Shippensburg University offers a graduate program leading to the Master of Education degree with specialization in reading for fully certified elementary and secondary school teachers. This degree also certifies you as a reading specialist.
A master's in reading degree can be a path to a truly rewarding career. Literacy and reading specialists help people of diverse ages and backgrounds to more effectively read and communicate.
In addition to preparing candidates to teach reading/literacy, the program is nationally recognized by the International Literacy Association.
Faculty prepare you throughout the reading master's degree program. You'll benefit from a well-rounded program which involves a variety of practicum experiences that will help you develop your teaching skills.
A Reading Specialist degree gives you more options when planning your career in education, including:
- Elementary, middle school or secondary literacy coach (K-12 certification)
- English literacy development teacher
- Reading center positions
- Reading interventionist
- Developmental reading position in community colleges
The salary range for reading specialists in PA is $37,000 to $45,000.
Applicants who have elementary or secondary certification are required to complete a minimum of 30 semester hour credits of graduate work for the Master of Education degree with specialization in reading. Additional course work may be required if your undergraduate degree does not meet certain prerequisites for the program. A background course that may be required is Teaching of Reading.
NOTE: The background course is 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. You will be fully admitted to the program when you successfully complete the initial requirements. To be considered for admission, you 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
Once we receive your application materials, a member of the reading faculty from the Department of Teacher Education will interview candidates. You will not be interviewed if you 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 your advisor/interviewer, must be completed and placed on file in the Department of Teacher Education.
Please print and complete the following forms:
- Additional Department Information [PDF]
- Questionnaire [PDF] [Word Doc]
- Reference Form [PDF] [Word Doc]
The program requires candidates to pass through various status categories from admission to graduation. The status categories are: 1) Foundational Status, 2) Practicum Status, and 3) Program Completion.
See the Graduate Catalog for a complete list of courses and status category requirements. Once you have completed all of the status category requirements with advisor supervision, you will need to pass the Praxis Reading Specialist exam before graduation and/or certification as a reading specialist. We recommend you complete this exam while taking Seminar in Literacy, Language and Reading.
We also offer post-master's and post-baccalaureate training in 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 and Ohio State University collaborated to develop and fund this site located on Shippensburg's campus.
There are two levels of Reading Recovery Training: teacher leader training or teacher training. The Teacher Leader Training program is a two-semester 18-credit post-master's program. To be accepted into the program you must be sponsored by a school district or Intermediate Unit Consortium. Included with the training program and the required course work for two semesters, you 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
NOTE: All course work must be taken during one academic year.
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. Contact Dr. Janet Bufalino, Site Coordinator for Reading Recovery, College of Education and Human Services, at (717) 477-1166 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information about the program, the application process, or for information on teacher training sites.
The Graduate Research Grant Program is designed to provide financial support to graduate students for research or scholarly activities related to their program of study to enable them to better understand the scientific process, experience discovery, develop their analytical and communication skills, and gain exposure to national ideas through the presentation of the results of their research at conferences. Our grant program has funded field and laboratory research as well as computer application and software development. The Graduate Research Grant Program is funded by the School of Graduate Studies and the Institute for Public Service and Sponsored Programs.