IDA Accredited Plus Program Seal

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

Graduates of Carlow’s MEd in Reading Specialist Program take the KPEERI, Knowledge and Practice Exam for Effective Reading Instruction through CERI, the Center for Effective Reading Instruction.  As a result, Carlow graduates are then Level II CERI certified, which awards the certification SLDI, Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Interventionist. Carlow’s MEd in Reading Specialists meet the rigorous requirements associated with CERI’s SLDI. 

Carlow’s MEd in Reading Specialist program embeds a four-course Dyslexia Certificate which is built into the Reading Specialist program.  Educators, students, and other practitioners may choose to complete the Dyslexia Certificate as a stand-alone certificate.

Credits required:

25-31 credits

Cost per credit:


Time to degree:

As few as 12 months


Online with synchronous and asynchronous meeting times

Interested in pursuing a Master’s in Reading Specialist and/or Dyslexia Certificate from Carlow University? 

Carlow University 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 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

  • Practitioner 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 practioners 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 

Add-on certificate

If you already have a teaching license, you can earn this MEd under our add-on certificate option. When applying, indicate your interest in the add-on certificate option.

Graduate Certificate in Reading Specialist (Pre-K-12)

This program is available as a graduate certificate which leads to an endorsement from PDE for already licensed teachers.

Career opportunities for Reading Specialist

School districts hire reading specialists to coordinate reading programs, support students and teachers, and work with intervention services.

Employment of instructional coordinators is projected to grow 6% from 2019 to 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As states and school districts put greater emphasis on student achievement data, schools may increasingly turn to instructional coordinators to develop better curriculums and improve teachers’ effectiveness.

Testimonials #1
Meet our Alumni


Director of Special Education, Provident Charter School

"When deciding to attend graduate school, Carlow University was a natural choice, not only because of its familiarity, but also because of the various degree options."


Head Teacher, Child’s World Daycare

"I especially loved The Campus Laboratory School. It was a chance to experience the design of different classrooms, closely observe many teaching styles, and practice using different instructional strategies in a supportive environment."


Chemistry Teacher, Avonworth School District

"I want to take this moment and thank Dr. Keely Baronak and the whole Carlow team for the education and experiences I've gained from the MEd Secondary Education program. I'm excited to represent Carlow in my new home."

Testimonials #1

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, Spring & 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.

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If you are interested in this graduate program, our Admissions team is available to assist you with the next steps, including scheduling an on-campus visit or attending an upcoming event.

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 

“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 

“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 and a graduate student in our dyslexia teaching track and reading specialist program 

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