If you wish to help primary and secondary schoolchildren learn to read, either by working directly with students or by acting as a literacy consultant for schools or school districts, you may wish to become a reading specialist. As the requirements for obtaining reading specialist certification vary from country to country and even from region to region, it is important to begin your journey to become a specialist by researching the requirements for the region in which you wish to work. In most cases, you will need to obtain an undergraduate or master’s degree in education, and you may need to be a certified teacher with experience. You might need to complete a reading specialist certification or master’s program, and may also need to pass a certification exam.
The requirements for receiving reading specialist certification can vary widely from country to country and even from area to area. Consequently, it is difficult to say exactly what is required to receive this certification. Therefore, the first step you should take on your quest to become a certified reading specialist is researching certification requirements for the location in which you wish to work. If you are currently a college student, you should be able to get more information from your adviser. Alternatively, you can get information about reading specialist certification by browsing the Internet or contacting a staff member of a certification program in your area.
At bare minimum, you will likely need an undergraduate degree in education with a concentration in literacy studies to receive reading specialist certification. You may also need to be certified as a teacher in the location in which you would like to work. Further, you may need to have one or more years of teaching experience before you can qualify to become a reading specialist or even enter a specialist certification program.
Once you have met these prerequisites, the next step in obtaining reading specialist certification will likely involve completing an academic program in literacy. Should you already have a master’s degree in a relevant subject, this program may be a standalone course which focuses specifically on literacy studies. If you do not yet have a master’s degree, you may be able to earn a master’s in education with a specialization in literacy studies. In either case, you will likely be required to spend a set amount of hours observing reading specialist sessions, and may also need to complete a semester or more of student teaching.
After you have satisfied the educational requirements needed to receive reading specialist certification in the location where you wish to work, you may also need to pass a certification examination. Depending on the country in which you live, this exam may be standard for the entire country or may vary by state or province. In countries or regions that require this exam, it is generally the final step toward becoming a certified reading specialist.