Contact Information

Graduate Admissions

Graduate Admissions Office
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
Phone: 717-477-1213
Fax: 717-477-4016

Graduate Dean's Office

The School of Graduate Studies
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA  17257
Phone: 717-477-1148​ 


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Master of Education with Specialization in Reading

Master of Education Specializing in Reading

The Reading Program

Shippensburg University provides a graduate program leading to the Master of Education degree with specialization in reading is offered for fully certified elementary and secondary school teachers. A master's degree also certifies the graduate as a reading specialist.

Our reading master’s program combines fieldwork with foundational classes to prepare students for careers in a variety of settings. Many PA graduate programs for reading focus on one category and teaching area. Our reading program requires students to complete three different status categories from admission to graduation.

Faculty prepare students throughout each category of our reading master’s degree program. Students benefit from a well-rounded foundation and practicum experience that will help them develop their teaching skills.

Reading Admissions Requirements

Applicants who have elementary or secondary certification are required to complete a minimum of 33 semester hour credits of graduate work for the Master of Education degree with specialization in reading. Additional course work may be required due to deficiencies in undergraduate preparation. Background courses that may be required (but are not limited to) include: Children's Literature; Teaching of Reading; and a Language Arts. Please note: Background courses are in addition to graduate program requirements and must be completed prior to enrollment in any graduate reading courses. All students will be admitted on an initial basis. Students will be fully admitted to the program when they successfully complete the initial requirements.

To be considered for admission, applicants must provide the following:

  • Graduate admission application
  • Transcripts of all undergraduate/graduate work
  • GPA of 3.0 on previous undergraduate course work
  • Three letters of reference from educators in the field
  • Supplementary Data Form

Upon receipt of all required documentation, a member of the reading faculty from the Department of Teacher Education will interview candidates. Potential students will not be interviewed if they have not submitted all the documentation required for initial admission. At the time of the interview, a planning sheet outlining a program of courses will be developed. This planning sheet, approved by the student's advisor (interviewer), must be completed and placed on file in the Department of Teacher Education.

Please print the forms from the following links:

Reading Degree Requirements

The program requires that candidates pass through various status categories from admission to graduation. The status categories are: 1) Foundational Status, 2) Practicum Status, and 3) Program Completion.

Foundation Status is awarded to candidates who successfully complete the following:

  • Completed application through the admissions office (including three letters of reference, transcripts (3.0 GPA required in previous coursework), evidence of teaching certificate and all clearances.
  • Undergraduate degree or certification in elementary education from a regionally accredited university.
  • Completion of background courses for candidates not certified in elementary education from an accredited university.
  • Successful completion of an interview with a designated reading faculty member who will act as advisor.

Foundation Status Requirements (21 credits)

  • Meet "standard expectations" in professional dispositions
  • Complete efolio and present to advisor for review
  • Maintain GPA of 3.0
  • Complete the following courses with a "B" or higher:
    • EEC423 Effective Instructional Strategies for Children with Exceptionalities
    • EEC483 Assessing Children with Exceptionalities
    • RDG411 ELL: Diversity’s Impact on Literacy Instruction in a Standards Aligned System
    • RDG524 English Language Learners: Diversity's Impact on Literacy Instruction
    • TCH600 Research
    • RDG528 Foundations of Literacy Development
    • RDG529 Reading and Reasoning Beyond the Primary Grade
    • RDG537 Brain Based Strategies for Literacy Learners Experiencing Difficulty

Practicum Status is awarded to candidates following the completion of all Foundational Status Requirements.

Practicum Status Requirements (15 credits)

  • Maintain GPA of 3.0
  • Passing score on Praxis exam
  • Resubmit efolio and resend to advisor
  • Complete the following courses with a "B" or higher:
    • RDG520 Tutoring Secondary Students
    • RDG532 Diagnosis and Assessment
    • RDG533 Advanced Diagnosis and Assessment
    • RDG534 Practicum in Reading
    • RDG535 Seminar in Language, Literacy and Reading

Program Completion Status

Awarded to candidates following the completion of all Practicum Status.

Praxis Exam

The Praxis Reading Specialist exam must be passed before graduation and/or certification as a reading specialist. It is recommended that this exam be taken during RDG535 Seminar in Literacy, Language and Reading.

Related Programs

Reading Supervisor

For information concerning the post-master's degree program leading to Pennsylvania certification as a Reading Supervisor, refer to the Educational Leadership & Special Education Department.

Reading Recovery

Reading Recovery is an early intervention program used in school districts for at-risk first grade students. The program helps to develop early reading/writing skills and to build successful literacy experiences. Shippensburg University is the State Site for Reading Recovery. The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Ohio State University, and the National Diffusion Network collaborated in the development and funding of this Site.

Post-Master's Degree: Teacher Leader Training

The Teacher Leader Training program is a two-semester 18-credit post-master's program:

Fall Semester

  • RDG554 Practicum in Reading
  • RDG601 Language Development Theory
  • RDG607 Reading Recovery Training for Teachers I

Spring Semester

  • RDG555 Practicum in Assessment
  • RDG602 Reading Thoughts and Processes
  • RDG608 Reading Recovery Training for Teachers II

Interested persons must submit an application (available from the College of Education and Human Services) and be accepted as a Teacher Leader participant. Participants must be sponsored by a school district or Intermediate Unit Consortium. Included with the training program and the required course work for two semesters, participants will be expected to:

  • Complete extensive fieldwork
  • Work individually with four Reading Recovery children each day
  • Demonstrate teaching in front of a one-way observation window with at least three Reading Recovery children
  • Lead a seminar of Reading Recovery teachers to learn the techniques of a Teacher Leader
  • Perform arranged special collaborative activities designed to help the Teacher Leader candidate explore the full role of the Teacher Leader
  • Collect and maintain data on children in accordance with guidelines for evaluation

All course work must be taken during one academic year.

Specific information on the Teacher Leader program and the application process can be obtained by contacting Dr. Janet Bufalino, Site Coordinator for Reading Recovery, College of Education and Human Services, at (717) 477-1373.

Post-Baccalaureate Degree: Teacher Training

The Reading Recovery Teacher Training program is a 6-credit graduate program, which includes one 3-credit course in the fall semester and one 3-credit course in the spring semester. These courses are taught through approved teacher training sites by Teacher Leaders in school-based sites. Interested individuals should contact the Office of the Dean of Education and Human Services at (717) 477-1373 for information on teacher training sites.