• Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Reading/Language Arts

    The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Reading/Language Arts program at Worcester State University offers advanced study in the areas of reading, language arts, and educational research and technologies.

    Depending on your qualifications, we offer 2 programs of study:

    • Option I for individuals who have completed WSU’s graduate-level, non-degree reading specialist licensure program
    • Option 2 for individuals with a teaching license and initial or professional licensure as a reading specialist as well as a master’s degree in education or a related field

    In classes taught by our accomplished faculty, you’ll further develop your knowledge of reading/language arts theory and research as well as major educational trends in the field. Your studies culminate in a comprehensive research project that ties together the reading/language arts knowledge you gained through coursework and fieldwork; you’ll present your findings at a WSU forum.

    In addition, you’ll have opportunities to collaborate with faculty on literacy research and to join the International Reading Association’s Alpha Upsilon Alpha honor society. In fact, WSU’s Beta Mu chapter is one of only 2 in Massachusetts—and it’s the only graduate-level honor society on campus.

    Graduates of our renowned program are qualified to work as reading specialists, literacy coaches, and literacy/English language arts directors. Although many pursue these specific careers, others remain classroom teachers, enhancing their instruction with their reading specialist background.
    Standards for this program are based on those developed by the Professional Standards and Ethics Committee and the Advisory Group to the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education Joint Task Force (1992), as well as, Professional Standards for Teachers set forth in 603CMR 7.08 and Subject Knowledge Requirements for Reading Teachers set forth in 603 CMR 7.07( 2).

  • Admission Requirements

    In addition to the general admission requirements, students applying to the CAGS in Reading program will be required to meet the competencies established by the graduate program for all candidates seeking a certificate of advanced graduate study through Worcester State University. In addition, students will be required to demonstrate evidence of:

    • Earned Master of Education or master's in a related field with a minimum GPA 3.0
    • A current Massachusetts Educator Licensure as a Reading Specialist (initial or professional level)
    • Passing all required Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) exams before formal acceptance to the CAGS program

    Information on Options
    Option 1
    The program is open to candidates who first have completed the graduate level, non-degree reading specialist licensure WSU program at the initial license level in good standing (minimum GPA 3.0). Candidates have the option of applying 15 credits from the non-degree program as a specialty core to the CAGS program of 32 credits.
    Option 2
    The program also is open to candidates who currently hold licensure as a reading specialist (initial or professional level) and teaching license, as well as a Master of Education degree or master’s degree in a related field, and are seeking to build on their expertise as a reading specialist by attaining a certificate of advanced graduate study in reading.

    Both Options
    Upon acceptance, candidates meet with the program coordinator to complete a formal program of study: 32 credits, including the completion of a 2-credit capstone experience.

    Program of Study

    Foundation Courses (15 credits)

    • ED 987 Social, political and cultural issues in education (3 credits)
    • ED 988 Brain Based Learning (3 credits)
    • ED 989 Technology and educational leadership (3 credits)
    • EA 939 Action Research Project I (3 credits)
    • EA 940 Action Research Project II (3 credits)

    Reading Specialty Core Area (15 credits)

    Option 1: Initial Licensure Program Reading Electives transferred from completed WSU graduate non-degree program (15 credits)
    (Courses must be pre-approved by the graduate program coordinator)

    Visit the Master of Education in Reading program page
    Option 2: CAGS Reading Core (15 credits)
    Candidate must take 15 credits/5 courses from the approved reading program electives or special topics and not previously used to satisfy initial license.
    (All courses must be pre-approved by the graduate program coordinator)

    Both Options 
    ER 925 Reading Research Forum (capstone experience) (2 credits)

    A course designed to synthesize information gained from coursework and field experiences related to area of concentration.

    1. A summative portfolio that reflects the appropriate Massachusetts professional standards is required.
    2. Students plan and present research relevant to their concentration.
    3. Students can only register for the research forum course as their last course or concurrently with other courses during their last session.

    Total specialty core courses required: 17 credits


    Margaret Pray Bouchard
    Program Coordinator
    Sullivan Academic Center
    Office S-227E