Master of Science Curriculum and Instruction-Reading Specialist Certification

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate Degree
  • Minimum of cumulative 3.0 GPA
  • Letter of intent completed in the testing center
  • Passing Score on the TExES exam or proof of standard Texas teaching certificate
  • Resumé 
  • Reading Specialist certification requires additional application through the TK20 system.

Requirements must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office by the designated deadline of first semester enrollment.

Degree Requirements

Students should refer to their DegreeWorks degree audit in their Web for Students account for more information regarding their degree requirements.

Interdisciplinary Core Courses
ED 520Education Research Literature and Techniques3
Major Courses
ED 547Evaluating Learning3
ED 551Effective Strategies for Student Success3
or ED 592 Interdisciplinary Curriculum Delivery
ED 573Leadership and Mentoring in Education3
ED 590Curriculum Alignment for School Improvement3
or ED 591 Interdisciplinary Curriculum Design
Select three semester credit hours from the following:3
Public School Law for Teachers
Teaching in a Multicultural Setting
Instructional Design and Development
Supporting Courses
RDG 560Literacy Leadership and School Improvement3
RDG 561Diagnosis and Intervention for Language-Based Reading Disabilities3
RDG 562Diagnostic and Prescriptive Reading for Elementary Students3
RDG 563Content Area Literacy Instruction3
ENG 555Linguistics3
ED 530Human Growth and Development for Educators3
Total Hours36
Reading Specialist certification requires additional application through the Teacher Certification Office.

Graduate Courses in Reading Specialist

ED 520. Education Research Literature and Techniques. 3 Hours.

This course addresses the process and tools to locate, read, understand, and critique education research. The fundamental techniques of planning, conducting, and reporting qualitative and quantitative research will also be considered. Prerequisite: Admission into the Educator Preparation Program or instructor permission.

ED 547. Evaluating Learning. 3 Hours.

This course will address the components of a comprehensive assessment program to improve student achievement, the process and procedures to manage these systems, the differences and similarities between formative and summative assessment. The course considers the situational application of assessing student needs, developing instructional goals, designing instructional assessments to achieve goals, and evaluating students’ work for improvement and achievement. Students will learn the importance of the alignment of the written, taught, and tested. Prerequisite: ED 520 and must be admitted into the Alternative Certification Program.

ED 530. Human Growth and Development for Educators. 3 Hours.

This course examines cognitive, physical, psychological, and social development of humans from conception through adolescence (0-20 years). Theoretical frameworks, critical issues, and current research pertaining to each life-stage are included. Educational implications of domain specific developmental factors are highlighted. Study of the overlay of creativity, resiliency, and focus of control are added psychological variables integrated for further understanding of developmental influences on student success and/or failure in learning and school. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into the Alternative Certification Program.

ED 551. Effective Strategies for Student Success. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on effective best-practice teaching and learning strategies aligned to the written and assessed curriculum. Emphasis is placed on the use of research-based instructional strategies in the classroom. Prerequisite: ED 520.

ED 573. Leadership and Mentoring in Education. 3 Hours.

ED573 is a core requirement for graduate students seeking a degree in Curriculum & Instruction or a prescribed elective for graduate students seeking master teacher certification. The course focuses on building leadership capacity with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion through the role of the master teacher. Techniques for effective consultation, mentoring, and coaching will be addressed along with specific strategies for professional collaboration. The content of this course will be included in comprehensive exams for degree seeking students. Prerequisite: ED 520.

ED 577. Public School Law for Teachers. 3 Hours.

This course educates current and future teachers to become legally literate. A study of the federal and state legal framework will serve as the foundation for a more in-depth investigation of the impact of, and relationship between, constitutional, statutory, administrative, and judicial (case) law on a teacher's personal and professional life. Prerequisite: None.

ED 590. Curriculum Alignment for School Improvement. 3 Hours.

This course addresses theories and related practices of applied curriculum leadership including topological and deep alignment of the written, taught, and tested curriculum. Students will study research-based curriculum-related elements of high performing schools. Prerequisite: ED 520.

ED 593. Teaching in a Multicultural Setting. 3 Hours.

This course surveys the historical, psychological, social, and economic factors influencing pupil behavior in the public school setting. Students investigate in-depth cross-cultural studies and teaching strategies relating to subject matter and social-education experiences of major U.S. minority groups.

ENG 555. Linguistics. 3 Hours.

This course offers an introduction to principles of how language develops, changes and functions. The course focuses on the differences among world languages, the history of the English language, and analysis of modern English phonology, morphology and syntax (sound, units of meaning, word order).

ITED 520. Instructional Design and Development. 3 Hours.

This course provides students with experiences necessary to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for designing effective instruction that meets the needs of the information age. Students will explore the instructional systems development (ISD) process, from analysis through evaluation, and engage in authentic instruction design activities. This course replaces ITED 502 and 503. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

RDG 560. Literacy Leadership and School Improvement. 3 Hours.

Students will investigate how a Reading Specialist is involved as a literacy leader at the classroom, campus and district levels to impact change aligned with research-based literacy instruction. In doing so, students will examine state data, interview campus stakeholders about strengths/weaknesses in campus data, and address deficiencies by developing a campus improvement plan (may include a master schedule/RtI revision) and professional development that aligns with the plan. Prerequisite: Must be admitted to the Reading Specialist program.

RDG 561. Diagnosis and Intervention for Language-Based Reading Disabilities. 3 Hours.

Students will learn about language-based disabilities including dyslexia and dysgraphia and investigate research-based approaches to assessment, instruction and resources. Additionally, students will address how HB3 has affected the way Texas approaches dyslexia screening and instruction. Prerequisite: Admitted to the Reading Specialist program.

RDG 562. Diagnostic and Prescriptive Reading for Elementary Students. 3 Hours.

This course provides a framework for assessing students in all components of reading instruction aligned to the Science of Teaching Reading in order to gather data regarding strengths and weaknesses in literacy development in elementary students. Students will practice effective assessment techniques, data analysis and incorporate research-based strategies for addressing deficits or enhancing strengths into intervention lesson planning to scaffold student learning. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Alternative Certification Program or Reading Specialist Program.

RDG 563. Content Area Literacy Instruction. 3 Hours.

This course equips content area teachers with research-based strategies and skill to incorporate reading into science, mathematics and/or social studies. Students will utilize strategies for morphemic awareness, comprehension, vocabulary and written expression to develop a unit of study based on the TEKS for a subject area of choice. Additionally students will assess curriculum materials and learn about additional tools and accommodations that teachers use to bridge student reading deficits to allow learning in the content area how to help their students learn the material presented.


Dr. Kelly Cordray, Assistant Professor of Education

Phone: (903) 223-3037