Back to Application - Overview of the FSC Site-Based Initial License Program: Reading Specialist


Overview of the Site-Based
Fitchburg State University
Initial License Program: Reading Specialist

Offered through Catherine Leahy Brine Educational Consultants, Inc.


The Fitchburg State University Reading Specialist Program 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 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. Upon completion of the program, candidates receive an Initial License in Reading Specialist.

** 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 provide passing scores on the Communications and Literacy MTEL.
  3. 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

    Proposed Schedule:

    Semester One

    • SPED 8300 Language Development, Differences and Disorders
    • SPED/READ 7016 Understanding the Structure of the English Language

    Semester Two:

    • SPED/READ 7017 The Psychology of Reading
    • SPED/READ 8017 Specialized Reading Approaches

    Semester Three:

    • SPED/READ 8018 Reading Disabilities and the Assessment of Reading
    • SPED/READ 8019 The Assessment of Writing Skills and Writing Disabilities

    Semester Four:

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

    Semester Five:

    • SPED/READ 9101 Practicum: Reading Specialist (will require 150 hours to be completed on Saturdays, after school and/or during the summer vacation)
    • SPED/READ 9104 Practicum Seminar

    ** All required tests must be taken and all courses completed satisfactorily before the candidate enters the practicum. **

    Materials Checklist
    Cost of Program
    Cover Sheet for Application Materials
    Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit
    Prometric Testing Center Locations
    Fitchburg State University Application (5 page document in PDF format)

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