Master of Special Education Program: Reading Specialist


Overview of the Site-Based Fitchburg State College
Master in Special Education: Reading Specialist Program
Offered through Catherine Leahy Brine Educational Consultants, Inc.

The Fitchburg State College Master of Special Education Program: Reading Specialist prepares teachers for an important role in their schools and school systems and to meet the standards of the Massachusetts Educator Initial License as a Reading Specialist. The program defines the knowledge and skills necessary for effective assessment, instruction and leadership in the field of reading. It responds to the needs of school districts by preparing specialists in leadership roles, as well as to the needs of students with a wide range of abilities with a focus on students with reading/language disabilities.

The Fitchburg State College Reading Specialist Program provides candidates who hold initial licenses in early childhood, elementary or special education with a rigorous, research based curriculum, and a range of assessment, teaching and staff development opportunities. Candidates receive a Master's Degree in Special Education with the preparation for the state license examination: Initial Licensure: Reading Specialist.

** The program has been approved by the National Council for the Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE) and is in the final process of review by the Massachusetts Department of Education. **


Proposed Schedule for first cohort:

January - mid- April, 2007

Satisfaction of pre-requisite requirements (or proof of having taken equivalent courses), as follows:

  1. Initial Teaching License
  2. A Children or Young Adult Literature Course
  3. A Child Growth and Development Course
  4. Principles and Practices of Teaching Reading
  5. SPED 8300 Language Development: Differences and Disorders (or comparable course)
  6. SPED 9000 Research in Special Education or Research in Education

April 24 - June 5, 2007 (first summer semester)

  • SPED/READ 7016 Understanding the Structure of the English Language
  • SPED/READ 7017 The Psychology of Reading

June 12 - July 31, 2007 (second summer session)

  • SPED/READ 8017 Specialized Reading Approaches
  • SPED/READ 8018 Reading Disabilities and the Assessment of Reading

Sept - Dec, 2007 (fall semester)

  • SPED/READ 8019 The Assessment of Writing Skills and Writing Disabilities
  • Elective I

January - March, 2008 (spring semester)

  • SPED/READ 9100 Advanced Research in Reading
  • Elective II

May - June, 2008 (first summer semester)

  • SPED/READ 9102 The Reading Specialist: Leadership Roles
  • Elective III
  • MTEL Reading Specialist

June - July, 2008 (second summer semester)

  • SPED/READ 9101 Practicum: Reading Specialist (6 credit hours will require 75 hours of clinical experience. This will be provided through a 5 week site-based clinical course which will meet with students, 4 days a week, 4 hours each day.
** All required tests must be taken and all courses completed satisfactorily before the candidate enters the practicum. **


  • Topics: Teaching Reading in the Content Areas
  • Topics: The Effective Teaching of Vocabulary Across the Content Areas
  • Topics: Advanced Analysis of Reading for Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers
  • Topics: Response to Intervention
  • Topics: Woodcock-Johnson III

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