Non-degree Reading Specialist Endorsement Program

    Program Overview

    The non-degree Reading Specialist Endorsement Program offered at the GSE prepares certified teachers to plan literacy development programs grounded in research and theory and that are appropriate for children with varying abilities and diverse cultural backgrounds. It is driven by and underscores 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 both for pleasure and for information. Notably, this program is designed for teachers who wish to receive the reading specialist certification but who already hold a master’s degree in education. Graduates of the program who successfully receive their Reading Specialist certification from the New Jersey Department of Education are permitted to work as a reading or literacy specialist in K–12 public and private schools. 

    The 30-credit non-degree Reading Specialist Endorsement Program is only available to individuals who already possess a master’s degree, New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate, and two years of full-time teaching experience. All 30 credits in the endorsement program must be completed at Rutgers University. No transfer credits will be accepted. 

    Applicants should note that this program is not aligned to any specific degree program and does not lead to a degree of any kind. Individuals interested in becoming certified as a reading specialist while simultaneously earning a master’s degree should explore the Ed.M. with Reading Specialist and Supervisor Certification program.  Students admitted to the non-degree program may apply to the Ed.M. Program prior to completing 12 credits and, upon acceptance, may complete both the reading specialist certificate and the master’s degree concurrently. Additional requirements beyond the 30 required credits for the non-degree certification include, but may not be limited to, taking 6 credits in consultation with an advisor and completing a portfolio project. It is essential to apply to the Ed.M. Program early because taking the courses does not guarantee acceptance to the master’s program.

    For more information about this program:

    Program Details

    Application Deadline


    Entry Term(s)

    Fall / Spring / Summer

    Program Level


    Program Type






  • What You’ll Learn

    Through research-driven curriculum and guidance from expert faculty, students enrolled in the non-degree Reading Specialist Endorsement 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 literacy methods courses engage strategies for literacy instruction and involve a deeper examination of 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

    30 Graduate Course Credits

    • 4 Core Courses
        • 3 Credits – Theoretical Foundations of Literacy: Research, Policy, and Practice
        • 3 Credits – Diagnosis and Correction of Reading Difficulties
        • 3 Credits – Clinical Practicum (Laboratory in Remedial Reading)
        • 3 Credits – Literacy Research and Supervision
    • 3 Courses in Literacy Methods
        • 3 Credits – Summer Institute in Literacy
        • 3 Credits – Teaching the Language Arts
        • 3 Credits – Teaching Writing for Children and Adolescents
        • 3 Credits – Teachers as Writers
        • 3 Credits – Multimodal and Digital Literacies
        • 3 Credits – Writing Project Workshop: Bringing Research and Theory into Practice 
        • 3 Credits – Teaching Struggling Readers
        • 3 Credits – Literacy Development in the Early Years
        • 3 Credits – Literacy Strategies for Secondary-Level and Adult Learners
        • 3 Credits – Literacy Development in the Elementary and Middle School 
        • 3 Credits – Coaching: Leadership, Supervision, and Professional Development in Literacy Instruction and Other Content Areas 
        • 3 Credits – Reading and Writing Across Content Disciplines
    • 1 Course in Materials and Methods for Children and Adolescents
        • 3 Credits – Adolescent Literature for Secondary Students
        • 3 Credits – Children’s Literature in the Early Childhood and Elementary School Curriculum
    • 1 Course in Supervision
        • 3 Credits – Administration and Supervision of Elementary and Secondary Schools
        • 3 Credits – Supervision of Instruction
    • 1 Course in Special Education
      • 3 Credits – Learning Disabilities
      • 3 Credits – Psychology of the Exceptional Child
      • 3 Credits – Assessment and Measurement for Special Education

    Students are expected to maintain a “B” or better average as a non-degree student. Accepted students will have 5 years to complete the program. After completing all of the required courses in the program, students should contact the Office of Academic Services at the GSE to notify them and to secure an application for the state endorsement. GSE personnel will then forward the completed application to Trenton along with a recommendation that the certification be awarded.

    Additional Requirements for New Jersey Certification:

    New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 18A:37-22 requires that educators entering the workforce in the 2012 school year and beyond must have completed through their pre-service preparation (e.g., courses, practicum) a program on harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) prevention. The HIB prevention requirements apply to the following programs: (a) teachers and education services personnel certifications; and (b) administrative certifications, including chief school administrators, principals, and supervisors. Details on the required training can be found here.

  • Careers and Outcomes

    Students exiting the non-degree Reading Specialist Endorsement 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, literacy coach, basic skills teacher, training manager, curriculum specialist, or education consultant. Graduates may also work in nontraditional education settings including community, government, and nonprofit organizations, helping to develop, execute, and or oversee literacy development initiatives. 

  • Admissions Requirements
    • Electronic copy of a New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate.
    • Statement of Program Intent
    • Verification of experience from the applicant’s current or previous supervisor or HR department, on school district letterhead, certifying the completion of two years of successful, full-time employment under a New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate
    • Graduate transcripts

    Applicants are responsible for reviewing and confirming that they meet all requirements before the application is submitted. Rutgers Graduate School of Education will not refund the application fee if an applicant is not accepted.

  • How to Apply

    Current Rutgers University Students:

    All applicants who are currently enrolled in a program at Rutgers University and wish to begin the certificate program while continuing their current program should contact the GSE Office of Student and Academic Services (OSAS) at

    Non-Rutgers University Students:

    1. Collect the materials required for admission
    2. Submit your application online at
    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:
  • Tuition


    Click here for the New Brunswick Graduate tuition rates.

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