What Courses Do I Need To Complete To Become a Reading Support Specialist?

Reading SpecialistsA reading support specialist is integral in the ability of an educational group or institution to ensure the success of all students. Working with students, teachers, and administrators, reading specialists assess individual students and general programs in reading and literacy instruction to effectively lead the collaboration and instruction techniques to improve overall literacy and language development of all students. The knowledge and skills needed often start in an educational program.

Postsecondary Education for the Reading Support Specialist Field

Some positions in reading support require a Bachelor’s degree in education with significant coursework in reading, literacy, and linguistics. Future professionals could also earn a post-baccalaureate certificate after earning a Bachelor’s degree in any field, such as education or English, in order to qualify for positions.

The minimum of a Master’s degree is likely to be the educational requirement in order to gain the skills and knowledge for the position. For additional information on the on the knowledge needed to be successful in the role of a reading support specialist, visit the International Reading Association.

Reading Support Specialist Curriculum Overview

Whether working toward completion of an undergraduate degree, graduate degree, or certificate program, there are a number of categories of courses that a student will complete. In addition to courses designed to give future professionals knowledge in reading development, classwork also focuses on instruction methods, human and child development, and research skills.

Often, programs to prepare future reading support specialists also include field work study or classroom observation. This enables a student to gain experience in program evaluation and assessment of students in particular, which are essential.

Coursework in the Reading Support Specialist Curriculum

The coursework in a degree or certificate program helps future graduates with the various responsibilities a reading support specialist might undertake in a position in a school or research organization. Coursework typically begins with the study of language, such as language acquisition phonics, and linguistics. Students might also complete study of children’s literature in order to gain a better understanding of the development of literacy.

In addition, students will complete courses that help in the understanding of child and human development, including child learning and development. These courses are helpful for building instruction techniques in methods courses such as developmental reading instruction, coaching students with mild disabilities, and methods of teaching English as a second language.

Reading support specialist education programs also include significant coursework in research methods. A large portion of the responsibilities of this position will include the observation, review, evaluation, development, revision, and implementation of reading programs. Courses include curriculum development, curriculum analysis, instructional assessment, implications of instruction, and principles of supervision.

Related Resource: Becoming a Curriculum Developer

Completing a Degree of Certificate Program

After finishing the coursework in a program for reading specialist preparation, graduates are ready to begin to meet any state requirements for licensing or certification. In some cases, this includes work experience in the classroom and might require the successful completion of a certification test.

Programs in reading help to give graduates the knowledge necessary to meet the requirements for certification and for working with students, teachers, administrators, parents, and communities. With a unique set of skills, the reading support specialist is able to support students in achieving academic success.