Certification Requirements

The Reading Specialist Certification program consists of 21 credits in required courses and 3 credits from electives. Candidates must also have the program prerequisites of PSYCH 410 Child Development and PSYCH 412 Adolescence, and Methods in the Teaching of Reading.

Each candidate will participate in EDUC 563 and 564 Reading Clinic, the final capstone course, which fulfills 6 credits from the required program of study. At the conclusion of all program requirements, candidates must take the Reading Specialist exam to become certified in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


Candidates must maintain a minimum 3.00 grade point average, satisfactorily complete all required key assessments, attain a grade of "C" or better in all required core courses. Candidates who do not make satisfactory progress will be notified in writing noting the specific deficiencies and requesting that they meet with the program coordinator to develop a remediation plan. Failure to meet or to satisfactorily complete the remediation plan will result in termination from the program.

All persons enrolled in Teacher Education Programs at Penn State Harrisburg are expected to demonstrate the professional dispositions that are aligned with the unit’s vision statement. The faculty shall evaluate the approved dispositions demonstrated by the candidates in class and during their clinical field experience. Candidates may be rated as exemplary, acceptable, or unacceptable. Candidates are expected to attain acceptable or exemplary ratings in order to graduate.

Students who wish to pursue Reading Specialist Certification as part of the Master’s in Education in Literacy Education must talk to their adviser early so that they can take the proper course sequence and meet all program requirements.

Applying for Certification

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that each candidate submit his/her application online using the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS)  Application should be made after the completion of all requirements which includes obtaining a passing score on the Reading Specialist Praxis Exam and receiving one’s final GPA.

Please note that the Praxis exam is a fee-based test and test takers must individually register for the exam. All scores must be reported to Penn State Harrisburg and The Pennsylvania Department of Education. For more information about the Praxis exam, go to their web site or call 1-800-772-9476 


This page is not a part of the official Penn State University Bulletin.