The Reading Specialist Certification Program at Penn State Harrisburg is designed to provide full-time and part-time graduate candidates with a focused program of study leading to a Pennsylvania Department of Education certificate as a PK-12 Reading Specialist. The program is aligned with the most recent professional standards outlined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the International Literacy Association. The program provides students with 24 post-baccalaureate credits to earn their Level II teaching certificate. Following successful completion of the program and a passing score on the Praxis 5301 exam, students are eligible to earn their Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) PK-12 Reading Specialist Certificate. The Reading Specialist Praxis Exam consists of questions about assessment, literacy development, leadership skills, and case study analysis. Our program completers continue to have a high success rate with 100% of candidates passing the exam.
Specifically, the goals of the program are to develop: (1) specialized, in-depth knowledge about the teaching of literacy; (2) diagnostic and clinical skills necessary to support and plan instruction for a diverse range of students; (3) the ability to interpret, evaluate, and use literacy research to inform practices; (4) opportunities to use both digital and traditional texts to teach literacy across the curriculum; (5) knowledge about the role of social context in supporting PK-12 learners’ acquisition of language and literacy; and (6) the literacy leadership skills necessary to support and inform professional practice in PK-12 settings. Candidates also participate in a final capstone course that provides the opportunity to work closely with PK-12 learners in a faculty-supervised, clinical setting.
Degree Conferred: Certification only