Program goal

The K-12 reading specialist concentration in the Master of Education in Reading program is designed to provide experienced teachers who are prospective reading specialists with a program of sequential and integrated experiences in areas of the reading curriculum ranging from preschool to adult levels. Students will gain an understanding of the developmental and diagnostic processes involved in teaching reading and the language arts and will become familiar with the resource and supervisory functions that are part of the specialist role. Prior to graduation, students must complete a reading portfolio documenting their work in the program and related work experiences and pass the Reading for Virginia Educators Assessment. The M.Ed. in Reading is an approved program (K-12) for students who meet Virginia State Department of Education requirements. The reading specialist endorsement also requires completion of three years of teaching in a reading-related field.

A cooperative agreement has been established with Virginia State University to permit selected, qualified students to complete the M.Ed. in Reading program. Up to 12 credit hours from an approved list may be transferred from the cooperating institution. Interested students should contact the Department of Teaching and Learning.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate content knowledge in reading education: Candidates demonstrate content knowledge in reading education as evidenced by the Reading for Virginia Educators Assessment scores and philosophy of reading paper.
  2. Effectively plan instruction: Candidates demonstrate that they can effectively plan reading and literacy instruction or fulfill other professional responsibilities in reading education as evidenced by the organizing and implementing reading programs assessment.
  3. Effectively apply knowledge, skills and dispositions: Candidates demonstrate knowledge, skills and dispositions are applied effectively in practice as evidenced by the internship evaluation.
  4. Demonstrate effect on student learning: Candidates demonstrate effects on student learning and provision of supportive learning environments for student learning as evidenced by the internship progress report.
  5. Demonstrate IRA standards proficiency: Candidates further demonstrate proficiency on IRA competencies as evidenced by the portfolio assessment and the externship action research report and presentation assessment.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online at

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.Ed. Fall Feb 1 GRE or MAT
Spring Oct 1
Summer Feb 1

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate discipline
  2. Three letters of recommendation addressing the student’s potential for graduate study in education
  3. Student’s written statement concerning career interests
  4. Transcripts of all previous college work
  5. Satisfactory scores on the GRE or MAT

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students are required to complete course work in core and elective courses.

  1. Credit hour requirements: Students are required to complete a minimum of 33 credit hours.
  2. Grade requirements: Receipt of a grade of C or below in two courses constitutes automatic dismissal from the program. Courses with a grade below C cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements.
  3. Testing requirements: Students in the K-12 reading specialist concentration must present passing scores on state mandated licensure/endorsement assessments.

Curriculum requirements

Course Title Hours
EDUS 660Research Methods in Education3
Human development and learning
Select one of the following:3
Adolescent Growth and Development
Seminar in Child Growth and Development
Adult Development
Advanced Educational Psychology for Elementary Teachers
Learning and Motivation in Education
Cultural, historical and philosophical
Select one of the following:3
Philosophy of Education
Social Foundations of Education
Education and the World's Future
Contemporary Educational Thought
Seminar on Educational Issues, Ethics and Policy
Core courses
READ 600Analysis and Correction of Reading Problems3
READ 605Organizing and Implementing Reading Programs3
READ 672Internship3
READ 700Externship3
TEDU 561Reading Foundations: Sociological/Psychological Perspectives3
TEDU 562Reading Instruction in the Content Areas3
Restricted electives
Select two of the following:6
Psycholinguistics and Language Arts Curriculum
Literacy for Adults
Teaching Language Arts
Word Study
Children's Literature II
Diagnostic Reading in the Secondary School
Teaching English as a Second Language
Total Hours33

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 33

Graduate program director
Valerie Robnolt, Ph.D.
Associate professor, Department of Teaching and Learning
Phone: (804) 828-1305

Additional contact
Communications and enrollment management
Phone: (804) 827-2670

Program website: