The most common master's program for reading specialists is a master's degree in education with a literacy education emphasis. Students in these programs develop knowledge in language acquisition, language processes and reading instruction. Additionally, students are prepared to dissect and address the causes of reading difficulties. Program specializations may include reading education and literacy education.
Applicants should have a current teaching certificate and experience in the field. Graduates of the program are not eligible for a reading specialist designation until they have completed three years of teaching experience. Most schools have a minimum GPA requirement as an admissions standard, and certain schools may require minimum scores on graduate entrance exams.
Master's Degree in Education with a Literacy Education Concentration
While many students complete the program while teaching, those who have little to no experience are required to complete an internship with a local school or school district. Didactic classes focus on the theoretical techniques of literacy development. Courses in this field include:
- Literacy assessment and research methods
- Written and oral language development
- Foundations of reading instruction
- Literature for children
- Language structures
- Effective reading programs
Career Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that jobs for elementary, middle and high school teachers were expected to increase 3-4% from 2018-2028. The median salary for reading specialists as of 2019 was $51,983, according to PayScale.com.
Graduates of the program are not eligible for a reading specialist designation until they have completed three years of teaching experience. Continuing education is usually required to maintain teaching certification and reading specialist certification. Upon receiving certification, teachers may continue taking post-graduate courses in order to meet continuing education requirements. This ensures they understand new teaching trends, developments and technologies in the field.
Master's programs for reading specialists are typically designed for certified teachers with some teaching experience. These programs typically cover reading instruction and language development, and they can prepare students for reading specialist certification.