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Reading Specialist Endorsement-Only

Reading Specialist Endorsement-Only

The Commonwealth of Virginia allows currently licensed teachers who already hold a Master's degree to obtain the Reading Specialist endorsement by completing an approved graduate-level reading specialist preparation program. The Endorsement-Only program is designed to provide current Master's level practitioners with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for effective teaching of reading, the development of reading programs, and literacy coaching at the elementary and secondary school levels.
Successful candidates will provide needed leadership in the field of reading.

Candidates seeking admission to the Reading Specialist Endorsement-Only program must apply for admission, and meet with the Graduate Program Director before enrolling in any courses.

Applicants to the Reading Specialist Endorsement-Only (K-12) program must:

  • hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in the undergraduate major field and a minimum GPA of 2.8 in cumulative coursework;
  • hold a master's degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in cumulative coursework;
  • have had three semester credits in reading courses at the undergraduate or graduate level;
  • hold the Virginia Collegiate Professional License or an equivalent license from another state;
  • have an interview and complete the reading specialist Endorsement-Only K-12 application with the Graduate Program Director before enrolling in any courses;
  • complete any prerequisites for the program as advised by the Graduate Program Director.

Reading Specialist Endorsement-Only Program Completion Requirements

In order to be eligible for the Reading Specialist endorsement, candidates must:

  • successfully complete 30 hours of approved coursework within a six year time frame;
  • maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in the major field and in all cumulative coursework;
  • complete three years of full-time successful teaching experience, during which the teaching of reading was an important responsibility;
  • complete an exit interview;
  • achieve a passing score on the Virginia Reading Assessment ); and,
  • complete endorsement application paperwork through Teacher Education Services.

Candidates who have not successfully completed three years of classroom teaching may be eligible for a conditional endorsement.

To become a reading specialist, one must have 12 semester hours of pre-requisite graduate course work selected from any of the following areas:

  • measurement and/or evaluation;
  • child and/or adolescent psychology;
  • psychology, including personality and learning behaviors:
  • literature for children, adolescents, and adults with limited reading ability;
  • language arts instruction;
  • learning disabilities; and contemporary issues in the teaching of reading;
  • contemporary issues in the teaching of reading

If the above coursework has not been satisfied, students must take enough graduate level courses to fulfill 12 credit hours of pre-requisite credits before being admitted to the Reading Specialist Endorsement program.


Core Courses for Reading Specialist Endorsement-Only: 27 credits

ECI 689

Survey of Reading Instruction

3 credits

ECI 680

Reading to Learn Across the Curriculum

3 credits

ECI 683

Diagnostic Teaching of Reading in the Classroom

3 credits

ECI 686

Language Development and Reading

3 credits

ECI 685

Organizing and Supervising Reading Program Development

3 credits

ECI 693(prerequisite ECI 683)

Practicum in Reading I

3 credits

ECI 618

Approaches to Teaching Literature and Writing

3 credits

ECI 620

Multicultural Children's Literature &Literacy

3 credits

ECI 621

Differentiated Literacy Instruction & Portfolio Development

3 credits

Research Courses for Reading Specialist Endorsement-Only: 3 credits

ECI 635

Research Methods in Education

3 credits

Total hours for Reading Specialist Endorsement-Only - 30 credits