who are experiencing literacy problems. In addition, six credits in the core curriculum count toward meeting requirements for the 12-credit New Jersey Supervisory Certificate.

*A total of 20 clinic hours must be fulfilled before or after school hours with one or two students.

*Candidates, who want to complete the course work exclusively online, must contact the program director before being fully matriculated.

Admission Requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended. 
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a scale of 4.00.*
  • A copy of a CEAS or standard teaching license.**
  • A personal interview with the program director.

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  • For registration instructions, please click here.
  • For Graduate tuition information, please click here.

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Reading Specialist Certification Requirements:

  • M.Ed. in Reading or master's in related field
  • Two years of contractual, supervised classroom teaching experience (Please submit the Record of Professional Experience (ROPE) form which must be filled out by your employer documenting two years of successful educational experience).

A Reading Endorsement is also available for teachers with a masters degree. To learn more about the Reading Specialist Endorsement and the Supervisor Endorsement, click the link for each area below:

Career Opportunities and Job Announcements:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many courses are required for the Reading program?  

The masters degree (M. Ed in Literacy) is 33 credits (11 courses) and includes a thesis. The certification/endorsement program for candidates who already have a masters degree is 30 credits (10 courses) and no thesis research.  These are the major distinctions.

2.  If I already have a masters and want to enroll in the endorsement program, can I transfer any of my other graduate coursework?

If you have other graduate level reading/writing/literacy that are similar to those offered in our program you can transfer them. We accept up to 15 transfer credits (effective Fall 2016) from previous graduate course work, which credits earned within past six (6) years. You will need to have your transcript reviewed by the program director to determine which courses are acceptable before matriculation. 

3.  Could I apply for a summer semester?

Yes, you can apply for a summer semester and take a class over the summer. Check How to Apply:

4.  Do I need to reapply for this new program if I am already in another program at William Paterson University? 

Yes.  Once you complete your other program, you can transfer "reading" or "literacy" courses to this certification if they align with the courses in our program. You must submit an application form for the literacy programs.

5.  How much teaching experience do I need to get certified?

The State of New Jersey requires at least 2 years of teaching experience to obtain your Reading Specialist certification. That means you are the teacher of record for a total of 2 years.  You can start the program with less than two years of experience but you must meet that requirement before we can submit your certification application to the state.