How Do I Earn a Reading Specialist Degree?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

In most places, a reading specialist degree does not actually exist; instead, a student will earn a degree in education or a related field, and complete requirements for reading specialist certification. The first step toward earning what is sometimes called a reading specialist degree is completion of a high school education. While in school, pay close attention to reading and writing courses, as well as any foreign language courses that may be useful in the area in which you intend to work. Earning good grades in high school will help you get accepted to a good college program.

You can study education during your undergraduate tenure, though you may also be able to study other subjects such as English or other languages as well. Before you choose a major, do a bit of research into the requirements for certification in your area. Sometimes a reading specialist degree requires you to earn a master's degree in education concurrently, which means you may be able to study either education or another subject as your undergraduate degree. If a master's degree is not required, you can study education as your undergraduate major; you will need to decide what type of teaching you want to do, as you can teach at the secondary level or the primary level as a reading specialist.

If you are already a teacher and want to earn a reading specialist degree, you will need to enroll at a college or university to earn a master's degree while you teach. This can take several years to complete if you are working full time. If you already have a master's degree in education, you may be able to study for the certification process only. Otherwise, you will need to earn a master of arts in teaching (MAT) or a master of education (MEd). An MAT may be completed in as little as a year, and it will prepare you for certification, but you will need to research the specific requirements in your area for earning a reading specialist degree. Some areas may require an MEd instead, which can take more time to earn.

It is likely that you will need to hold a teaching certificate in order to work toward a reading specialist degree or certificate. Research local regulations regarding teaching certification; if you earn an education bachelor's degree, you will be in good position to fulfill the requirements for obtaining teaching certification. If you do not hold an education degree but hold an undergraduate degree in another field, you can earn certification by taking specific classes and passing the correct examinations.

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