Reading Education

The CAGS is designed for the student who has earned a master’s degree in education or a related field and desires to develop knowledge of reading education and to earn licensure as a Specialist Teacher of Reading. Although individual circumstances vary, students seeking licensure typically enter the program with a license in elementary or secondary English and at least one year of experience in elementary or secondary education. Additionally, most students are interested in school- or classroom-based practice and research in public settings.

Those who complete the CAGS in Reading Education will gain a deep and thorough understanding of research and theory that is fundamental to sound and successful teaching, and will work with university faculty who are currently engaged in research and teaching in area schools. As such, CAGS recipients leave the program with broad and comprehensive academic knowledge and important practical insights about what works in diverse school settings.

The Reading Education program coursework includes the study of current research and practice in reading and writing assessment and instruction, and analysis of commonly used assessments and instructional materials. Although you will learn about assessment and instruction for students at all levels of the achievement continuum, particular attention will be paid to instructional practices that accelerate learning for struggling readers and writers. In addition to coursework, students participate in a pre-practicum and a practicum experience. During the pre-practicum, you will work with a school-based literacy specialist to learn about the roles and responsibilities of the reading professional in a typical school setting. During the practicum, you will work under the supervision of a university faculty member to put into practice your understandings of research-based assessment and instruction as you teach an individual child and children in a small-group context in ways that will accelerate reading and writing growth.

The Boston University Donald D. Durrell Reading and Writing Clinic (RWC) serves as the site for the practicum experience and also as a resource to you throughout the course of study. During three terms (fall, spring, and summer), the RWC provides diagnostic assessment and instructional services for elementary, middle, or secondary students who are experiencing difficulty in learning to read and write. Clinicians are in-service teachers or graduate students who work under the close supervision of Boston University faculty and school-based reading supervisors. In addition, the clinic serves as a model classroom where those studying to become reading teachers can observe exemplary instruction in action.

Numerous career opportunities await degree recipients upon graduation. 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 wish to 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.

Program Fast Facts

  • Program Requirements: To view a listing of program requirements and coursework information, please visit the Boston University Bulletin for the CAGS in Reading Education.
  • Program Duration: 12 months. Duration for part-time study varies.
  • Start Term: Full time students must begin this program in the fall semester. Part time students may begin the program during the summer, fall, or spring semester.
  • Licensure: Upon completion of the program and Massachusetts testing requirements, those of you who have completed at least one year of classroom teaching experience may be licensed at the initial level as a Specialist Teacher of Reading.
  • Prerequisites: This program requires a Masters degree or an international equivalent.
  • Faculty Contact Information: Professor Jeanne Paratore,, 617-353-3285
    Graduate Admissions Contact Information:, 617-353-4237
  • Gainful Employment Program Disclosure Information

Reading and Writing Clinic (RWC)

The Boston University Donald D. Durrell Reading and Writing Clinic (RWC) serves as the practicum and provides diagnostic assessment and instructional services for elementary and middle school students who are experiencing difficulty in learning to read or write. The clinicians are graduate students or experienced classroom teachers who work under the close supervision of Boston University faculty and school-based reading supervisors.

The Reading and Writing Clinic is in session year-round. During the academic year students in elementary and middle school attend on Saturday mornings. During the summer months, students are tutored on weekdays. During the academic year, the RWC serves as a resource to graduate students—a place where they can access curriculum materials and assessments for review and analysis and as a setting for observing exemplary instruction in action. During the summer term, the RWC services as a site for the required practicum experience. For in-service teachers and graduate students, the Reading and Writing Clinic comprises two types of activities: advancement of their own knowledge and understanding about how children learn to read and write, and application and refinement of their understanding as they work with a child or a small group of children.

Children who are accepted as students in the RWC have many different learning profiles: some struggle just a bit, while others experience severe reading or writing difficulty. Some are diagnosed as having specific special education needs while others are not eligible for special support services in reading and writing in their respective schools. Some do reasonably well in reading, but struggle in writing.

RWC tutors are licensed, experienced teachers who may be working toward a professional license or advanced degree in literacy education. They work under the direct supervision of Boston University faculty and experienced school-based reading supervisors who hold advanced degrees in literacy education.

RWC tutors learn to use a collection of informal and formal assessments in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and motivation and engagement to identify students’ instructional strengths and needs and to determine the instructional materials and practices that will lead to improved reading and writing proficiency.

In addition to using materials that are available in the RWC, tutors work with each student’s parents and, when possible, with their school-based teachers and administrators to obtain the curricular materials that are commonly used in the school setting. Familiarity with these materials contributes to the development of a tutoring plan that is coherent with school-based instruction and that will effectively prepare students for school-based reading and writing demands.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students at the School of Education benefit from the community feel of a small school along with the resources of a large university. Our students are in the field in both urban and suburban schools as early as their first year at SED.

Graduate Students

Talented graduate students from around the world prepare to become teachers, counselors, administrators, and more in as little as one year at the School of Education. Our students engage in diverse aspects of education both in the classroom and the field.