M. Ed. in Literacy-Reading Specialist Certification (Grades K-12): Robert Morris University M. Ed. in Literacy-Reading Specialist Certification (Grades K-12) | Robert Morris University

Master of Education in Literacy

Reading Specialist Certification

This M.Ed. is a 37-credit program that provides candidates with the foundation to serve as a reading specialist in a K-12 setting and also earn a Master's of Education in Literacy degree.  A Reading Specialist Certification in Pennsylvania is acquired after completion of required coursework, a six-credit practicum and passing scores on the Reading Specialist Praxis exam. Students can then choose to continue their coursework to earn a master of education in literacy by taking an additional nine credits in research at the graduate level.

Robert Morris University is one of few universities that offer structured literacy courses as part of their advanced certificate training, and scholarship support is provided in our Reading Specialist program.

Scholarships up to 50% off of tuition as well as graduate assistantships are now available. The Reading Specialist program is a one-year certification program that meets the needs of working adults. Classes are offered in the evenings in eight-week sessions with an on-campus practicum. Students can pursue a Master’s in Literacy with an additional nine credits.

Cohorts begin each semester. For more information on the program and an application for the scholarship, contact Dr. Carianne Bernadowski at bernadowski@rmu.edu or 412-397-5463.  Applications for the fall  are due on July 1, 2018.

Program Format

The Master in Education in Literacy -- Reading Specialist Certification provides learning opportunities for classroom teachers to better manage resources in the classroom for students with literacy needs. The program offers certified teachers a K-12 certification that has both a theoretical and applied approach to working with students' literacy problems in the classroom. Candidates learn to assess reading difficulties, implement appropriate literacy instructions, and use data-driven instruction to plan school-wide literacy programs. Finally, this degree and certification also provide a diverse yet highly specialized background in education of great benefit to teachers.

The first 28 credits of coursework that will provide candidates with a comprehensive background in literacy meeting all requirements of the certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  To view all the course descriptions for the program click here.  

The program is designed to be completed in approximately 4 semesters, which includes one summer. Semester coursework takes place two evenings per week during two 8-week sessions each in the fall and spring terms; each class during these sessions is offered in a 4-hour block. Some of the courses will be offered as hybrid in terms of course delivery. Upon completion, students will have earned enough credits to apply for the Reading Specialist certification upon their successful comprehensive exam and reading specialist Praxis exam. To earn the Master of Education in Literacy students must complete an additional nine credits. 

The reading specialist program is offered at the RMU Moon Township Campus only.

All instructors in the RDSP courses are certified as Reading Specialists, hold terminal degrees from fully accredited universities, and all have extensive background work in reading in the public school system.

In order for a student to be in good academic standing in the program, the teacher candidate must have a minimum cumulative QPA of 3.00.  The handbook for the M.Ed. in Literacy and the Reading Specialist Certification is here.  The coordinator for the Reading Specialist Program is Dr. Carianne Bernadowski.  Click here to go to the website for Reading Horizons, the Foundation for Reading English.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Reading Specialist Certification are required to hold the Instructional I Certificate. In addition, applicants for the Master in Education in Literacy -- Reading Specialist Certification also need to have:

To apply, go to rmu.edu/gradapply. You can complete the application online with no application fee. Alternatively, you can download the graduate application PDF form, and then mail in the completed form with required documentation and $35 application fee.

Click to visit the RMU Office of Graduate Admissions website to find out about tuition and fees, financial aid, and how to apply for the program; or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions directly at graduateadmissions@rmu.edu or 800-762-0097.

For More Information, Contact:

Dr. Richard Fuller, D.Ed. 

Department Head, Education
Professor of Education
School of Education & Social Sciences

412-397-6029 Phone
412-397-6044 Fax
Nicholson Center 458
Moon Campus
More Info

New at RMU

Scholarships up to 50% off tuition, and graduate assistantships, for the Reading Specialist program

Literacy tutoring is also available for children through the Peirce Center for Structured Reading.