CAGS in Reading Education

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Reading Education prepares teachers, specialists, clinicians, and consultants in the area of reading and writing assessment and instruction. Because many of our students are in-service teachers, we strive to accommodate everyone by offering late afternoon and evening classes during the academic year and field experiences during both the academic year and the summer months. For full-time students the Reading Education Program requires three semesters of study: Fall, Spring, and Summer.

This program is approved for licensure as a Specialist Teacher of Reading in Massachusetts. Most of the students who enroll in the Reading Education Program are interested in school- or classroom-based practice and research in public settings. Although a teaching license is required for admission to the program, teaching experience is not. However, students who complete degree requirements prior to completing one year of teaching experience must teach for one year to be eligible to apply to the Massachusetts Department of Education for licensure as a Specialist Teacher of Reading.

Varied career opportunities await degree recipients. Many graduates seek positions as general education classroom teachers, where their expertise in reading and writing assessment and instruction enables them to provide exemplary instruction to students of all performance levels. Others use their newly acquired depth of knowledge to specialize in literacy assessment and instruction. In this case, degree recipients meet requirements for positions as reading and literacy teachers, specialists, and coaches.

Core Coursework (28 cr)

Coursework includes the study of current research and practice in acquisition and development of reading and writing, classroom and clinical assessment of reading and writing, and analysis of commonly used assessments and instructional materials.

  • SED LS 565 Introduction to Language and Linguistics (4 cr)
  • SED LS 735 Teaching Struggling Readers and Writers in the Elementary School (4 cr)
  • SED LW 736 Teaching Writing in Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Schools (4 cr)
  • SED LS 790 Seminar in Literacy Assessment (4 cr)
  • SED LS 792 Teaching Adolescent Literacy (4 cr)
  • SED LS 627 Children’s and Young Adult Literature (4 cr)
  • SED RS 600 Introduction to Research (4 cr)

Practica (12 cr)

Students are also required to complete two field experiences. During a pre-practicum, students work with a credentialed literacy specialist to learn about the roles and responsibilities of the reading professional in a typical school or clinical setting. During a practicum, students work under the supervision of a University faculty member and an experienced literacy specialist to put into practice their understandings of research-based assessment and instruction as they tutor struggling readers and writers (grades 1–12) individually and in small groups to accelerate reading and writing growth.

Pre-Practicum

  • SED LS 734 Roles & Responsibilities of the Literacy Specialist: Leadership, Coach, Teaching
  • SED LS 737 Clinical Assessment of Reading and Writing Part 1 (4 cr)

Practicum

  • SED LS 738 Clinical Assessment of Reading and Writing Part 2

Comprehensive Examination

CAGS candidates must complete a comprehensive task as a capstone experience. The task is intended to advance the candidate’s application of theory and research in a school or community-based setting. It is designed collaboratively with the candidate’s advisor, and may take the form of a thesis, an action research project, a comprehensive plan for a professional development series, or a curriculum-related project.