ED.S. IN READING

A young African American boy smiles while reading a book as he leans against a short bookcase.

The Educational Specialist degree in reading is a 36-credit-hour program of study designed to prepare candidates for a leadership role in literacy-related areas, including literacy curriculum specialists, literacy coaches, teacher leaders, literacy supervisors, teacher educators, and other leadership roles in reading instruction.


WHAT YOU’LL STUDY

Open book on a wooden table with an orange background.

The Ed.S. in reading requires a minimum of 36 hours beyond the master’s degree, including six hours in research, 15 hours of emphasis requirements in reading, and nine hours of reading electives. The candidate is expected to design and implement a research project as a culminating experience.


Admission Requirements

Graduate School Admission

  • Apply for admission to the UA Little Rock Graduate School.
  • $40 non-refundable application fee paid via the link in the initial application email or by contacting the Cashier’s Office.
  • Official transcripts from ALL previously attended colleges and universities (undergraduate and graduate).
    • International students must have their transcripts articulated. Transcripts that have not been articulated can be submitted for the application process; however, if a student is granted admission, WES-articulated transcripts must be submitted to the Graduate School before he or she can register for classes.
  • Proof of 2 MMR vaccines. Contact your program coordinator if you think you are eligible for a waiver. Students only in the UA Little Rock Online programs are exempt.
  • Proof of a grade point average of at least 2.7 on a 4.00 scale, including post-baccalaureate hours.
  • A copy of your government-issued photo ID.

International Student Admission

Required documents for international admission:

  • Tuberculosis screening
    • All applicants must provide proof of a Tuberculosis screening, which must be performed in the United States of America and can be done at the Health Services Center at UA Little Rock.
  • Health and accident insurance
    • All international students must purchase the health and accident insurance provided by UA Little Rock and maintain coverage year-round. Students will be billed at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. A student who enters in a summer semester will be billed for that semester as well, making the total number of times billed three instead of two. If you have any questions, please contact Health Services at 501-569-3188.
  • Transfer forms
    • Applicants transferring from another institution within the United States of America must also provide a Transfer and Visa form completed by the applicant’s International Student Services advisor from his or her current institution.
  • Financial statement (students with F and J visas only)
    • Before they can be accepted into the Graduate School, students must provide a financial statement showing that they are financially capable of pursuing a graduate education in the United States of America. For more information on this form, please contact the office of International Student Services at 501-683-7566.
  • All applicants must submit a copy of their visa.
International Program Requirements

International applicants must meet the following requirements in addition to the regular admission standards listed above.

  • Although the board policy (502.6) requires a score of 71 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (IBT), International Student Services suggests requiring a score > 79 on the IBT or 6.5 on the IELTS, which is a common practice at the graduate level at UA Little Rock.
  • This program will require that candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in education or education-related services verified by their home ministries in Education or closely related discipline.
Students with US based undergraduate degrees and native English speakers (e.g., UK, Canada besides Quebec, New Zealand, Ireland, and Australia) will not be asked to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. They must not have just completed IELP, as mastery of English is critical to success in the program.

Program Admission

All applicants for both regular and conditional admission status must have a valid provisional or standard teaching license (Arkansas or other state).

Regular Admission
  • Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.30.
Conditional Admission
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score of at least 150 on the Verbal Scale, 141 on the Quantitative Scale, and 4.5 on the Analytical Writing Scale; OR
    • Completion of at least 12 semester hours of graduate coursework in another UA Little Rock graduate program with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and no grade lower than a B; OR
    • Completion of at least 12 semester hours of graduate coursework in graduate program from another regionally accredited college or university with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and no grade lower than a B

Retention Requirements

The Ed.S. in Reading requires a minimum of 36 hours beyond the master’s degree including:

  • 6 hours in research,
  • 15 hours of emphasis requirements in reading, and
  • 9 hours of reading electives.

The candidate is expected to design and implement a research project as a culminating experience. Two research options meet this requirement:

  • 6 hours of thesis, or
  • 3 hours of research practicum and 3 hours of scholarly writing.

Additional exit requirements include the successful completion of an electronic portfolio in Chalk and Wire and a passing score on a comprehensive written examination.


Graduation Requirements

The program typically requires a two to three year commitment beyond the master’s degree for completion.

  • Completion and defense of a research project in a literacy-related area*
  • Completion of 36 hours of program coursework
    A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on program coursework
  • Pass a written comprehensive examination
  • Submit and defend a portfolio of their work from courses including evidence of scholarly writing, research projects, and successful field experiences
* The literacy-related research project must be completed during the final six hours of the program.

Curriculum

Prerequisites

  • EDFN 7303 Intro to Research*
  • 6 hours in foundations of teaching reading and diagnosis in reading difficulties**
* If the candidate did not complete a research course in the master’s program, the candidate will be required to complete EDFN 7303 Intro to Research (or equivalent course) prior to enrolling in 7304 Basic Statistics.
** If the candidate does not have a reading license or a master’s in reading, the candidate will be required to complete a minimum of 6 hours of prerequisite coursework in foundations of teaching reading and diagnosis in reading difficulties or equivalent course work.

Common Requirements (6 hours)

  • EDFN 7304 Basic Statistics
  • EDFN 8306 Advanced Research Methods or EDFN 7373 Qualitative Research

Emphasis Requirements (15 hours)

  • READ 7398 Theory and Practice in Literacy
  • READ 8340 Research in Language and Literacy
  • READ 8301 Supervision and Organization of Reading Programs
  • READ 8302 Professional Experiences in Reading
  • READ 8304 Curriculum Design and Evaluation of Literary Programs

Electives (9 hours)

  • READ 7321 Processes and Strategies in Reading Comprehension
  • READ 7330 Children’s Literature Across the Curriculum
  • READ 7340 Best Practices in Literacy Instruction
  • READ 7344 Intervention Designs for Struggling Learners
  • READ 7345 Advanced Practicum in Intervention
  • READ 7348 Teaching the Writing Process in Schools
  • READ 7354 Literacy in the Content Areas
  • READ 7365 Specialized Assessment in Early Literacy Instruction
  • READ 7395 Comprehensive Literacy Model for School Improvement
  • READ 7397 Creating Literate Environments
  • READ 8305 Literacy Coaches as Agents of Change

Required Options (6 hours)

  • READ 8348 Scholarly Writing in Literacy
  • READ 8349 Research Practicum in Literacy

OR

  • READ 8350 Thesis I*
  • READ 8351 Thesis II*
* If the student plans to seek a doctorate in reading, Thesis I and II are recommended.

Course Descriptions

Reading Education Courses

READ 7306 Literacy and Technology
Candidates will examine how to integrate new literacies, software, and technology across the curriculum. Candidates will study the strengths and limitations of technology and computer applications for the development and integration of effective technology lessons in a literacy curriculum across content areas. Three credit hours.

READ 7307 Special Topics in Literacy
Special topics in literacy education including, but not limited to, in-depth study of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development and / or reading comprehension as they relate to historical and current perspectives at the state and national level. Offered on demand. Three credit hours.

READ 7310 Literacy, Language and Culture
Candidates will explore how literacy learning takes place among diverse populations, including second language learners. Candidates explore the role of literature in promoting cross cultural understandings in a student-centered literacy curriculum. Specific topics include selecting literature and learning best practices to create a classroom that promotes social justice and critical literacy. Three credit hours.

READ 7321 Processes and Strategies in Reading
This course focuses on the processes of reading comprehension, including the influence of perceptions, beliefs, motivation, language, and strategies for understanding. An emphasis is placed on effective questioning, text selection, discourse chains, and environment as ways to promote comprehension. Three credit hours.

READ 7327 Contemporary Curriculum Design
Philosophy, administration, and techniques of curriculum design, including participation in development of a culturally pluralistic curriculum. Three credit hours.

READ 7330 Children’s Literature Across the Curriculum
This course is based upon current issues, research, and effective practices regarding the use of children’s literature across the curriculum. Students will learn how to select quality children’s books for use in a variety of content areas; develop respect and appreciation for numerous genres, multicultural literature, authors, illustrators, and poets; and plan lessons that use children’s literature to effectively support and enrich instruction in a variety of classroom settings. Three credit hours.

READ 7340 Best Practices in Literacy Instruction
The course examines research-based practices in K-12 literacy instruction, including theories of differentiated instruction, reciprocal processing, integrated curriculum, and linguistic diversity. Three credit hours.

READ 7342 Principles of Literacy and Cognition I
Course restricted to Reading Recovery teachers-in-training. This course is the first of two courses of teacher training for the Reading Recovery program. It covers the theoretical foundations of a socio-psycholinguistic early intervention model appropriate to meet the needs of students having confusions with reading and writing conventions and includes on-going practical experiences in a school setting. Observation and specialized procedures are emphasized. The rationales and procedures of a short-term intervention program are discussed and practiced. Three credit hours.

READ 7343 Principles of Literacy and Cognition II
Prerequisite: Principles of Literacy and Cognition I. Course restricted to Reading Recovery teachers-in-training. This course is the second of two courses of teacher training for the Reading Recovery Program. It covers the theoretical foundations of a socio-psycholinguistic early intervention model appropriate to meet the needs of students having confusions with reading and writing conventions and includes on- going practical experiences in a school setting. Observation and specialization procedures are emphasized. The rationales and procedures of a short-term intervention program are discussed and practiced. Three credit hours.

READ 7344 Intervention Designs for Struggling Readers
A course involving supervised practice in intervention instruction for children experiencing difficulty in literacy. The class will focus on differentiating reading and writing instruction within various settings, including supplemental and classroom, for meeting the needs of struggling learners. The course will include techniques for using intervention team meetings to select appropriate services, collaborating with teachers across intervention programs, and using assessment to monitor children’s progress. Three credit hours.

READ 7345 Advanced Practicum in Intervention Models
Prerequisites: READ 7344 or consent of the instructor. This course is an advanced study of intervention models for children experiencing difficulty in literacy. Candidates will implement a research-based intervention model in a school setting, collect data on the effectiveness of the model, and write a research paper. Three credit hours.

READ 7348 Teaching Writing Process in Schools
The course emphasizes the teaching of the writing process within a writing workshop format, including pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Additional areas of study will include writing conferences, keeping a writer’s notebook, genre writing, evaluating writing, and other issues related to learning to write. Three credit hours.

READ 7351 Foundations of Teaching Reading
Psychological dimensions of reading; principles of learning; organizational pattern affecting reading instruction; scope of the reading process; correlates of reading instruction; emphasis on appropriate use of various learning, psycho-linguistic theories in planning reading programs to meet children’s needs. Three credit hours.

READ 7352 Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties I
Prerequisite or Co-requisite: READ 7351. This course explores the causes of reading difficulties/disabilities, approaches to diagnosis, and appropriate remedial measures. Candidates analyze a variety of assessments, including formal and informal assessment instruments, administer and interpret assessments and make recommendations for appropriate instructional methodologies for specific students. Three credit hours.

READ 7353 Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties II
Prerequisite: READ 7352 or admission to the dyslexia graduate certificate program. This course is designed to extend candidates’ ability to assess and evaluate students with moderate to severe reading difficulties, including dyslexia. Additional content will focus on review of diagnostic procedures, review of referral and intervention processes, and a multi-disciplinary team approach. Three credit hours.

READ 7354 Literacy in the Content Areas
The course centers on content literacy learning. Candidates will learn strategies to engage students in the areas of reading, content vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and multi-genre use in the classroom across content areas. Three credit hours.

READ 7356 Practicum in Reading
Prerequisites: READ 7351, READ 7352. Candidates in this course will be involved in a clinical experience that supports the focus of their professional goals. Students will plan and implement an instructional program for students. The content of the class will include problem solving around the issues related to working in the clinical experience. Three credit hours.

READ 7357 Seminar in Reading
Prerequisites: a minimum of 15 hours in reading and consent of instructor. Current issues, influential researchers and theorists in literacy education, and effective practices. Course requires Internet and library searches and a research project. Offered in spring. Three credit hours.

READ 7361 Language and Reading Instruction
Language development programs and reading methods, materials, teaching strategies for preschool and primary-age; relates speaking, listening, writing and reading to instructional strategies; planning administering comprehensive language readiness programs for preschool, primary age students. The course includes formal and informal evaluation techniques for young children; teaching emphasis on discovering children’s personal language competencies; multicultural emphasis on dialect and reading. Offered in spring and summer. Three credit hours.

READ 7365 Specialized Assessment in Early Literacy Instruction
The course focuses on the principles of early intervention for diagnosing literacy problems for students, including an understanding of emergent literacy and the experiences that support it. Special attention will be placed on designing individualized and group instructional interventions targeted toward those students in greatest need or low proficiency levels, including knowledge of instructional implications of research in special education, psychology, and other fields that deal with the treatment of students with reading and learning difficulties. Three credit hours.

READ 7370 Advanced Practicum in Reading
Prerequisites: READ 7352, READ 7356. This is a clinical course that requires a supervised experience in working with struggling literacy learners. Candidates in this course will work with individual students as well as small groups of students. Offered in summer. Three credit hours.

READ 7385 Formative Assessment and Interventions for Children with Dyslexia
Prerequisite: READ 7353. The course focuses on the principles of intervention for diagnosing literacy problems for students from the emergent stages of reading through the advanced stages of reading to learn. Special attention is given to the use of formative assessments and delivering small group interventions targeted toward students experiencing moderate to severe difficulties with literacy development, including dyslexia. Three credit hours.

READ 7387 Advanced Practicum for Dyslexia Therapists
Prerequisite: READ 7353. This course is the capstone experience for candidates working toward certification as a dyslexia therapist in Arkansas. Candidates will implement a research-based intervention model in a school setting, collect data on the effectiveness of the intervention model and strategies employed, and write an intervention report. Three credit hours.

READ 7393 ST: Teaching Students with Dyslexia
Prerequisite: Admission to the Dyslexia Graduate Certificate or M.Ed. Program. This course is designed to provide practicing teachers and other educational professionals with an introduction to dyslexia, the myths and politics associated with the history of dyslexia, an overview of Arkansas law relating to assessment and intervention of children with dyslexia, an overview of special education law specific to dyslexia, dyslexia characteristics associated with development of the structure of language, and a review of literacy development as it relates to children with moderate and severe difficulties with learning to read from emergent to advanced stages of development. Three credit hours.

READ 7395 Comprehensive Literacy Model for School
The course is designed as a summer literacy institute for teachers and school teams interested in implementing a comprehensive literacy model, including a framework for literacy, individual and small group interventions, literacy team meetings, assessment walls and progress, school plans, and literacy coaching. The course is a requirement for the Literacy Coach certificate program. Three credit hours.

READ 7397 Creating a Literate Environments for Young Learners
The course focuses on implementing a workshop approach in reading, writing, and content areas for meeting the needs of all students, including how to use reading strategies to access content knowledge. An emphasis is placed on organizing instruction to include a balance of whole group teaching, small group instruction, and individual conferences. Literacy components are discussed, including the rationale and procedures for implementing mini-lessons, guided reading, literature discussion groups, shared reading, small group assisted writing, and one-to-one conferences. Three credit hours.

READ 7398 Theory and Practice in Literacy
This course examines literacy theories and their practical implications for instruction. Theories of knowledge acquisition, literacy processing, assisted performance, and transfer are examined and applied to reading and writing. Students conduct an action research project in a literacy-related area. Three credit hours.

READ 8301 Supervision and Organization of Reading Programs
This course focuses on preparing reading specialists and literacy coaches for supervising and organizing a school-wide literacy program, including organizational techniques and instructional approaches. An additional focus is placed on developing the knowledge and skills of a literacy coach in three major areas: coaching teachers, providing professional development to school personnel, and evaluating a school’s literacy program. Three credit hours.

READ 8302 Professional Experiences in Reading
The course focuses on practical experiences with a literacy program in a school. Requires a minimum of 10 clock hours a week in the appropriate practicum setting, attendance at scheduled seminars, and a portfolio that demonstrates competencies as a reading professional, including conducting literacy team meetings and staff development, coaching teachers, making curricula decisions, and collecting data for school improvement. Supervised internships are required for literacy coaches and other literacy leaders. Three credit hours.

READ 8304 Curriculum Design and Evaluation of Literary Programs
This course focuses on designing and assessing literacy curriculum, including evaluating literacy programs and materials and analyzing their evidence-based rationales, aligning curriculum to state and professional standards, creating activities and rubrics to match curriculum, and using school-embedded professional development to achieve literacy goals. Three credit hours.

READ 8305 Literacy Coaches as Agents of Change
This course focuses on the roles and responsibilities of a literacy coach, including specialized techniques and language prompts for scaffolding teachers. An emphasis is placed on observing change over time in knowledge levels and types of self-reflection. Other responsibilities include modeling lessons, conducting team meetings, leading study groups, selecting materials, and collecting and analyzing data for school improvement. Three credit hours.

READ 8340 Research in Language and Literacy
This course examines the theories and research on language and literacy acquisition, including the description of methods and techniques employed in literacy research. Students design and conduct a research project in a literacy-related area. Three credit hours.

READ 8348 Scholarly Writing in Literacy
The course focuses on how to prepare reading candidates to write and publish for a scholarly audience, including setting a writing purpose, conducting a literature review, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting information in the appropriate writing format. The course emphasizes the writing process, including drafting, composing, revising, editing, and publishing stages. Students will submit the final manuscript for publication or for a conference presentation. Three credit hours.

READ 8349 Research Practicum in Literacy
This course focuses on preparing students to participate in a faculty-sponsored research project. Students must also complete an individual study, including a manuscript submission and conference presentation. Three credit hours.

READ 8350 Thesis I
Prerequisite: completion of 27 hours of emphasis requirements or consent of instructor. Orientation to writing a thesis, including preparing a research proposal in the area of reading and conducting an extensive review of related literature in reading research. Three credit hours.

READ 8351 Thesis II
Prerequisite: READ 8351. Completion and defense of thesis project. Three credit hours.

Interdepartmental Courses

EDFN 7303 Intro to Research
Prerequisite: graduate standing. Introduction to applied research in education across the major quantitative, qualitative, and action research traditions. Focus is on understanding the research process and its integrated components and evaluating published research reports from the perspective of a critical consumer. Topics include scientific reasoning, types of variables and hypotheses; sampling; data collection and instrumentation; control procedures; common experimental, non-experimental, qualitative, and mixed methods research designs; data analysis; and research critiques and proposals. Three credit hours.

EDFN 7304 Basic Statistics
Introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics used in education and data-driven decision making. Topics include commonly used descriptive statistics, exploratory data analysis, standardized scores, inferential reasoning, hypothesis testing, and parametric and nonparametric procedures and their assumptions including t-tests, one-way analysis of variance, correlation coefficients, bivariate regression, and chi-square. Emphasis is on understanding the logical bases of statistical tests of significance, selecting appropriate data analysis techniques, and using statistical software and interpreting its output. Three credit hours.

EDFN 7373 Qualitative Research
Prerequisite: EDFN 7303. This course has primarily a twofold purpose: to expose students to the knowledge base, tradition, and theory of qualitative research. While introductory in nature, this course allows students to explore theoretical underpinnings as well as consider methodological strategies in preparation for designing a research project and writing it up for presentation. Three credit hours.

EDFN 8306 Advanced Research Methods
Prerequisites: EDFN 7303, EDFN 7304. A second course in quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research designs commonly used in education. Topics include the philosophy of science, research problems, control procedures, sampling designs, measurement procedures, data collection strategies, and approaches to data analysis. Focus is on complex designs across the research traditions, writing critical reviews, and writing research proposals that include sound methodology. Three credit hours.

MCED 7316 Adolescent Literature
Best possible options for associations between middle level students and literature. Literature-based learning and learning how to select a wide variety of books from the best examples of all genres is stressed. Early adolescent literature is read. Developmentally appropriate instructional procedures in reading and writing to aid in comprehension is stressed. Other topics include integrating literature in the content areas, literature study circles, flexible grouping, how to use literature to assist multicultural understanding, the benefits of using school book clubs, and assessment. Three credit hours.


MEET OUR FACULTY

Portrait of Dr. Linda Dorn

Linda Dorn, Ph.D.

Reading Program Coordinator; Director, UA Little Rock Center for Literacy; Professor

Contact Information

Portrait of Dr. Kent Layton

Kent Layton, Ph.D.

Interim Associate Dean, College of Education and Health Professions; Interim Director, STEM Education Center; Associate Professor

Contact Information

placeholder

Susan Perry, Ed.D.

Visiting Professor

Contact Information


HAVE QUESTIONS? ASK AN ADVISOR.

We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have about our available programs. Use the form below to submit your inquiries to the College of Education and Health Professions Advising & Support Center advisors.

  • What questions do you have for the advising staff?
  • What semester term do you have questions about?
  • What year do you have questions about?
    Which program do you have questions about?