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Master of Science in Education - Reading Specialist

Master of Science in Education (MSED) in Reading Specialist

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Education

William C. Diehl, Ph.D.


Gainful Employment Program Disclosure

Certificate Description

Success in today’s world depends on highly developed literacy skills where students need to be competent in reading, writing, speaking, and listening in order to be college and career ready. As a result of the high stakes of students’ literacy achievement, many school districts have looked to Reading Specialists/ Literacy Coaches to improve the literacy growth and success for all of their K-12 students. This program will prepare you to become certified as a Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach in a K-12 setting. The program will prepare you to take a leadership role in you school and districts to support fellow educators in their goal of improving students’ literacy growth.

The goals of the CAGS program are to prepare students to:

  • Administer schools in a humanistic, caring manner.
  • Instill a sense of responsibility and ethical decision-making.
  • Meet the Interstate School Leadership Licensure Consortium Standards (ISLLC) to enable school educators to obtain administrative certification nationwide. The six ISLLC standards state that a school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by:
  1. Facilitating the development, articulation, implementation and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community.
  2. Advocating, nurturing and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.
  3. Ensuring management of the organization, operations and resources for a safe, efficient and effective learning environment.
  4. Collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs and mobilizing community resources.
  5. Acting with integrity and in an ethical manner.
  6. Understanding, responding to and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal and cultural context.

The CAGS program is approved by the Maine State Board of Education. All programs at the University of New England are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is not accepted by the CAGS program, since the program has been developed holistically to meet the six ISLLC standards.



Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (“B”). Failure to do so will result in academic probation and possible termination from the program. Students receiving a grade of “F” in any course will be immediately placed on academic probation. A student receiving an “F” must register and pass the failed course with a grade of “C” or better before registering for any additional credits.

Curricular Requirements

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study Reading Specialist curriculum consists of five 3-credit online courses. Each on-line course is ordinarily scheduled for 8 weeks, so a student has the ability to enroll in two courses each semester, one in term A and one in term B. A minimum of 15 credits must be taken to be awarded the certificate.

The University of New England's Reading Specialist curriculum is designed to apply as broadly as possible to requirements throughout the country, meeting basic ISLLC (Interstate School Leadership Licensure Consortium) standards. However, it is the responsibility of the candidate to confirm what course content is needed in the state in which certification is sought and to discuss with your advisor if alternative courses need to be accommodated.

Core courses

EDU 600:  Teacher as Leader

EDU 610: Differentiation Theory and Strategies

6 credits

Current Literacy Courses in Concentration

EDU 740: Supporting Development for All Learners

EDU 741: Literacy Assessments as Teaching Tools

EDU 742: Content Area Literacy

EDU 743: Connecting Reading and Writing for Success

EDU 744: Meeting Student Literacy Challenges

15 credits-  Concentration courses

Literacy Courses for Specialist Degree

EDU 746: Professional Learning and Literacy Leadership

EDU 749: Reading Diagnosis: Clinical Practice I

EDU 747-: Literacy for English Language Learners

EDU 748: Literacy for Inclusion Settings

EDU 750: Instruction Intervention: Clinical Practice II

** Must have Literacy for Inclusion for Maine certification

15 credits Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach k-12


Learning Outcomes

After completing a CAGS program, students should be able to

  • apply research results to leadership decisions
  • describe the requirements of the ISLLC standards
  • demonstrate a high degree of specialized knowledge and skills about school administration
  • exhibit leadership skills in an actual school administrative settings
Academic Policy

Course Withdrawal Policy

The last date to withdraw from a course with no record is the first day of course. Students who withdraw from a course must do so in writing (e-mail is acceptable) by the end of the fourth week of the course.  Students will receive a “W” on their transcripts indicating withdrawal.  Beyond the fourth week, at the faculty’s discretion, a “WP” or “WF” may be assigned if extenuating circumstances do not allow the student to complete his/her work. Be aware that no portion of the tuition will be refunded after the second week of the course.

Dismissal from the Program

Termination from the Program will occur when the Graduate Coordinator and Chair of the Education Department become aware of one of the following:

  • Surrender of a teacher license in any jurisdiction for disciplinary reasons.
  • Documented academic dishonesty (Note this also includes course on-line postings and email communications with faculty and staff. Students are advised that their behavior while participating in the Program should exemplify the ethical behavior of a professional educator with respect to all communications.)
  • Serious reservations identified on the Professional Performance Student Self-Assessment and Review instrument.
  • Academic failure (see “Minimal Grade Standard and Academic Progress”).

Timeline for Completion/Leave of Absence

A student who has not completed the MSEd Program within three (3) years will be administratively withdrawn from the program and be required to apply for readmission. Students are required to take a course every term, otherwise they must request a Leave of Absence, or be withdrawn from the program.  Students may take a slightly reduced course load in any term if necessary. These arrangements are the responsibility of the student and must be communicated in writing to the graduate program coordinator.

Students may “stop out” for one term, if necessary, and take an additional term to complete the program. The required Request for Leave of Absence form must be filed with the MSEd office and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences if this will be occurring.  Application for readmission is not necessary if the student returns as planned; however, the student who does not return at the specified time will be administratively withdrawn and will be subject to readmission procedures. Policy on leave of absence tuition credit is found in respective Financial Information sections of this catalog. Note: It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Dean's Office and  the Education Department to indicate change of plans.


Students who have withdrawn from the program, either self-initiated or administrative withdrawal, must reapply to the program if they wish to continue their studies. The application procedures, academic policies, and program requirements that are in effect at the time of readmission will apply.

Students who re-enroll following withdrawal will have their previous coursework evaluated for applicability to the existing academic requirements. Coursework that is more than five years old will not be accepted for credit in the  program.

Academic Honesty Policy

The University of New England regards academic integrity as an essential component to the educational process. Charges of academic dishonesty will be handled through the dean of the appropriate college. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to:

  • Cheating, copying, or the offering or receiving of unauthorized assistance or information.
  • Fabrication or falsification of data, results, or sources for papers or reports.
  • Action that destroys or alters the work of another student.
  • Multiple submission of the same paper or report for assignments in more than one course without permission of each instructor.
  • Plagiarism, the appropriation of records, research materials, ideas, or the language of other persons or writers and the submission of them as one's own.

It is expected that students will accurately and correctly document all academic resources. APA format is the required style for citing sources and establishing a bibliography.

Documented instances of academic dishonesty will be reviewed by UNE administrators. Violation of the academic honesty policy will result in a grade of "F" being issued for the course involved. A student who has violated the academic honesty policy may also be dismissed from the program and the university.

Financial Information


Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.


Detailed information and applications are available on request from the Financial Aid Office. Call 207-602-2342 or visit the Financial Aid website.

Graduation Requirements

To complete the program and receive a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Literacy (K - 12), you must:

  • Complete 15 credits which is composed of five 3-credit on-line courses.
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Pay all tuition and fees when due.
15 Credit Reading Specialist Certificate

Literacy Courses for Specialist Degree

EDU 746: Professional Learning and Literacy Leadership

EDU 747: Literacy for English Language Learners

EDU 748: Literacy for Inclusion Settings

EDU 749: Reading Diagnosis: Clinical Practice I

EDU 750: Instruction Intervention: Clinical Practice II

15 credits Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach k-12








Admission Requirements for the Reading Specialist 15 Credit Certificate:

Pre-requisite requirements will be reviewed to ensure the literacy component has been met.


Requirements for admission  

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution or its equivalent. See International Admissions for details regarding evaluation of international degrees for grade and degree equivalency.
  • Minimum of one year teaching experience.
  • Employed as a teacher or ability to access a classroom on a regular basis over an extended period of time.
  • Strong writing skills, the capacity to succeed in a distance education format, and a commitment to educational change and professional development as evidenced by your goal statement submitted at the time of application.

UNE carefully assesses MSED applicants on the basis of evidence provided in all application materials submitted. Therefore, while a personal interview is not required, application materials submitted must be prepared thoroughly and thoughtfully for full consideration. Additional prerequisites to participate in one of the on-line Master of Science in Education programs include but may not be limited to:

  • A sincere interest in continuing professional development as an educational leader.
  • The potential to improve practice through application of new knowledge and skills.
  • Current employment in an educational setting where you have regular access to an environment in which you can apply course concepts and strategies.
  • The ability to pursue challenging online graduate study.
  • Sufficient computer skills to navigate the worldwide web and effectively participate in an on-line program.
  • Own or have regular access to a computer with internet connection and with the hardware and software requirements described on the MSED website. 
  • Motivation to complete all course assignments in a satisfactory and timely manner.


  • Applications for admission are accepted through UNE’s online application only. Detailed instructions are included in the online application.
  • Official transcripts for all colleges and universities attended, as well as other documents to support the application, must be submitted to the Office of Online Worldwide Learning, 716 Stevens Ave, Portland, ME, 04103
  • Students are admitted to the MSED program six (6) times a year: Summer A & B, Fall A & B, Spring A & B.
  • Applications received and completed by the respective deadlines will be given full consideration.  Applications submitted and/or completed after the deadline will be reviewed for the next available term.
  • Admissions are rolling and decisions are made by the program admissions committee throughout the cycle.
  • International applicants and applicants with international degrees must have their transcripts evaluated for degree and grade equivalency to that of a regionally accredited US institution.  See International Admissions.
  • All applicants to UNE must be able to understand and communicate in English to be admitted to the university.  UNE accepts several methods of English Proficiency, see International Admissions.  English Proficiency requirement must be completed at the time of application.

For additional information on the admissions process and requirements, please access the MSED website

advanced standing/transfer credit/experiential credit

No transfer credit, advanced standing status, or credit for experiential learning is accepted into the on-line MSED programs. Full participation in the MSED curriculum is necessary to achieve the desired integration of theory and practice the program provides.


Policy exceptions

The Master of Science in Education program and the MSED Admissions Committee in collaboration with the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions reserve the right to make exceptions to the admissions criteria and to make changes or exceptions to policies and procedures, on a case by case basis, when it deems such a decision is necessary and appropriate.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2014-2015 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication May 30, 2014.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.