As a reading specialist, you can help students identify their reading difficulties and develop methods to overcome those struggles by providing remedial instructions. The Graduate Certificate in Reading Specialist prepares you to teach reading programs at various educational levels.

A Carlow students smiles at the camera during class. She is surrounded by other classmates.
Credits required:

25 credits

Cost per credit:


Time to completion:

As few as 12 months


In-Person Practicum

Interested in pursuing a a graduate certificate in Reading Specialist with an embedded Dyslexia Certificate from Carlow University? 

Carlow Univeristy is a LEADER in the field of evidenced-aligned reading instruction. Carlow Reading Specialist candidates learn how to deliver systematic, explicit, multi-modal, diagnostic and intensive instruction. 

At Carlow University, our Reading Specialist program is accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). We are in an elite crowd, as one of only a small number of universities nationwide with IDA accreditation! Best of all, Carlow’s Reading Specialist certificate program is available online, with class meeting times occurring synchronously (virtually) and asynchronously. 

At Carlow all of our coursework is aligned to IDA and Structured Literacy, and we are proud to have been awarded IDA accreditation for our MEd in Reading Specialist program! 

Unique options exist, that meet various needs: 

1.  Four Course Dyslexia Certificate, 12 credits 

  • READ 721 Dyslexia and Structured Literacy 
  • READ722 Critical Components of Phonological Awareness 
  • READ723 Structures of Language & Linguistics I 
  • READ 724 Data Integration and Instruction 

2.  Reading Specialist Certificate, 25 credits 

The four courses in the Dyslexia Certificate, plus: 

  • READ 725 Teachers as Writers 
  • READ 726 Critical Analysis of Text 
  • SE 711 Disciplinary and Digital Literacy 
  • READ 729 Structures of Language & Linguistics II 
  • READ 740 Evaluating Literacy Curriculum 

3.  MEd in Reading Specialist, 31 credits 

All courses in the Dyslexia Certificate and the Reading Specialist Certificate, plus: 

  • READ 727 Adolescent and Adult Literacy 
  • ED 731 Creative Inquiry 

International Dyslexia Association’s Accredited Universities 

Center for Effective Reading Instruction, Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Interventionist 

Quick facts

  • International Dyslexia Association, IDA Accredited 
  • Practioner oriented equipping teachers of reading and writing with Structured Literacy and evidenced-aligned teaching practices 
  • Faculty instructors who serve as national LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) trainers, Certified Orton-Gillingham Fellows, and literacy leaders and practitioners in the field 
  • Connected to Carlow’s Campus Laboratory School where Reading Specialist candidates have the unique opportunity of working directly with students with dyslexia in the school’s multi-sensory learning lab 
  • Partnerships with regional schools that enhance professional development 
  • No student teaching required 
  • Approved provider for the federal TEACH Grant 
In a library, a young boy is tutored by a teacher. He is holding a pencil over a book. They are talking.
Hispanic Young Boy and Famle Adult Studying At Library.

Career opportunities for reading specialists

Highly qualified Reading Specialists who possess a deep knowledge in the body of research known as the Science of Reading are in high demand. As NAEP, National Assessment of Educational Progress continues to report, nearly two-thirds of our nation’s 4th and 8th graders are reading below proficiency. Teacher knowledge is key in resolving this literacy crisis. Carlow’s rigorous coursework equips literacy practitioners with the essential knowledge and critical skills needed to support students, systems, and stakeholders in closing literacy achievment gaps for students across our county. 

Work as a Reading Specialist, Literacy Coach, Interventionist, Consultant, Specialized Dyslexia Tutor, or Independent Literacy Contractor in a variety of settings!

You can apply for free online, and must submit the following materials:

  • Official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions you have attended
  • Personal essay that describes your academic objectives
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation that address your leadership potential and ability to succeed in graduate-level work


Start terms:

Fall and Summer

An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred; however, provisional admission is also possible if you do not meet all of the admission criteria but exhibit a strong possibility of academic success. No prerequisites or teacher licensure are required for this degree and certification.

If you are interested in this graduate certificate program, our Admissions team is available to assist you with the next steps.

Follow us and stay up-to-date on events and opportunities to learn more about our program and faculty.

“Carlow’s Dyslexia Certificate is exceptional! The knowledge gained throughout my experience has helped me to better support and understand evidence based practices that are beneficial for all students and vital for students with dyslexia. In addition to the coursework and learning, I found valuable relationships in the Carlow faculty! The professors were excellent in their knowledge base, course structures, and accessibility. Knowing that all our students deserve instruction rooted in what the collective science says about how the brain learns to read, working through Carlow’s Dyslexia Certificate program was a must for me!”

-Tanya Lewis is a principal in the Butler Area School District, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Carlow’s Educational Leadership Program and Dylslexia Teaching Certificate track 

“I recently completed the accelerated, one-year MEd Reading Specialist and Dyslexia Certification program at Carlow University.  I was initially attracted to Carlow because of the IDA accreditation, course offerings, and virtual instruction.  Each course in the MEd Reading Specialist program and accompanying texts expanded my knowledge of reading science and structured literacy. The practicum experiences allowed me to put my new learning into practice.  My fondest memories of Carlow are the classes taught by enthusiastic, expert instructors in the field of literacy. I am proud to be a Carlow graduate, reading specialist, and a CERI Certified Structured Literacy Interventionist!”

-Laurie Gibbons is a Reading Specialist in Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland and a graduate of Carlow’s MEd in Reading Specialist Program with embedded Dyslexia Certificate  

“I highly recommend Carlow University’s MEd Reading Specialist program to anyone who is looking to expand their knowledge of evidence-based reading instruction and structured literacy. The professors are knowledgeable educators who have a wealth of experience in the field of education. The coursework helped me dive deeper into how children learn to read, the difficulties they may experience, and how to facilitate learning for students who struggle with reading. The embedded practicum allowed me to use the skills I was learning and provided opportunities for feedback and discussion with my professors and peers.”

-Sarah Seyler is a Reading Coach in Sussex County Public Schools, Virginia and a graduate of Carlow’s MEd in Reading Specialist Program with embedded Dyslexia Certificate 

“My courses in the Reading Specialist program at Carlow have been career-changing. I have been an elementary teacher for 17 years and have learned more about teaching reading in courses I’ve taken than I have in my previous combined eight years of higher education. Already having an MEd, obtaining another was not my original plan. Being introduced to the Science of Reading and getting a taste of the research changed my mind. I want to keep learning and growing as a teacher and soak up as much knowledge as I can from the amazing professors and education department at Carlow.” 

-Samantha Buterbaugh is a teacher in South Butler County School District, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Carlow’s MEd in Reading Specialist Program with embedded Dyslexia Certificate 

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