Program Overview

West Chester University’s M.Ed. in Literacy and Reading Specialist Certification prepares candidates to be effective literacy teachers and Reading Specialists in schools across Pennsylvania and beyond. Our M.Ed is a 36-credit program that grants a master’s degree and fulfills all PDE requirements for application as a PA Reading Specialist Certification for grades K–12. Supporting children and young adults in their literacy learning requires an understanding of language and literacy development, effective instruction, and appropriate assessment. Our program emphasizes the importance of assessing students’ literacy strengths and needs, and uses that assessment to design appropriate instruction focusing on word–level knowledge, fluency, vocabulary development, comprehension, and writing. Throughout the program, students explore the creation of learning communities and learn to understand and respect cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity, while recognizing the ways in which diversity enhances the reading and writing lives of students. Our graduates are experts in developing and implementing successful literacy and language interventions for students who need extra support in strengthening their reading skills.


What can I do with this degree?

  • Teachers
  • Reading Specialists

Program Highlights

  • Certification as PA Reading Specialist upon successful completion of program

  • Balanced approach to literacy instruction

  • Two on-campus practicum courses available through the Reading Center

  • Experienced faculty experts who publish and present nationally and internationally

  • Development of a master’s portfolio

  • Accredited by the International Literacy Association (ILA), the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)

  • Small classes

  • Personalized attention and academic advising

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  • The Literacy Department hosts a Children’s Literature Conference on campus every other year. The next conference will be November 9, 2019.
  • In July, 2018, a section of the Literacy Practicum was offered in Belize. Graduate students spent 3 weeks in Belize working with children at a local school and exploring the country.
  • 95.6% of alumni rated their program as effective in preparing them for their current position.