Houston Reading Specialist Degree Online

Why Earn a Reading Specialist Degree Online?

Pursuing a reading specialist degree online may be a perfect way to prepare for new challenges in your role as educator. As you know, not every child learns crucial literacy skills at the same pace. Through online reading courses for teachers, you may be able to explore new strategies for teaching literacy – like a multisensory approach to reading, and potentially enhance your career! You might prepare to assess readers with severe literacy problems, stage interventions, and develop curricula for readers at a variety of levels, all while maintaining your current routine.  Online reading specialist programs may be perfect for education professionals who are passionate about teaching kids to thrive as readers (and hopefully develop a love of reading!). Ready to learn more? Below, you’ll find some helpful info and potential paths worth considering.

Why Pursue an Online Reading Specialist Degree [i]

Reading specialist certification online programs  may be worth considering for any number of reasons, depending on your career goals. For instance, you might have a strong interest in helping your students develop their literacy skills in a supportive and effective manner. Online reading specialist programs may help education professionals to prepare for the challenge of diverse classrooms, which may have learners who read at all different levels. You could potentially learn new assessment strategies and instructional methods, explore new technologies that may help readers, and discover new books that inspire students.

Online reading specialist degree programs at the graduate level may also be a potential path for educators fulfilling their states’ requirements for certification. Keep in mind that every state may have different requirements for earning or maintaining certification. In some cases, teachers must pursue ongoing professional development or earn a masters degree. Teach.org may be a good place to check up on your state’s educational requirements for current and prospective teachers.

Potential Benefits of Earning a Reading Specialist Degree Online

New to online learning? This format may have many potential benefits for education professionals, like:

  • Flexibility – It can be tough to balance teaching, grading, and your own ongoing education! If you’re planning to keep teaching while you pursue a reading specialist program, perhaps taking online reading courses for teachers is a perfect path! You could potentially remain employed full-time while pursuing your coursework on evenings, weekends, or whenever works best for you.
  • Adaptability – Just because you plan to pursue your reading and literacy education online doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll miss out on aspects of more traditional programs. For example, some online programs may still require students to engage in fieldwork or an internship, at a field site close to home. 
  • Communication – As you probably know, collaboration and communication are important skill areas for teachers.i Online programs may still include group projects, partner work, and other ways of interacting with your peers and instructors; in fact, 90% of students who had experience with in-person learning said their online classroom experience was the same or better. *

Did you know? 14% of online learners enrolled in order to pursue new career skills, while 20% chose online programs in order to pursue an entirely new career path. *

Types of Online Reading Specialist Programs

The program level you pursue may depend on your goals, interests, and the requirements for your intended career path. Here’s a bit more info on potential programs:

Online masters in reading – Pursuing an online reading specialist masters program may be the perfect way to explore theories and strategies for teaching reading, models of literacy, literacy’s ties to cultures and community, and other potentially fascinating areas of study! Your program may also feature a clinical practicum or internship, in which you might work with students under the supervision of a mentor. A masters degree may be a requirement for teacher certification in your state, so be sure to check with the state education department to see if your preferred program matches your goals.

Here are a few potential courses you might take in a masters-level online reading specialist degree program:

  • Literacy assessment
  • Connecting reading with writing
  • Literacy curriculum planning
  • The diverse classroom
  • Models of literacy

Online reading specialist certification – Pursuing a non-degree certificate program may be a great way to specialize your knowledge or meet continuing education requirements for teacher certification. You could explore a number of areas of literacy like assessment and evaluation, multisensory instruction , reading curriculum design and implementation , and much more.

Courses you may find in a certificate program include:

  • Theories of reading and writing
  • Children’s and young adult literature
  • Designing literacy programs
  • Group assessment and intervention
  • Literacy instruction for diverse populations

Online reading and literacy doctorate program – Finally, you might consider pursuing a doctoral-level degree, such as an Ed.D or PhD. Such a program may focus on literacy education research, with the goal of contributing to this field of knowledge. Students may conduct original research and then write and defend a dissertation.  You may may also take graduate courses, as well, such as:

  • Issues and trends in literacy
  • The politics of literacy
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Literacy pedagogy
  • Application of literacy research

It’s Time to Get Started!

If you’re ready to begin exploring reading specialist degree online programs, there may be a few criteria to keep in mind. For starters, look for schools that are accredited by an organization that is approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation may help to ensure program quality. [ii] You may also wish to speak to a program representative or a current student to learn about what you might expect from your program. And finally, check to see if your program meets your state’s requirements for certification, since every state is a bit different! i

Below are sponsored listings for graduate online reading specialist programs that may interest you. Feel free to filter by degree level (masters, doctorate, certificate) to find the type of program you may be looking for. And good luck on your journey to becoming a knowledgeable and compassionate literacy educator!


* Clinefelter, D. L. & Aslanian, C. B., (2016). Online college students 2016: Comprehensive data on demands and preferences. Louisville, KY: The Learning House, Inc.
Sources: [i]bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [ii]2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation.html

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