May 29, 2024  
Fitchburg State University 2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Reading Specialist, Initial Licensure, Certificate Program

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Graduate Program Chair

Meg O’Hearn-Curran, Ph.D.

Graduate Curriculum Committee

Nermin Bayazit, PhD
Lyndsey Benharris, PhD
Anne Howard, PhD
Laurie Link, EdD
Margaret O’Hearn-Curran, PhD
Phillip Saisa, EdD

Robert Shapiro, PhD, BCBA-D
Annette Sullivan, EdD

Graduate Certificate, Reading Specialist

Program Objectives

This program defines the knowledge and skills necessary for effective assessment, instruction and leadership in the field of reading. It responds to the needs of school districts by preparing specialists in leadership roles, as well as equipping candidates with the requisite knowledge to meet the needs of students with a wide range of abilities.

This certificate program provides candidates who hold initial licenses in a related teaching area with a rigorous, research based curriculum, a range of assessment, and teaching and staff development opportunities. Candidates for this program already hold a master’s degree and are seeking preparation for the state licensure examination for initial licensure: reading specialist.

This program has been approved by CAEP, the International Literacy Association, and by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Admissions Standards and Criteria

To apply for enrollment in the Reading Specialist Certificate Program, a student must submit documents as outlined in the graduate admissions section as well as:

  • Initial Teaching License in Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School or Special Education
  • Master’s Degree
  • Applicants to graduate initial licensure teacher preparation programs must successfully complete the literacy and communication subtests of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) and submit passing scores as part of their application.

MAT/GRE/GMAT exams are not required

Program Prerequisites

  • An initial teaching license as outlined above
  • Literature for Children or Young Adults (or equivalent)
  • Child Growth and Development (or equivalent)
  • Principles and Practices of the Teaching of Reading (or equivalent)
  • In addition, students must successfully pass the MTEL Reading Specialist exam prior to the practicum experience.

Program of Study

Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement Course

Prior to completion of the program of study, initial licensure candidates are required to take the Fitchburg State University ESE-approved SEI course, if needed, in order to be endorsed for licensure.  Please note that SEI endorsement occurs following the completion of the program, not before. Please note that the DESE requires that the SEI course include at least 30 contact hours face-to-face to meet their requirements.

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