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Courses for Post Master’s Reading Specialist Certification

This program is for teachers who have already earned a master’s degree. This program is specifically designed to enhance the skills of fully certified elementary and secondary teachers who wish to support students with high quality literacy interventions and to support teachers as a literacy coach. Graduates will also be qualified to work in after-school programs, clinical settings and in private tutoring practice. A practicum is required.A practicum is required.

Required Courses

RDLG 530

A multi-dimensional and multimedia approach to children’s and adolescent’s literature with extensive reading, critical examination, selection, and evaluation.  Emphasis will be on: children’s and adolescents’ books and story presentation strategies as related to the children’s needs and interests at various age levels; historic trends; research; and the influence and utilization of literature upon the academic, social, and emotional growth of the child and adolescent.

RDLG 571

The place of language in culture; linguistics and psycholinguistics as academic disciplines; examination of concepts significant for the reading program; analysis of American English; implications of cultural, linguistic, and psycholinguistic data for instructional practice and for selection of instructional materials.

RDLG 579

A study of the purposes, specialized reading skills, reading materials, and modes of inquiry specific to the content areas; application of these specialized skills to the specific reading task.

RDLG 672

This course explores the implications of research in reading on instructional materials, classroom procedures and best practices.  It is an advanced study of effective literacy instructional techniques, assessments, curricular materials and literate classroom environments.  Relationships between reading and the use of collaborative, authentic reading learning experiences within an inquiry oriented curriculum are examined in depth.

RDLG 673

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an in depth examination of current research and methods used in reading, writing and language arts instruction.  It explores theories of how to teach the writing process and examines the connection between reading and writing performance in literacy development.  This course also explores and examines skills that support writing processes and identifies effective strategies for cross curricular integration of creative and informational writing.

SPED 624 or SPED 501

SPED 624: An intensive overview of the field of learning disabilities: definition, characteristics, assessment, subtypes of, and major educational approaches for teaching.  Current research in both cognition and brain physiology will be explored.

SPED 501: An introduction to the field of special education, focusing on the characteristics and educational needs of students with disabilities.  The course covers etiology and behavioral manifestations of a wide variety of disabling conditions and introduces current approaches to the education of students with these disabilities.  Included is up-to-date information on federal and state laws which affect programs for children with disabilities and key issues in special education today.

1 Elective Course

All candidates can take an elective course focusing on English Language Learners, Students with Dyslexia, Digital Literacies, Adolescent Literacy, Early Childhood Literacy or another topic with advisor approval.

Capstone Courses

RDLG 691

Investigation of formal and informal diagnostic methods and materials for testing reading achievement; critical appraisal of these methods and materials based on psychological and linguistic principles; use of the results of both formal and informal assessment to identify reading difficulties; corrective techniques appropriate for meeting these difficulties determined.  Case studies required.

RDLG 692

An advanced course where knowledge of diagnosis and instruction is refined,   applied and extended as students work in a practicum setting.  The student will employ various assessment procedures to develop and implement corrective instruction with direct supervision in the field placement. Case studies required.

RDLG 693

This course is designed for the reading specialist in the classroom or remedial program and for the future administrator responsible for the implementation of developmental and remedial reading programs.  It prepares participants to act within the school-based reading program in the areas of curriculum, methodology, development, organization and supervision of literacy programs K-12. 

Expectations for Students

In addition to the TCNJ expectations for graduate students, candidates in the reading specialist program are expected to:

Maintain the appropriate level of grades in courses:

  • Maintain a minimum average grade of a B in all course work
  • Earn a B+ or better in each practicum. Students who are unable to complete all required practicums will not be recommended by The College of New Jersey for State Certification as a Reading Specialist
  • Complete coursework in a timely manner:
    • An incomplete in prerequisite coursework is resolved before admission is possible to successive courses
    • If two incompletes appear on a record, these need to be resolved before registration is permitted in further coursework

    Follow principles of ethical and professional conduct which include:

    • Meeting responsibilities and deadlines in a timely manner. Students are expected to fulfill class requirements on time, to demonstrate a good attendance record in all classes, and to submit all assignments by the deadlines required by instructors.
    • Respecting student confidentiality. Candidates are expected to maintain the confidentiality of any student with whom they are working in a practicum setting. This includes keeping all students’ identity anonymous during classroom conversations, consultations with faculty, and in clinical reading reports.
    • Demonstrating ability to collaborate professionally and respectfully with all peers and faculty.
    • Sharing knowledge and experiences openly and actively through collaborative and interactive seminars.
  • Eligibility for Graduation

    • Satisfactory completion of courses
    • A minimum of 24 graduate semester hours earned at TCNJ
    • A minimum total of 30 graduate semester hours
    • A cumulative GPA of 3.0
    • Successful completion of the Reading Specialist Praxis II
    • Completion of all departmental requirements/prerequisites

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