Back to Application - Overview of the Fitchburg State University Master of Education in Special Education Program: Reading Specialist


Overview of the Site-Based
Fitchburg State University
Master of Education OR Interdisciplinary CAGS:
Special Education: Reading Specialist Program

Offered through Catherine Leahy Brine Educational Consultants, Inc.


The Fitchburg State University M.Ed and Interdisciplinary CAGS: Special Education Program: Reading Specialist prepare 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 University Reading Specialist Program provides candidates who hold initial licenses in Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School or Special Education with a rigorous, research based curriculum, and a range of assessment, teaching and staff development opportunities. Candidates receive an M.Ed. or a CAGS in Interdisciplinary Studies and an Initial License in Reading Specialist.

Further, the program enables a candidate who holds an initial teaching license in Moderate Disabilities, Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle School to add the Massachusetts Professional License to their existing license.

** The Initial License Program in Reading Specialist has been approved by the National Council for the Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (formerly called the DOE).


  1. Prior to the start of matriculation in the program, candidates must hold an Initial license in early childhood, elementary, middle school or special education.
  2. Prior to matriculation, candidates must possess an appropriate Masters degree.
  3. Prior to matriculation, candidates must provide passing scores on the Communications and Literacy MTEL.
  4. Satisfaction of courses (either undergraduate or graduate or proof of having taken equivalent courses), as follows:
    1. A Children or Young Adult Literature Course
    2. A Child Growth and Development Course
    3. Principles and Practices of Teaching Reading

This program is a Thursday/Saturday Program. There in no overlap in courses in any semester except the Summer I and Summer II semesters. The program is run out of our offices in Weymouth, MA.

* Proposed Schedule (for purposes of giving candidates a sample of course load):
Semester One :

  • SPED 8300 Language Development, Differences and Disorders
  • SPED9500 Independent Study: Action Research (for C.A.G.S. candidates) OR an elective for M.Ed. candidates
Semester Two:
  • SPED/READ 7016 Understanding the Structure of the English Language
  • IDIS 8000 Critical Inquiry (on-line) for C.A.G.S. candidates OR an elective for M.Ed. candidates
  • EDUC 7000 Sheltered English Immersion
Semester Three:
  • SPED/READ 7017 The Psychology of Reading
  • SPED/READ 8017 Specialized Reading Approaches
Semester Four:
  • SPED/READ 8018 Reading Disabilities and the Assessment of Reading
  • SPED/READ 8019 The Assessment of Writing Skills and Writing Disabilities
Semester Five:
  • SPED/READ 9100 Research in Reading Education
  • SPED/READ 9102 The Reading Specialist: Leadership Roles
  • MTEL Reading Specialist
Semester Six:
  • SPED/READ 9101 Practicum: Reading Specialist
  • SPED/READ 9104 Practicum Seminar
** All required tests must be taken and all courses completed satisfactorily before the candidate enters the practicum. The practicum can only take place in the Fall or Spring semester**

Cost of the Program is $400 per credit, for a total of $14,400. A maximum of 2 courses may be taken before formal matriculation begins.

Additional Fees:

  • application fee of $40.00, payable to Fitchburg State (non-refundable)
  • $150.00 application/processing fee, payable to Catherine Leahy Brine, Inc. (non-refundable)
  • book and/or materials fees for each course, as determined by each instructor
  • $30 user fee for each on-line course
  • $750 Practicum fee for initial License candidates, payable at the time of the Practicum

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