Special Education (MEd, Reading Specialist, initial licensure) (online/hybrid)

Check out the video and hear what students and faculty are saying about our online/hybrid program!

Degree Overview

This program defines the knowledge and skills necessary for effective assessment, instruction and leadership in the field of reading. It responds to the needs of school districts by preparing specialists in leadership roles, as well as to the needs of students with a wide range of abilities.

The Reading Specialist Program provides candidates with a rigorous, research based curriculum and a range of assessment, teaching and staff development opportunities.

Requirements and Curriculum

Initial Licensure

Attend a Graduate Continuing Education Information Session

The reading specialist program classes at Fitchburg State made me very well prepared to take the MTEL test. Several of my colleagues who have already graduated from other programs have been trying to pass for a long time and I passed on my first try. Thanks so much for the wonderful program!
– Debbie Tilton, 2012

Watch an online course sample!

Program at a Glance

Admissions

Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling admission basis. Admissions requirements are as follows:

  • Official transcript of a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Professional resume
  • Initial Licensure in early childhood, elementary, middle school or special education
  • Passing scores for the Communication and Literacy subtest of the Massachusetts Test of Educator Licensure (MTEL)
  • Official transcripts of graduate level course work from a regionally accredited institution (if applicable)
  • Graduate application and fee
  • An essay, no more than one page in length, in response to one of the following questions:
    • Tell us about a positive situation in which you helped a person and made a significant difference in that person’s life.
    • What are the most important factors in establishing a long-term working relationship with students, friends, etc.?
    • Tell us about a significant event that involved you in a teaching or helping mode.
      • Describe the situation as it occurred at the time.
      • What did you do in that particular situation?
      • How did you feel about the situation at the time you were experiencing it?
      • How do you feel about the situation now?
      • What would you change, if anything?

Prerequisite courses completed:

  • Children or Young Adult Literature
  • Child Development (or equivalent)
  • Principles and Practices of Teaching Reading (or equivalent)

Delivery

Online delivery, with limited Saturday sessions for select classes designed to facilitate interaction and collaboration

Total Credits

36 credits

Program Cost

  • Tuition and fees
  • Students pursuing the initial licensure programs for Reading Specialists, including the CAGS in Interdisciplinary Studies/Reading Specialist concentration, the M.Ed. in Special Education/Reading Specialist concentration, and the Reading Specialist Graduate Certificate program, may be eligible for the Dr. Rosemarie Giovino Reading Specialist Scholarship. Students in these programs who have taken SPED/READ 7016 and SPED/READ 7017, and who also hold or are pursuing Wilson Language Level I certification are eligible. Other criteria apply.

Time Frame

While you can complete the program in as few as 2 years, you have 6 years to complete the program.

Program Highlights

CAEP/NCATE accredited

Career Opportunities

  • Title I or Reading Teacher
  • Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach
  • Private Academic Tutor

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