A black and white banner hanging on an elementary classroom wall says "Reading"

News in Brief: UVA Launches New Reading Education Master’s, Certificate Programs

The expanded reading education program offerings are designed to provide additional pathways and prepare high-quality reading specialists to help meet literacy needs in Virginia.

Laura Hoxworth

The UVA School of Education and Human Development, a leader in literacy education, is building on its existing evidence-aligned reading education programs to improve the student experience while continuing to support state literacy goals.  

A new certificate program and an updated Master of Education program will both lead to the reading specialist endorsement in Virginia. Reading specialists partner with classroom teachers to develop, implement, and monitor the progress of students who need extra support in reading.  

UVA has played a central role in shaping and implementing the Virginia Literacy Act. Under the legislation's guidelines, the commonwealth will need to double its current number of reading specialists. Both programs aim to increase the numbers of high-quality reading specialists in Virginia and beyond with flexible, online coursework and discounted tuition rates for Virginia residents and educators.

Students will learn more about how reading and writing skills develop in children and adolescents, how to administer reading assessments to identify and diagnose reading difficulties, and how to deliver responsive, evidence-based literacy instruction as well as how to apply these skills to leadership and coaching in a school context. 

Master of Education in Reading Education

Previously, completing the requirements for the reading specialist endorsement required an extra three credit hour practicum. In the newly restructured master’s program, students can complete all requirements in the 30-credit master’s alone, meaning less time at a lower cost.  

Students do not need to have a master’s degree or a teaching license to apply. While not required, the program is approved by the state for adding the Commonwealth of Virginia’s K-12 reading specialist endorsement to a professional teaching license.

The program can be completed in 1 year (full-time) or 2-3 years (part-time). With an online and asynchronous format, it is designed to be convenient for working adults.  

Applications are due May 1st for a summer 2024 start date or July 1st for a fall 2024 start date. Opportunities are also available for school divisions to sponsor a cohort. 

For more information, visit the program page.  

Graduate Certificate in Reading Education

For licensed teachers who already have a master’s degree and wish to strengthen their knowledge about science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction, EHD will now offer a certificate program in reading education. This program provides a faster pathway to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s K-12 reading specialist endorsement with three fewer courses than the master’s program.

Courses are offered in an online and asynchronous format, ideal for working professionals. Students may apply to enroll in the fall, spring, or summer and typically complete the program in 1.5-2.5 years on a part-time schedule. Opportunities are also available for school divisions to sponsor a cohort.

For more information, visit the program page.  

News Information

Media Contact

Laura Hoxworth

Research Center or Department

  • Curriculum, Instruction & Special Education