Special Reading (Graduate Certificate)

This is a draft edition of the 2024-2025 catalog. Information contained within is subject to change.

Dr. Kipton Smilie, Program Director
ksmilie@missouriwestern.edu
(816) 271-5952
missouriwestern.edu/education/special-reading/

The Special Reading graduate certificate is designed to meet  the needs of the following professionals:

  • Current educators, who want to more effectively teach learners who struggle with mastering skills in reading and related language arts
  • Speech/language pathologists and school psychologists, who desire additional information to assist them to better support learners who experience reading deficits
  • School administrators, who are interested in improving remedial/special reading programs in their school or district
  • Current or future educational policy makers, who wish to enhance their understanding of the unique needs of learners who struggle in the areas of reading and related language arts

Successful completion of the Special Reading Graduate Certificate will prepare graduates for K-12 special reading licensure from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The need for effective educators knowledgeable of strategies for teaching learners who experience reading difficulties is becoming even more critical.  Shortages of uniquely qualified reading specialists are reported locally, regionally, statewide, and nationally.  In addition to learning how to advocate for effective and responsive education for learners who experience reading difficulties, graduate students should gain the following from coursework in the Special Reading Graduate Certificate program:

  • A deep understanding of fundamental issues associated with teaching learners who experience reading difficulties
  • Specific skills associated with formal and informal assessment and remediation of reading deficits

What are the unique benefits of the Graduate Certificate in Special Reading program option at Missouri Western State University?

  • All required courses are available online; this flexibility allows courses to be completed from anywhere in the world.
  • The Graduate Certificate in Special Reading offers a pathway to Missouri certification in K-12 special reading.
  • Strong foundation in current research in the field of reading and literacy skills.
  • Knowledge to create meaningful literacy experiences for learners who demonstrate difficulties in reading and related language arts
  • Response to Intervention techniques to guide instruction decision-making
  • Training in analytical and critical thinking methods
  • Professional licensure (for the State of Missouri and reciprocal licensure states) in K-12 special reading (optional)

Two programs in Special Reading are offered at the graduate level:

  1. Graduate Certificate in Special Reading
  2. Graduate Certificate in Special Reading, with State of Missouri licensure to teach in K-12 public schools.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the graduate program in Special Reading requires meeting all qualifications for acceptance to the Missouri Wester State University Graduate School.

  • Submission of application for admission to the MWSU Graduate School.
  • Completion of an undergraduate degree in education, or a closely related discipline, from an accredited undergraduate institution.
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75.
  • Statement of Purpose: A one-page narrative, which describes his/her purpose for seeking admission to a graduate program, as well as what he/she hopes to gain from the experience.
  • The GRE is not required.

Students who are accepted to this program will have no more than 3 years from admission or subsequent declaration to meet the requirements listed below. If certification, accreditation or statutory requirements change and additional requirements become effective during this time, the new requirements take precedence.

For Students Seeking the Graduate Certificate Only, but not State of Missouri Licensure

Certificate Requirements 1
EDU 511Content Area Literacy3
EDU 521Teaching Students with Reading Deficits3
EDU 574Collaborating with Families and School Personnel for Inclusion3
EDU 675Assessment and the Identification Process3
EDU 676Behavioral Management & Interventions3
TSL 632Introduction to Linguistics3
Total Credit Hours18

For Students Seeking the Graduate Certificate and State of Missouri Licensure

Certificate Requirements 1
EDU 511Content Area Literacy3
EDU 521Teaching Students with Reading Deficits3
EDU 574Collaborating with Families and School Personnel for Inclusion3
EDU 675Assessment and the Identification Process3
EDU 676Behavioral Management & Interventions3
TSL 632Introduction to Linguistics3
EDU 583Practicum in Elementary Reading 23
EDU 584Practicum in Secondary Reading 23
Total Credit Hours24

To be eligible to earn Missouri certification in K-12 special reading, the student have a record of two successful years of teaching experience.

 Program Graduation Requirement

  1. Earn a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, with no more than 6 credit hours of C in all required coursework.

University Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactorily complete all required coursework in the program;
  2. Earn a minimum of 15 credit hours.