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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Reading Specialist?

According to the International Reading Association (IRA), a Reading Specialist is an educator who can offer expert instruction, targeted assessment, and leadership in working with colleagues. In school settings, Reading Specialists do many things including teach struggling readers, conduct diagnostic assessments and act as a literacy coach providing professional development to colleagues. Graduates will also be qualified to work in after-school programs, clinical settings and in private tutoring practice. For a longer discussion on the roles and responsibilities of a reading specialists see the IRA’s position statement.

What prior teaching certification is needed in order to be recommended by TCNJ for state Reading Specialist certification?

Candidates are required to have a minimum of 2 years of teaching experience before obtaining a certificate as a state reading specialist.

I have other questions about certification. Whom should I ask?

The Support for Teacher Education Programs (STEP) Office offers resources and programs for students interested in teaching certifications. For specific information about certification, please consult with the Certification Office.

How long does it take to complete the reading specialist program?

That depends on whether you want to attend full, half, or part time.  The course can be completed in as few as two years or as many as five.

I have taken graduate credits in related reading courses at another institution.  How many credits may I transfer?

You may transfer a maximum of 6 credits.  You must provide the program coordinator with a course description and syllabus of the course(s) you want to transfer; if the coordinator approves those courses, you must then submit an official transcript of the course .

I work full time. Will I be able to attend the Reading Specialist Program?

Yes.  All of our courses and practica are designed for working professionals.  Most courses run from 5-7:30 on weekday evenings.

Can I take courses during the summer?

Several courses are available in the summer. For specific details on course offerings please consult the summer session course catalog.

While I am in the program, I would like to obtain experience working with a professor on research. Are there any opportunities?

Yes. The faculty at TCNJ conduct ongoing research in several areas related to literacy. Each faculty member profile lists current interests and ongoing research projects. You can contact a faculty member to discuss any possibilities for getting involved in a research project.