Master's degree programs for reading specialists, which are usually offered as Master of Education (M. Ed.) degrees, provide advanced instruction in the developmental processes that take place when students are learning to read. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in education and some teaching experience to begin a M.Ed. program for aspiring reading specialists. Programs are offered in a variety of formats, including part-time and online distance learning.
Master's Degree Programs for Reading Specialists
Master's students in these programs learn how to assess reading ability, teach reading skills, and support struggling readers. They are also trained to provide a variety of services, including reading curriculum development, teacher instruction, and one-on-one instruction for students who have difficulty reading. Common courses in these programs include:
- Language development
- Reading and cognition
- Reading instruction
- Reading assessment
- Supporting readers
Career Outlook and Salary Information
Employment for kindergarten and elementary school teachers is expected to increase approximately 3% between 2018 and 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2018, the mean salary for kindergarten teachers was $58,370 per year. For elementary school teachers, the mean salary was $62,200 per year.
All teachers must be licensed by the state, but those who complete a reading specialist program are generally eligible for a special endorsement. Additionally, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) sponsors a certification program for reading specialists. NCATE and the International Reading Association sponsor continuing education opportunities that are necessary for periodic re-certification.
In summary, graduates with a M.Ed. have the training they need to improve overall literacy within schools and districts by working a reading specialists.