Reading Specialist (PK-12), M.Ed.

A student teaching four students in a classroom.
Program Type
Est. Time to Complete
1-2 years
Graduate and Professional Studies
Delivery Mode
A student teacher teaching two students at the whiteboard.

Empower your teaching.

York College of Pennsylvania’s online Reading Specialist Master of Education (MEd) degree program is a perfect fit for educators hungry for a way to further promote literacy development in their students.

This fully online master’s degree program leading to Reading Specialist Certification leverages faculty expertise in both the scholarship and practice of youth literacy to build expertise in reading instruction, childhood and adolescent literature, literacy program development, and the application of these strategies in collaboration with other educational professionals.

If you’re interested in furthering your career in literacy development and education or are a current Pennsylvania teacher seeking Reading Specialist Certification, York College’s online graduate program is a flexible and convenient solution.

About the Online M.Ed. in Reading Specialist

Master of Education in Reading Specialist Degree Requirements and Courses

An engaging online curriculum and integrated clinical experiences train students in foundational educational theory as well as advanced topics in reading and literacy. The 36-credit Master of Education program effectively prepares students in key areas, including:

  • Assessment and intervention strategies for reading
  • Reading and literacy curriculum development
  • Multicultural and diverse literacy
  • Literacy coaching and leadership
  • Research methods in reading and literacy education

Students participate in a convenient supervised fieldwork component, refining practical skills in teaching reading and writing while creating effective literacy programs for all students.

Prepare to Obtain Reading Specialist Certification Online

By completing our approved online MEd program, graduates will achieve all academic and clinical components necessary to be eligible to sit for the Praxis exam and apply for the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Reading Specialist Certification. This credential is necessary to work as a Reading Specialist in Pennsylvania schools.

This certification also paves the way for all educators who are passionate about literacy education and eager to make a difference in the lives of students with diverse reading needs through specialized support and intervention.

 Certificate-Only Pathway

York College offers a flexible and streamlined online post-graduate certificate program in the Reading Specialist field that can be pursued alone. Our innovative certification pathway combines coursework with practical fieldwork opportunities in nearby education and literacy settings to further your professional career in a truncated 27-credit program, compared to the complete 36- credit degree program.

Discover more about our convenient Reading Specialist post-master's certificate program.

Earn a Master of Education, Reading Specialist Certification Online With York College of Pennsylvania

Experience the flexibility and expanded career options offered by the York College online Master of Education in Reading Specialist degree program and Reading Specialist Certification.

Ready to make a positive impact in the field of literacy education? Request information or begin your application.

Preparation for Literacy Education Careers

Specialized training in youth literacy creates opportunities for careers in literacy coaching, intervention, and leadership within educational settings. Moreover, educators with Reading Specialist Certification may qualify for higher compensation or specialized positions, resulting in increased earning potential.

Graduates can explore opportunities in diverse settings such as public and private schools, community education centers, nonprofit organizations, and private tutoring practices. They can work with students to enhance reading comprehension, fluency, phonics, and vocabulary skills. The coursework and applied components of the program enable educators to develop effective literacy curricula and instructional strategies while also addressing students with all abilities.

Advanced Literacy Careers in Diverse Settings

Literacy professionals who gain experience and demonstrate credentials enjoy several paths for career advancement. Career fields that may benefit from or require graduate education and specialized training in literacy education include:

  • Literacy coaching
  • Curriculum development and coordination
  • Reading and literacy consulting
  • Adult literacy instruction
  • Reading clinic management
  • Literacy research in academic or clinical settings
  • Diversity and inclusion in literacy education
  • Policy and advocacy for literary education

Whether you envision yourself designing interventions, coaching struggling students, or assisting schools, districts, or educational organizations in improving reading and literacy instruction—learn how to teach reading and literacy skills to all types of students. Additionally, discover how to consult with and coordinate with stakeholders at all levels, from parents to other literacy professionals and administrators.

Salary and Outlook for Literacy Education Careers

Earning a master’s with hands-on experience in literacy education impacts your professional trajectory in fulfilling and transformative roles. These advanced qualifications are necessary or preferred to achieve roles with the following average annual compensations:

These figures indicate a diverse range of salary prospects for online Reading Specialist master's degree graduates. While factors like location and experience influence earnings, this advanced qualification demonstrates your expertise in literacy challenges and intervention techniques, preparing you for career advancement opportunities.

Clinical Practicums in Reading

Two supervised practicum placements give students direct practice in real educational and clinical settings focusing on two key areas:

  • MED 526: Diagnosis and Assessment
  • MED 527: Intervention

These experiential components meet the standards set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Under the supervision of reading and literacy professionals and experienced educators, you’ll learn how to establish and maintain an effective literacy education environment and gain hands-on skills in language systems and working with students to address their strengths and needs.

Benefit From Close Community Partnerships in Central PA

Drawing from York’s extensive network of local and regional partnerships with literacy clinics and educational institutions, our students benefit from invaluable hands-on learning experiences and opportunities to connect with established professionals in the field of reading and literacy.

Engaging coursework and real-world interactions not only enhance students’ understanding of best practices in literacy education but also help them build lasting relationships that can support their future professional growth and development.

Employer Tuition Agreements

York College is committed to fostering strong partnerships with a diverse range of community organizations and businesses, providing their employees with the opportunity to access high-quality graduate-level education at affordable rates. To find out if your organization supports this program, view our Graduate Program Tuition Discounts or contact your employer’s Human Resources department.

Core Skills for Successful Literacy Professionals

In the online Reading Specialist program’s carefully designed curriculum and clinical learning opportunities, students acquire comprehensive skills essential to successfully make an impact on the lives of future students. The key skills that graduates of our program develop and master prepare them for a rewarding career in reading and literacy education, including:

  • How to implement inclusive teaching strategies and adapt curriculum to support diverse learners in various settings
  • The design and administration of effective school reading programs
  • Diagnosis, assessment, and interventions for reading challenges with a variety of origins and complexities
  • Literary coaching responsibilities for effective mentorship and collaboration with fellow educators
  • How to conduct educational research to inform and enhance reading instruction and assessment strategies

Reading Specialist Courses

Your class schedule will include a series of core courses related to your field and taught by faculty experts.

Course NameCourse CodeCredits
Foundations of Reading InstructionMED 5103 Credits
Children and Adolescent LiteratureMED 5113 Credits
Advanced Psychology of ReadingMED 5203 Credits
Clinical Practicum in ReadingMED 526/5273 Credits


Careers in Education

A master's degree in Education opens up a variety of career opportunities. Some of your options may include:

Reading and Literacy Consulting

Adult Literacy Instruction

Reading Clinic Management

Literary Research in Academic or Clinical Settings

Curriculum Development and Coordination

Literacy Coaching

Frequently Asked Questions

After completing a certain number of academic and experiential requirements in an approved graduate program, a student gains eligibility to take the PRAXIS examination and apply for the PK-12 Reading Specialist Certification.

This designation allows you to pursue careers in literacy education, such as literacy coach, reading interventionist, curriculum developer, reading consultant, and reading program coordinator. You may work in public and private schools, community education centers, nonprofit organizations, and private tutoring practices, helping students improve their reading skills and supporting educators in enhancing literacy instruction.

As a combined clinical and academic program, the Master of Education, Reading Specialist program allows educators to attend flexible online courses. For clinical requirements, online students may perform the practicum in an educational setting that is conveniently located to them, including their existing employment.


Students enrolled in the online Reading Specialist degree program have various financial assistance opportunities to explore. One option is employer tuition assistance, available through select local and regional partners. Additionally, students can apply for federal financial aid to help cover their educational expenses. The Office of Financial Aid serves as a valuable resource for discovering further support options, including grants and scholarships, to help make your education more affordable.

Review tuition and costs, and please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office.

Graduate and Professional Studies Staff

View All Staff
Joshua DeSantis
Joshua DeSantis, D.Ed.
Assistant Provost, Graduate and Professional Programs
Associate Professor, Education
Graduate and Professional Studies
Sueann Robbins
Sueann Robbins
Director of Graduate and Transfer Admissions
Admissions Office

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