Ed.M. with Reading Specialist and Supervisor Certification

    Program Overview

    The Ed.M. with Reading Specialist and Supervisor Certification program at the GSE is designed for certified teachers who wish to work as a reading/literacy specialist, coach, basic skills teacher, or supervisor in public and private schools, serving grades K through 12. Students enrolled in the program will develop a broad understanding of literacy issues by taking research-driven core courses, led by expert faculty and involving the development of literacy, the diagnosis and remediation of reading problems, curriculum development, and supervision of literacy and other programs. Upon completion of the program, students will be empowered to initiate programs in K-12 school districts, be a literacy coach, interventionist, basic skills teacher, provide professional development, evaluate curriculum, assessment, and be able to act as a leader in their school or education community.

    This program requires a New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate or Educational Services Certificate for admission, as well as a minimum of 2 years of successful, full-time employment working as a classroom teacher. Two years of classroom teaching experience is also required to be eligible for the Reading Specialist certification upon completion of the program. Three years of classroom teaching experience is needed to be eligible for the Supervisor certification.

    Program Goals as of 2022-2023
    (Last updated: 7/18/2022)

    Knowledge and Understanding 

    • Students will develop knowledge, strategies, and materials related to literacy development, specifically focused on the processes and strategies involved in teaching reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency.  A Language Arts approach to literacy development is emphasized by building knowledge and skills in teaching children writing, use of oral language, listening, viewing and digital literacies. Students will learn through exposure to excellent published readings, discussions, modeled lessons, coaching, and interactive reflective conversations about best research-based practice in grades K-12 grounded in multiple theories. 
    • Students will learn to differentiate instruction with whole-group, small-group and individualized instruction to meet the needs of all students.  
    • Students will create, supervise, lead, and evaluate reading/language arts curricula for grades K-12 that address developmental literacy, struggling readers, and interventions for in and out of the classroom. 
    • Students be engaged in assessing and diagnosing reading difficulties and prescribe instruction based on the needs of individual children. 
    • Students will learn a comprehensive view of the field of literacy by being exposed to professional organizations, state and federal policy, and resources available in journals, books, and online.  
    • Students will learn about the different roles of Reading Specialist in providing professional development, organizing professional learning communities (PLCs), coaching, and the role of the interventionist. 
    • Students will learn how to make their programs relevant and motivating, culturally responsive, and attendant to students’ socio-emotional learning. 
    • Students will learn how to incorporate family literacy programs into their curriculum. 

    Communication/Community Building 

    • Students will create committees and lead educators in their district to make decisions about material selection. 
    • Students will be exposed to literacy development resources in the community such as community centers, religious groups, the medical field, librarians, books stores, etc. 
    • Students will engage as members of professional organizations that feature research and practice, such as American Educational Research Association (AERA), International Reading Association (IRA), and International Literacy Association (ILA), on a state and national level.  

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) 

    • Students will understand the importance of the role of social justice in educational settings and promote educational equity by incorporating culturally responsive approaches to teaching literacy and including social justice and equity issues in the teaching of literacy.  

    Research/Professional Practice 

    • Students will conduct original research and use that research, as well as interpret and evaluate evidence from other research studies, to inform their professional practice in teaching literacy.  


    • Students will identify and assess early childhood, elementary, and middle school students’ strengths and needs as they relate to literacy learning. 
    • Students will develop proficiency in the use of a range of literacy assessment tools. 
    • Students will create a portfolio of materials they created during their graduate studies that demonstrates proficiency in the areas emphasized.

    Professional Development/Self-reflection 

    • Students will capitalize on opportunities for continuous professional learning and development, including reflective self-inquiry, in order to make significant contributions to the teaching of literacy. Students will participate in a range of professional development activities in their schools and in the larger literacy community.  

    For more information about this program:

    Program Details

    Application Deadline

    Feb 1 / Nov 1 / May 15 (late applications will be considered for each semester)

    Entry Term(s)

    Fall / Spring / Summer

    Program Level


    Program Type

    Degree + Certificates


    Online: asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid



  • What You’ll Learn

    Students enrolled in the Ed.M. with Reading Specialist and Supervisor Certification program will develop a broad understanding of the principles of literacy education by taking core courses on the development of literacy, the diagnosis and remediation of reading problems, curriculum development, and supervision of literacy programs. Students will also study theory and research in the field. Additional elective courses engage strategies for literacy instruction and involve a deeper examination of educational administration and supervision, and student learning, cognition, and development. Students exiting the program will possess the ability to plan education programs for children of differing abilities and diverse cultural backgrounds, and to foster a vision of literacy learning as an active social process in which students become engaged readers with strategies for independent reading and the motivation to read for pleasure and for information.

    For more information about the courses in this program, please visit the course catalog and online schedule of classes.

  • Program Requirements

    This program typically takes 2 years to complete and includes:

      • 33 Graduate Course Credits
        • 12 Credits – Required Core Courses
        • 9 Credits – Selected Literacy Methods Courses*
        • 3 Credits – Children’s Literature Materials for Children and Adolescents Course*
        • 6 Credits – Educational Theory, Policy, and Administration Courses
        • 3 Credits – Educational Psychology Elective Course*
          •  Learning Disabilities recommended
      • Portfolio
        •  A portfolio project is a required culminating activity for the program. More information about this requirement is available from the program faculty.

    *Elective courses are selected by the student from a curated list of approved courses that fall within the specified content area. Download the program guide for details.

    Accepted students have 5 years to complete the program.

  • Careers and Outcomes

    Students exiting the Ed.M. with Reading Specialist and Supervision Certification program are prepared to pursue leadership positions in public and private K-12 schools and higher education institutions. Roles may include reading or literacy specialist, coach, or basic skills teacher, assistant principal, school district administrator, training manager, curriculum specialist, or education consultant.

    In order to be eligible for the GSE to make recommendations to the NJ Department of Education for certification issuance, candidates must meet the following state requirements within a year of completing the program:

    • Reading Specialist: must have a standard New Jersey instructional certification with two years of full-time experience as a classroom teacher.
    • Supervisor: must have a standard New Jersey instructional or educational services certification with three years of full-time experience under that certification.
  • Admissions Requirements
    • Personal Statement 
    • 3 Letters of Recommendation
      • One recommendation must be from the applicant’s current or previous supervisor or HR department, on school district letterhead, certifying the completion of three years of successful, full-time employment under a New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate or Educational Services Certificate.
    • Official Undergraduate Transcripts
    • Graduate Transcripts (if applicable)
    • Photocopy or electronic copy of a New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate or Educational Services Certificate
  • How to Apply
    1. Collect the materials required for admission
    2. Submit your application online at http://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/
    3. Submit supporting materials online
    4. Any supporting materials that cannot be submitted electronically should be mailed to Graduate Admissions’ New Brunswick office. Their mailing address can be found here: https://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/about/contact-us
  • Tuition & Financial Assistance


    For tuition and fees information please visit the tuition landing page.

    Financial Aid:

    While students are encouraged to apply for federal student aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), there are a number of other merit- and need-based support options, including loans and college work-study programs within and external to Rutgers. For more information, please visit the Office of Financial Aid website.

    Scholarships, Fellowships & Assistantships:

    Generous GSE alumni, friends, and community members have established and continue to donate to more than one dozen fellowships and scholarships to help deserving students reach their goals. These awards are granted on the basis of academic achievement and or financial need. While these awards are competitive, interested students are encouraged to apply for consideration and submit the required materials. Students must also submit a FAFSA application to be eligible.  

    To review all current awards and learn more about the donors that established them, please click here.

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