Online Reading Specialist Courses
Online reading specialist courses are typically offered as part of an education degree or graduate certificate program. Learn about these programs and how online courses work.
What Kind of Courses Will I Take?
Reading specialist degree or certificate programs allow certified teachers to add a reading endorsement to their teaching license or simply gain additional training to enhance their classroom instruction. Common offerings include the following types of classes:
Foundations of Reading Instruction
Programs offer a basic course in the fundamentals of teaching reading to individuals and groups. Topics such as comprehension, oral language, phonics, reading fluency, and vocabulary are typically explored. Studying the reading process and learning the best practices of reading instruction for both low- and high-achieving readers establish the foundation for future coursework.
Students with Disabilities
This course provides an overview of the range of conditions affecting students and the special education programs available to meet their needs. Teachers learn to identify behavior patterns consistent with learning disabilities and physical disorders such as hearing and vision loss.
Assessments in Reading
Learning how to create, administer, and score norm- and criterion-referenced assessments is the focus of this course. Using a systematic problem-solving approach, teachers learn how to read and synthesize data so they can tailor their instructional methods to help students succeed.
Reading in the Content Area
Improving literacy skills for students across subjects and grade levels is the goal of content-area reading courses. Teachers also gain an understanding of language and reading development and strategies to meet the needs of diverse readers. Techniques to support reading, writing, summarizing, and note-taking skills may be addressed.
Literacy for Adults
Many reading specialist programs include reading instruction for adults. Courses include how to assess adult literacy levels and how to identify appropriate teaching materials and techniques. An understanding of the various populations of adults who have not achieved full literacy is usually covered, including adults with learning disabilities or English language learners.
Are These Courses Offered in a Degree Program?
Online reading specialist courses are available through master's degree and graduate certificate programs. Common prerequisites include a bachelor's degree, a state teaching license, and a year or two of classroom teaching experience. Some graduate certificate programs offer online courses you can later apply toward a master's degree, if you choose. In order to become a certified reading specialist, you might need to obtain a special endorsement through the state.
How Do Online Courses Work?
While all coursework in a program could be offered online, you'll usually need to complete field observations, a classroom practicum, or a student-teaching experience on-site in a literacy or reading program.
Your online courses could use multiple forms of technology, including streaming video, virtual classrooms, and digital textbooks. Schools typically use a Learning Management System (LMS) to provide you with access to your courses, materials, and assignments. You might need to complete homework and tests by a specific date, although you can usually study according to your own schedule.