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The Master’s in Education with Reading Specialist certification (with the option of Supervisor or Orton Gillingham certificate) is a 33-credit program designed for certified teachers who wish to become reading/literacy specialists and leaders within the K-12 private and public schools.

In this program candidates will develop a broad knowledge base in the field of literacy/reading, including: 1) current research and theory regarding language and literacy development; 2) diagnosis and remediation of reading problems; 3) consideration of culturally and linguistically diverse learners; 3) the importance and cultivation of motivation; 4) curriculum development and supervision of literacy programs.

Upon completion of this program, candidates will be prepared to apply their knowledge of literacy, language, and learning to support and advocate for quality literacy instruction that is inclusive of all students, develop and oversee the implementation of curriculum and programs that support diverse learners at all stages of development, and enact transformative leadership skills that propel the type of change necessary for equity.

  • New Jersey Literacy/Reading Specialist Certification requires current standard teacher license, two years of successful teaching experience, and a master’s degree.
  • New Jersey Supervisor Certification requires current standard teacher license with three years of successful teaching experience

Candidates must meet the above requirements within a year of completing the program for FDU school of Education to make recommendations to the NJ Department of Education for certification issuance.

Degree Plan

4 Required Core Courses

  • EDUC6763 Theoretical Foundations of Literacy: Theory, Research, and Curriculum (course required for Supervisor Certification)
  • EDUC6764 Diagnosis and Correction of Reading Problems
  • EDUC6609 Supervised Practicum in Reading
  • EDUC6765 Seminar in Reading: Action Research and Leadership (course required for Supervisor Certification)

5 Course Literacy Assessment, Instruction and Methods (15 credits total)

  • EDUC6766 Literacy Language and Culture
  • EDUC6767 Multimodal Literacy across Disciplines
  • EDUC6491 Culturally Responsive Children’s Literature
  • EDUC6747 Multisensory Reading
  • EDUC6493 Remediation of Adolescent Reading Difficulties
  • EDUC6492 Prevention and Remediation of Written Language Difficulties
  • EDUC6813 Structured Literacy: Students with Reading Difficulties 1 (required for Orton Gillingham Certification; only available on Orton Gillingham track)
  • EDUC6814 Structured Literacy: Students with Reading Difficulties 2 (required for Orton Gillingham Certification; only available on Orton Gillingham track)
  • EDUC6654 Literacy Development for Second Language Learners

6 Additional Credits

2 Supervisor Track Courses or 2 Orton Gillingham Track Courses or 2 Additional Courses if not on Supervisor or Orton Gillingham tracks. (After August 2025, students in Supervisor or Orton Gillingham track will be required to take 36 credits, rather than 33 credits of study.)

  • EDUC6703 Supervision of Instruction and Personnel Evaluation (course required for Supervisor Certification)
  • EDUC6718 Curriculum/Program Evaluation and Student Assessment (course required for Supervisor Certification)
  • EDUC7633 Structured Literacy: Students with Reading Difficulties 3 (required for Orton Gillingham Certification; only available on Orton Gillingham track)
  • EDUC7644 Structured Literacy: Students with Reading Difficulties 4 (required for Orton Gillingham Certification; only available on Orton Gillingham track)

Student Testimonials

“I’ve grown so much through my time in the Reading Specialist program at FDU.  I have learned how to implement effective strategies to support student reading success and had the chance to put them into practice in my actual classroom the next day. My supervisor coached me through observations and feedback and encouraged me to be an incredible educator. One of the best features of this program is its focus on culturally responsive texts. As our classrooms continue to become more diverse, it is important for our teaching and resources to reflect the makeup of our students. I am thankful for the collaboration I’ve had with peers which has given me endless resources.  My time in this program has made me a more effective, reflective, and excited educator and I know my students can feel its effects.”

-Amanda Eastman, MA Reading Specialist, and Orton Gillingham certification, class of “25”


“I am thoroughly delighted with the comprehensive and research-based approach of the Literacy/Reading and Multisensory Reading program at Fairleigh Dickinson University. As I searched for a degree that would support and improve my reading instruction, I was very impressed by this one. The selection of courses is well-rounded and covers all essential aspects that are necessary to explore as a future reading specialist. I am particularly excited about the integration of Orton Gillingham certification into the degree. 

I have found this degree to be easy to navigate, as well as a program that sets all candidates up for success. The program’s advisor, Dr. JeanMarie Farrow, is consistently available to address my concerns and guide me through scheduling courses, creating a timeline of the degree, or whatever other questions I may have.

As I continue to take courses within this program, I am confident that it will open up a world of possibilities for me to make a significant impact on the reading abilities of my students.”

-Emily Weadock, MA Reading Specialist and Orton Gillingham certification, class of “26”


“The Reading Specialist program at FDU has been and continues to be a wonderful experience. As a second-grade teacher who loves to teach Reading and Writing, I am passionate about literacy and hope to become a reading specialist in the future. The professors here are incredibly knowledgeable and provide so many valuable resources to support our learning. The coursework is relevant and covers a wide range of content and I’m able to apply what I’ve learned to my current classroom teaching. In addition, the flexibility and convenience of this program being remote is an incredible benefit for full-time educators. Overall, this has been the perfect fit for me and my experience in this program has enabled me to combine my love for literacy with my love for teaching. I’m so grateful to be a part of it!”

-Caroline Moran, MA Reading Specialist, class of “25”


“The Reading Specialist program at FDU prepared me for my role as an instructional coach. The coursework gave me an in-depth understanding of how students learn to read and write, as well as practical tools for diagnosing and correcting reading and writing difficulties.  Careful consideration is given to culturally sustaining practices and planning for students with varying abilities.  What I most appreciate is the network of educators and the connections we made throughout the program that continue to this day.” 

-Paula Discenza, MA Reading Specialist, and Orton Gillingham certification

For More Information

For more information about this program, contact the Program Director of Reading/Literacy:

Dr. JeanMarie Farrow