The Reading Specialist Certification program at Penn State Harrisburg prepares full-time and part-time graduate students with a comprehensive approach to literacy education. The 24-credit program infuses current research and policy to prepare reading/literacy specialists to meet the varied and diverse literacy needs of K-12 learners.
In courses such as Theoretical Foundations of Literacy, students become reacquainted with mainstream theories and are introduced to those of critical theorists who challenge traditional perspectives that have often marginalized race, class, and linguistic variety in learning and in literacy development.
In later courses like Literacy Leadership, students critically evaluate the dispositions, social practices, and sociocultural roles of literacy leaders in school contexts. They apply their knowledge about adult learning theory and literacy practices to develop a needs assessment survey and a literacy-needs assessment professional learning initiative for their colleagues.
Students also participate in a final capstone course that provides the opportunity to work closely with K-12 learners in a faculty-supervised, clinical setting. Throughout the program, students work closely with faculty members and cultivate strong peer support networks. Our course offerings include a combination of face-to-face and hybrid meetings throughout the year.
Following successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the Praxis examination for certification as a K-12 Reading Specialist. 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 percent of students passing the exam.
For course descriptions and requirements, see the University Bulletin.