Reading Specialist Endorsement

Program Overview

The Reading Specialist endorsement is designed for educators who have an earned master's degree in education or a related field and are interested in becoming a reading or literacy specialist in a pre-K-12 school.

Curriculum Overview

In order for candidates to be eligible for the Reading Specialist endorsement they must complete four graduate level literacy courses at Rider University. These include:

LITR 501 Psychology and Pedagogy of Literacy Processes

LITR 502 Curriculum, Instruction and Supervision in Literacy

LITR 504 Diagnosis and Correction of Literacy Abilities and Challenges: Seminar and Practicum

One Graduate Level Literacy Elective

Candidates must also show evidence of at least 18 credits of graduate study across three areas selected from the list below. These areas of study will come from the state approved graduate courses offered in the College of Education and Human Services at Rider University or a candidate's master’s degree program at other institutions. These include:

  • Children's or Adolescent Literature
  • Measurement
  • Organization of Reading Programs
  • Psychology
  • Staff Supervision
  • Linguistics
  • Special Education
  • Research
  • Foundations of Education

Certificate Offered

  • Reading Specialist


Heather Casey, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
Bierenbaum Fisher Room 102M

Program Website:  Graduate Level Literacy Concentration

Associated Department: Department of Graduate Education, Leadership, and Counseling

Related Programs

Reading Specialist Endorsement Program Requirements

(12 credits)

Required Courses
LITR 501Psychology and Pedagogy of Literacy Processes3
LITR 502Curriculum, Instruction and Supervision in Literacy3
LITR 504Diagnosis and Correction of Literacy Abilities and Challenges: Seminar and Practicum3
Electives (select at least one course) 13
Multimodal Teaching and Learning
Literacy and the Bilingual/Bicultural Child
Research and Survey of Texts for Children and Adolescents
Writing Project @ Rider
Independent Research and Study in Literacy Education
Total Credits12


  • Candidates must have completed at least two years of teaching by program completion.

Courses and Descriptions 

Note: Additional graduate courses with a literacy focus may be counted towards the elective requirement for the endorsement with prior approval from the coordinator.

LITR 500 Multimodal Teaching and Learning 3 Credits

As we consider the 21st century’s rapid expansion of information and text it is timely to take a critical view of what literacy means in the 21st century and how it is influencing children’s literacy development and the work of educators. Many argue that the rapidly evolving use of technology is potentially shifting the ways in which we construct and comprehend information, or is it? In this hybrid/online course, we aim to explore these sometimes competing conceptions of text as we consider what these new literacies mean for children’s literacy development as well our own work as educators.

LITR 501 Psychology and Pedagogy of Literacy Processes 3 Credits

Studies the communication process from a componential point of view, including language acquisition and development, perception, comprehension and cognition, composition, and language systems. A review of the literature in each area as well as a survey of models of reading and language is included.

LITR 502 Curriculum, Instruction and Supervision in Literacy 3 Credits

Reading and literacy pedagogy for ALL learners, gifted, average, and diverse learners is the course content. Current strategies for teaching comprehension, composition, vocabulary, language study, and independence skills are learned in a workshop setting. How to manage literacy instruction through content areas for all aged children in mainstream classrooms is studied. Parent education and inservice training are also included in course content.

LITR 504 Diagnosis and Correction of Literacy Abilities and Challenges: Seminar and Practicum 3 Credits

Studies reading/language arts abilities and disabilities and standardized and informal tests. Observational techniques and diagnostic teaching for assessment are stressed.

LITR 508 Literacy and the Bilingual/Bicultural Child 3 Credits

Presents multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives on bilingual/bicultural children and their reading process. Strategies and materials for second language reading instruction are suggested and discussed.

LITR 510 Research and Survey of Texts for Children and Adolescents 3 Credits

This course surveys developmental trends in texts for children and adolescents. Students will become knowledgeable about the theoretical and practical aspects of the study of the texts (both digital and print) available for youth and adolescents. Candidates will explore their own assumptions about text and the relationship to literacy development. Course participants will explore strategies for integrating print and non-print texts into the school curricula in ways that support youth and adolescent literacy development.

LITR 560 Writing Project at Rider 3 Credits

Examines theory, research, and practices in the teaching of writing K-12, with emphasis on improved practices in teaching writing as well as the personal writing of participants. Students investigate relevant local and national standards and curriculum, design, present, and respond to peer demonstration lessons in writing, and publish to the National Writing Project e-anthology. Further participation in NWP activities is encouraged and supported. This Invitational Summer Institute is part of the National Writing Project network. Project participants, called Summer Fellows, become Teacher Consultants upon completion of the Institute and are expected to maintain affiliation with the Project and to participate in the dissemination of professional development in writing instruction K-12 for all subject areas.

LITR 600 Independent Research and Study in Literacy Education 1-3 Credits

Course content is designed specifically to meet specific academic needs or interests of students who wish to engage in independent study related to literacy education.