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Post-Professional Certificate – Reading Specialist

Preparing master teachers, literacy leaders and future readers

Ensuring that all students develop high levels of literacy requires schools to make a concerted, coordinated effort to improve students' proficiency as readers, writers, and critical and creative thinkers.

Teacher expertise, more than any other variable, accounts for increases in student achievement in literacy. Schools must engage in the leadership work that makes strong literacy instruction possible.

Literacy leaders are master teachers who provide essential leadership for the school's overall literacy program and play a key role in leading and supporting teachers to become more effective practitioners in literacy teaching. This leadership includes creating and supervising a long-term staff development program that supports both the development and implementation of the literacy program over months and years. 

Our fully online certificate program is designed to train currently licensed teachers that hold a master's degree to become reading specialists. 


The post-professional certificate is a 21-credit, fully online program offered in 7-week terms. Designed for certified teachers, the certificate is typically completed in 14 months (two semester and two summers). Teachers can continue to work while earning the certificate, which prepares them to add a Reading Specialist endorsement to their current teaching license.


The Post-Professional Certificate — Reading Specialist is designed to provide specific background, education and tools to educators teaching K-12 learners reading below grade level. The certificate also provides specific background, education and tools for coaching teachers in evidence-supported literacy practices. The certificate includes seven courses, for a total of 21 credits. 

View the course of study

Feedback from our Literacy Leadership students:

  • “The most valuable knowledge I received was what I learned about evaluating research, evaluating children’s books, literacy coaching, and knowledge of the science of reading and structured literacy.”
  • “I really valued the exposure and practice to the research and application of effective strategies. I felt that the program was well-rounded in providing opportunities for critical thinking, deep dives into the theory behind best practices, implementation of practices with students, and exposure to working with peers for coaching.”
Literacy Leadership Program Contact

[[cdjohn,Denise Johnson]]
(757) 221-1528

Download Program Flyer (PDF)