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Reading Specialization, M.S.

Program Director: Ellen Koitz, Ph.D. koitz@hood.edu;  (301) 696-3466 

The Master of Science in Reading Specialization degree program provides the understanding and competencies necessary for the reading specialist certificate. Open to certificated teachers who will have three or more years of teaching experience by the time the master’s degree is conferred, it is directed to the reading needs of all school children (K-12). A supervised experience in a reading clinic is the capstone to a course sequence that provides both breadth and depth in reading specialization. Graduation from this program leads to Maryland certification as a reading specialist.

Chalk and Wire Requirement 

Graduate students enrolled in this program are required to annually purchase a packet to submit their required performance activities as e-portfolio products in the Chalk and Wire web-based assignment sections. Each course will require at least one International Reading Association (IRA) performance activity. Graduate students taking courses on a nondegree basis and not enrolled in the M.S. in Reading Specialization degree program are also required to purchase the Chalk and Wire packet.

Students MUST enroll in EDUC 577 and/or EDUC 582 and/or EDUC 502 as the first, second or third courses in the program:  

  • EDUC 502 Technology for Literacy, Leadership and Learning (3 credits)
  • EDUC 577 Introduction to Educational Research (3 credits)
  • EDUC 582 Educational Philosophy in a Diverse Society (3 credits)

Students MUST complete a Processes and Acquisition of Reading course before enrolling in the required reading courses:  

  • EDUC 515 Processes and Acquisition of Reading*
    *May be waived if student presents documentation that the course was taken in an undergraduate program or for MSDE credit

Required courses (27 credits):  

  • EDUC 517 Materials for Teaching Reading: Instruction and Methods
  • EDUC 518 Reading Instruction: Elementary
  • EDUC 519 Reading Instruction: Secondary
  • EDUC 520 Reading Diagnosis
  • EDUC 521 Contemporary Issues in the Teaching of Reading
  • EDUC 523 Reading Diagnosis and Prescription: Clinical
  • EDUC 524 Advanced Clinical Reading Experiences: Elementary
  • EDUC 525 Advanced Clinical Reading Experiences: Secondary
  • EDUC 529 Literacy Leadership
  • An exit folio is required.

Unit Assessment Organization

In compliance with the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) requirements, the M.S. in Reading Specialization degree program is organized into three phases for the purpose of uniform performance data collection for Unit Assessment and the eventual improvement of the program.

For admission information, see Graduate Admission and Program Specific Application Requirements.  

Phase I: Advancement to Full Candidacy

Candidates enrolled in the M.S. in Reading Specialization degree program will be advanced to full candidacy based on the successful completion of the following:  

  1. Maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in the following three required courses (and one reading course): EDUC 577, EDUC 582 and EDUC 502. Acceptable SPA performance activities will be submitted in these three classes.
  2. Enroll in EDUC 515 or show evidence of taking a Processes and Acquisition of Reading course as an undergraduate or through an in-service course (before enrolling in reading courses).
  3. Submit completed Degree Candidacy Form signed by academic adviser and program director.

Based on the successful completion of the above requirements, candidates in the M.S. in Reading Specialization degree program are advanced to full candidacy and may continue to Phase II after receiving the following decisions: advance to candidacy; advance to candidacy on a conditional basis pending Alert Forms review and an overall review by the Reading Specialization Advisory Council; and denial of advancement to candidacy based on review by the Reading Specialization Advisory Council.

Phase II: Midpoint Transition

Candidates enrolled in the M.S. in Reading Specialization degree program will be advanced to Phase III (Intensive Collaborative Practice) based on the successful completion of the following Phase II requirements:  

  1. Maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in the following courses (one was taken in Phase I): EDUC 517, EDUC 518, EDUC 519, EDUC 520, EDUC 523 and EDUC 529. Acceptable SPA performance activities will be required in these courses.
  2. Pass comprehensive examination (EDUC 523).

Members of the Reading Specialization Advisory Council will review the above requirements in Phase II and any Alert Forms and advance the candidate to Phase III with one of the following decisions: Advancement to Phase III, Conditional Advancement to Phase III or Denial of Advancement to Phase III.

Phase III: Intensive Collaborative Practice

Candidates must successfully meet the following requirements:  

  1. Maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in the practicum courses: EDUC 524 (Elementary) and EDUC 525 (Secondary) and in EDUC 521. Acceptable SPA performance activities will be required in these courses. 
  2. Successful evaluation from the lead teachers and director of the practicum courses.

Program Completion

  1. Receive a distinguished or proficient rating on the exit folio.
  2. Exit interview with program director.
  3. Program survey three years after program completion.
  4. Program survey five years after program completion.