Leadership in Teaching: Literacy Specialist/Coach (Reading Specialist)


The Master of Arts in Leadership in Teaching: Reading Specialist program is designed for elementary and secondary certified teachers who want to expand their professional literacy knowledge and practices to become literacy leaders in K-12 settings. Coursework, practicum experiences, and research will prepare candidates to provide instruction for large and small groups as well as individual students, and engage in the practices of coaching faculty members and facilitating professional development. Learning to read and reading to learn are integral to a student’s education; the reading specialist is the leader who supports growth for students and their teachers. This program is MSDE approved for the Reading Specialist certification.

Teacher kneeling next to a student reading

Student Outcomes

As a student in this program, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively within a literacy team to create a comprehensive mission, vision, and action plan for a whole school, whole community within a multiple year literacy plan.
  2. Exhibit the important skills of a literacy coach that include knowledge of literacy content and theory, instructional practice, and the ability to build relationships.
  3. Use varied and appropriate instruments for literacy assessment in a manner that includes both analysis of data and synthesis of results; together this combination leads to differentiated plans for instruction.
  4. Establish a view of professional development that includes current theory and practice within a model of choice, interaction, varied group size, and a view of literacy that includes reading, writing, listening, speaking, and thinking.

Program Outcomes

At the completion of the program, you will be able to:

  1. Pass the PRAXIS for Reading Specialist, achieving a 100% rate at the NDMU designated passing score.
  2. Assume literacy leadership positions within current teaching placements and/or seek new positions as literacy specialists or literacy coaches.
  3. Embrace professionalism by continuing membership and leadership in local, regional, and national literacy organizations (ILA, NCTE, SoMIRAC).
  4. Maintain the belief systems that are founded in the ILA Standards for Reading Professionals and the NDMU School of Education’s Conceptual Framework—Research, Self-Reflection, Vocation, and Practice.



  • Instruction in Reading: EDU-542 (3 credits)

    Reviews current research findings related to integrated language arts instruction and their impact on classroom practices in schools. Numerous strategies and methods to develop and enhance the elementary student's reading, writing, listening and speaking skills are explored. A variety of management techniques will be discussed. [ 3 credits ]
  • Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Educational Research: EDU-543 (3 credits)

    Provides an interactive learning environment that will enable students to acquire knowledge, skills and abilities required for the analysis, interpretation and evaluation of educational research. In addition, the course will enable students to cultivate the skills necessary for engaging in their own creative and meaningful research. [ 3 credits ]
  • Teaching Reading and Writing in the Content Areas Part II: EDU-551 (3 credits)

    Provides an advanced study of how to teach reading and writing to all students using motivating and accessible texts. Participants analyze literacy (the reading and writing process) to understand how levels of literacy are not absolute. Literacy is relative and depends on the diverse culture, language, background experiences, and skills of the reader and the kind of text presented. Participants learn how to informally assess their students' levels of literacy and analyze texts for level of readability. Various reading and writing approaches and strategies in the content areas are modeled and demonstrated in class by the instructors and the participants. Participants learn how reading and writing are social acts of communication as they work together in this class discussing their own reading and writing. Participants compile a variety of texts (including materials for computer use) in the content areas in order to meet the needs of all of their students. [ 3 credits ]
  • Technology for Instruction and Management: EDU-556 (3 credits)

    Introduces learners to technology as a tool for classroom instruction and management. Students will be given opportunities in planning, designing and producing projects that meet the instructional needs of students. The projects encompass skills in word processing, video, Web pages, multimedia and other technologies. Students examine online information services and the integration of technology into the curriculum and practice. [ 3 credits ]
  • Leadership Seminar I: EDU-557 (3 credits)

    Analyzes various models of leadership and explores societal and personal assumptions about leadership. Students investigate key elements of effective leadership and raise questions from several cultural viewpoints. Participants will be encouraged to integrate and apply diverse leadership perspectives in order to enhance their leadership abilities and strengthen their capacity to lead as educational professionals. [ 3 credits ]
  • Learning Theory and Practice: EDU-567 (3 credits)

    Evaluates theories of learning from cognitive, physiological and affective perspectives as a basis for effective instructional practice. Research into the theoretical basis for learning and higher level thinking skills is applied to educational planning, implementation, and evaluation. [ 3 credits ]
  • Techniques of Teaching Reading and Writing to Students With Limited English Proficiency: EDU-586 (3 credits)

    Addresses the development of reading and writing from a cognitive perspective. Students will become familiar with the approaches, methods and techniques appropriate for the teaching of reading and writing to students with limited English language proficiencies. Special topics such as the integrated skills curriculum, language-specific rhetorical styles and free voluntary reading will also be discussed. Students will evaluate and design appropriate classroom materials. [ 3 credits ]
  • Remedial Reading Instruction for Classroom and Clinical Settings: EDU-612 (3 credits)

    Researches, examines and implements a variety of remediation techniques in classroom and/or clinical settings. The course includes study of factors that influence reading success and that lead to an effective remediation program. Participants analyze individual student's strengths and needs in order to identify recommended remediation practices. [ 3 credits ]
  • Resource Role of the Reading Specialist: EDU-618 (3 credits)

    Evaluates roles and responsibilities of the reading specialist as an instructional leader in schools and school systems. The course addresses such curricular and instructional issues as research-based teaching strategies, grouping practices, and formal and informal assessments. Participants review and analyze these issues for their usefulness and appropriateness for implementation in schools and school systems. Participants also explore the human dimensions of the reading specialist's responsibilities with regard to the ARD process and relationships with parents/guardians, community groups, administrators, teachers and specialists within instructional structures and with experts in the field whose work may contribute to enhancing student reading skills. The course prepares the reading specialist to be a colleague and consultant to classroom teachers as well as a resource person for disseminating state, local and professional initiatives related to reading instruction. The reading specialist is also prepared to be a participant in program and staff development, an effective communicator of goals and programs for all constituencies, and an academic resource equipped to pioneer, foster, support, guide and assess the principles, methods and procedures that will improve reading instruction throughout a school and/or school system. [ 3 credits ]
  • Roles of the Literacy Coach: EDU-629 (3 credits)

    Assists reading specialist/ literacy coach candidates in examining the roles and responsibilities of the reading coach as learner, researcher, peer model, and supervisor of school-based literacy instruction. Participants examine the relationship of the reading coach to the reading specialist and the faculty/staff members of the learning community. Special emphasis will be placed on working with the adult learner to support teachers in understanding, implementing and evaluating grade level and subject area instruction. Assignments will involve in-class and field experiences that provide practice with coaching techniques. All areas of study will be linked to the standards for the literacy coach set forth by the International Reading Association. [ 3 credits ]
  • Practicum: Application of Remediation in a Clinical Setting: EDU-691 (3 credits)

    Structures the culminating experience for students preparing for Reading Specialist Certification. The course requires students to integrate theory, research and application in an in-school practicum setting under the direction of the local school-based reading specialist and the College supervisor. Each intern works directly with three to six identified students. During this experience, interns apply and reflect upon various literacy assessment techniques. Interns plan and implement research based, effective and meaningful remedial plans based on students' strengths and weaknesses. Prerequisites: Successful completion of EDU-511 and EDU-612 and permission. [ 3 credits ]


Required Courses

EDU 557 - Leadership Seminar I (3)
EDU 567 - Learning Theory and Practice (3)
EDU 543 - Reading, Analyzing, and Interpreting Educational Research (3)
EDU 556 - Technology for Instruction and Management (3)
EDU 584 - Teaching Writing in Elementary and Middle Schools (3)
EDU 586 - Techniques of Teaching Reading and Writing to Students with Limited English Proficiency (3)
EDU 612 - Remedial Reading Instruction for Classroom and Clinical Settings (3)
EDU 618 - Resource Role of the Reading Specialist (3)
EDU 629 - The Roles of the Literacy Coach (3)
EDU 691 - Practicum: Application of Remediation in a Clinical Setting (3)
EDU 542 - Instruction in Reading (required for secondary teachers) (3) OR
EDU 551 - Teaching Reading and Writing in Content Area II (required for elementary teachers) (3)
Electives (3 Credits)

Total Credits: 36



EDU 509 - Processes and Acquisition of Reading (3)
EDU 510 - Elementary Reading Materials (3)
EDU 511 - Assessment of Reading (3)
EDU 542 - Instruction of reading (3)


EDU 580 - Teaching Reading and Writing in Content Areas I (3)
EDU 551 - Teaching Reading and Writing in Content Areas II (3)

What to Expect Studying at Notre Dame of Maryland University

With award-winning teacher certification programs nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, you can expect to benefit from small class sizes, expert faculty, and practical field experiences.

Flexible Class Schedules

Work with an advisor to develop a personalized program plan: 

  • Courses offered in the evenings at times convenient for working adults.
  • Occasional courses available on Saturdays or online.

Education Careers

Notre Dame is one of the state’s largest and most significant private providers of teacher education.

Graduates of our program attain positions as a Literacy Specialist/Coach in area school districts.

See Our Award-Winning Teachers