Reading Specialist


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This area of emphasis is designed for educators or others wishing to expand upon their knowledge of literacy with a special emphasis on multi-sensory based instructional practices. Coursework includes early and emergent literacy, word structure knowledge, delivery of reading assessments with resulting targeted interventions, advanced literacy instruction in comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary acquisition, developmental writing, and spelling. For those qualified educators, completion of the Area of Emphasis reading courses can lead to WV Certification as a Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach. WV Reading Certification requires general education certification, a completed Master’s degree, and a passing score on the Praxis Reading test.

The M.A.Ed. requires 36 credit hours (12 courses) and can be completed in 1-2 years depending on the number of courses taken each semester. Each course is held in an 8-week session, and each semester (fall, spring, summer) has 2 sessions. The Education Core courses are offered either online or face-to-face each semester. Face-to-face courses are held one day a week from 5:00 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. at the West Liberty University Highlands Center.

Education Core Courses (18 hours)


Each of these required courses are offered every semester.

  • EDUC 502 Professional Writing
  • EDUC 503 Technology Applications
  • EDUC 506 Motivation and the Development of Creativity
  • EDUC 512 Assessment and Analysis for Teaching – Learning
  • SPED 532 Historical Perspectives and Case Law
  • EDUC 581 Research and Capstone

Area of Emphasis Courses (18 hours)


These required courses must be completed in this order.

Fall I

  • READ 562 Foundations of Structured Literacy

Fall II

  • READ 563 Multisensory Teaching Methods: Phonics and Word Structure Knowledge

Spring I

  • READ 564 Structured Literacy Practicum

Spring II

  • READ 565 Advanced Methods and Practices of Multisensory Instruction

Summer I

  • READ 575 Advanced Literacy Instruction and Planning

Summer II

  • READ 512 Literacy Assessment

Required Textbooks for Reading Specialist Courses

To view the descriptions of the above courses, click on the current WLU Catalog and go to pages 204-206 and 212-213. Admitted students can view their degree plan in DegreeWorks by accessing WINS.

For more information, please contact the advisor for this area of emphasis:

Mrs. Theresa Kowcheck, M.A.Ed.
Instructor of Reading
[email protected]