Young adolescent children sitting at a table in a library reading books. There is an African American boy in the foreground smiling at the camera and leaning on a stack of books.

The Literacy Coach Specialist Graduate Certificate is an 18-credit-hour post-master’s program. The certificate is designed to prepare the reading specialist for the unique role of literacy coach in today’s schools.




Degree in Hand

You’ll need to have earned your bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Hold, or be qualified to hold, a valid teaching license.

Favorable recommendations from faculty in the program.



Apply Online

Apply to the UA Little Rock Graduate School.


Aligned with the International Reading Association Standards for Reading Professionals, the program of study focuses on three major areas: instruction, assessment, and leadership. An emphasis is placed on supervising and coordinating a school’s literacy program, including providing professional development, coaching teachers, designing curriculum, teaching struggling readers, and conducting research on literacy and school change. The courses for the Literacy Coach Specialist Graduate Certificate can be applied toward an advanced degree in reading education.

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 501-916-5815.
  • 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 greater than 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:

  • Valid teaching license (Arkansas or other state)
  • Favorable recommendations from faculty in the program
Regular Admission
  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale, OR
    • Grade point average of at least 3.0 for the last 60 hours of undergraduate courses, OR
    • Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
The master’s degree requirement above is required for entry into the Literacy Coach Specialist program as it is a post-master’s program.
Conditional Admission
  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution; a cumulative undergraduate GPA of no lower than 2.5; and a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score of at least 141 on the Verbal Scale, 150 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 or 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.
Out-of-state candidates seeking certification from other states as reading specialists or dyslexia therapists should consult with their respective State Education agencies about specific licensure standards and exam requirements. All candidates are strongly advised to consult closely with a graduate advisor for details regarding their program, concentration, and opportunities for certification and licensure.

Retention Requirements

The graduate certificate requires a minimum of 18 credit hours of courses in reading education.

Graduation Requirements

  • Successfully complete the 18 credit hour program of study with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Successfully defend a Literacy Coach Portfolio that demonstrates proficiency in program areas.


Reading/Literacy Coach Courses (18 hours)

  • READ 7398 Theory and Practice in Literacy
  • READ 8301 Supervision and Organization of Reading Programs
  • READ 8302 Professional Experiences in Reading
  • READ 8305 Literacy Coaches as Agents of Change
  • READ 8304 Curriculum Design and Evaluation
  • READ 7395 Comprehensive Literacy Model for School Improvement

Course Descriptions

READ 7395 Comprehensive Literacy Model for School Improvement
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 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
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.


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.

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