How to Become a Reading Specialist
Even if you’ve known for years that you want to be a reading specialist, knowing what academic credentials you need to have to achieve that goal can be challenging. It can be even more confusing if this is a new field you’ve only recently decided to transition into.
Regardless of where you stand in the process—whether you have a master’s degree, teaching license, endorsement or bachelor’s degree in education or an unrelated subject—we’ve highlighted what your next steps likely are academically, depending on what the state you reside in requires.
Licensure-Track Master’s Degree in Reading Education
- For those who need a master’s degree to pursue state licensure as a reading specialist
- Best for those who already hold a teaching license in their state
- Learn the most up-to-date literacy strategies and teaching techniques to apply in a classroom setting
- Students must complete practica to prove their ability to apply these learnings
Non-Licensure Master’s Degree in Reading Education
- Best for administrators seeking knowledge of literacy strategies and language acquisition techniques outside of classroom settings
- Does not ensure teaching licensure or reading specialist licensure, though many students already hold an active teaching license
- No practicum requirement for students
Graduate Certificate in Reading Education
- Best for currently licensed teachers who may already have a master’s degree but need the graduate-level knowledge and an additional reading education credential to become a reading specialist in their state
- Does not earn the student a master’s degree
- Most enter the program with a current teaching license
- No practicum requirement
Reading Specialist Licensure Endorsement
- Best for currently licensed teachers
- Half the length of the master’s program in reading education
- Endorsement credits can later be applied toward the full master’s program
- Requires a practicum so you can apply your learnings in the field
For more on the reading education offerings at the University of Kansas School of Education, peruse the Department of Curriculum and Teaching’s programs here.