CAGS in Interdisciplinary Studies: Reading Specialist | Fitchburg State University
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Interdisciplinary Studies - Reading Specialist (CAGS)

Already have a master's degree? Earn your Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in as little as two years. Learn more today.

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Degree Overview

Students choosing to study the fields of Fundamentals of Reading Instruction and Assessment and Leadership in Literacy Instruction as part of the CAGS in Interdisciplinary Studies work with an advisor from the graduate reading specialist program to develop a plan of study. CAGS consists of an integrated core curriculum, research, supervised professional practicum, and a capstone experience. Students choosing the disciplines of Fundamentals of Reading Instruction and Assessment and Leadership in Literacy Instruction complete a practicum and seminar as their capstone experience, which leads to initial licensure as a Reading Specialist.

Requirements and Curriculum

Reading Specialist
Two-Year Course Rotation (PDF)

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The Reading Specialist program is comprehensive, practical and diverse. It was designed to give each candidate the finest and most up-to-date research-based instruction in preparation for them to be literacy leaders for the future. I was provided exceptional training in assessment, instruction and leadership roles with opportunities to practice and use what I learned in real life situations. It has truly given me everything I need and more to support students and teachers in reading.
–Rosemary Reidy, 2011

Program at a Glance


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

  • Official transcripts of a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Initial Licensure in early childhood, elementary, middle school or special education
  • Passing scores on the Communication and Literacy MTEL
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Professional resume
  • Graduate application and fee
  • Prerequisite courses completed
    • Children or Young Adult Literature
    • Child Development (or equivalent)
    • Principles and Practices of Teaching Reading (or equivalent)
  • 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?

*Candidates must successfully pass the Stage Review prior to enrolling in this capstone experience; the Stage Review includes a passing score on the Reading Specialist MTEL.

Note: Prior to completion of the program of study, initial licensure candidates are required to take the Fitchburg State University ESE-approved SEI course in order to be endorsed for licensure.


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

Program leads to Initial Licensure as a Reading Specialist.

Career Opportunities

  • Title I or Remedial Reading Teacher
  • Literacy Coach
  • Private Academic Tutoring Business

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