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Reading Program

The Reading Program features an internationally established faculty actively engaged in research and practice. Viewing reading educators as professionals engaged in the critical translation of theory to practice underpins course offerings in this intellectually demanding enterprise. You will have the opportunity to apply leading edge ideas and contemporary technology to foster K-12 students' successful reading development.

Courses are offered using a combination of hybrid online learning applications, as well as, face-to-face class meetings. This approach offers you convenient scheduling of responses to course requirements and demonstrates technology you can apply in the classroom.

Old Dominion University's programs in Reading Education are designed to prepare reading specialists, reading teachers and other reading practictioners by providing specialized training in the field of reading. The program in Reading Education was developed in correspondence with the Conceptual Framework of the Old Dominion University College of Education, and strives to develop Professional Educators - those who have mastered content and pedagogy, and have a commitment to a high degree of professional involvement in the school and community. As such, the program aims to develop professional reading educators who are knowledgeable and competent about reading and the reading process; who are able to develop reading programs at the elementary and secondary level; who can serve as expert models and literacy coaches in a community of educators; who utilize their knowledge in the teaching of reading to students of diverse backgrounds; who demonstrate the ability to adequately assess students and provide appropriate instruction; who are able to conduct and disseminate research; and, who display dispositions that reflect a dedication to teaching and learning, and respect for professional growth.

During the course of graduate studies in reading, it is anticipated that a candidate will attain a number of competencies, including:

  • developing a sound understanding of the theories and research that serve as the foundation for literacy processes and instructional practices for reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • applying to classroom settings a basic understanding of the reading process and its relationship to the total language development of the child;
  • applying recent research findings to the teaching of reading;
  • integrating reading skills and strategies into content-area instruction;
  • organizing a school reading program as part of the larger elementary/secondary school curriculum;
  • organizing and conducting literacy staff development;
  • evaluating school reading programs;
  • developing leadership and coaching skills for working with paraprofessionals and teachers;
  • creating a literate environment that encourages and supports literacy instruction and learning;
  • creating instructional materials for use in classroom and clinical settings;
  • using various types of media and educational technology;
  • assessing needs, diagnosing problems and providing remediation for students experiencing reading difficulties;
  • relating to the needs of children of differing ethnic and cultural backgrounds; and,
  • recognizing the characteristics of developmental stages, learning styles and special needs of students.

In gaining competency in the above knowledge areas, candidates in the reading education program will develop a strong sense of purpose in serving diverse constituencies.

Reading Faculty

Master's Degree Program

The Master's Degree program in Reading Education is designed to prepare reading practitioners with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for effective teaching of reading, the development of reading programs, and literacy coaching at the elementary and secondary school levels.

Successful candidates will also demonstrate the ability to conduct and disseminate research. Extensive course offerings allow the graduate student to pursue research in areas of interest, which, in almost all courses, will include intensive reviews of literature, selected field experiences in reading programs in public or private schools, and assignment to other private or governmental agencies that provide educational services to clients. Additionally, candidates also tutor children in a supervised practicum setting to gain experience in the diagnosis and remediation of reading problems.

Reading Post-Baccalaureate Reading Specialist Endorsement-Only

The Reading Specialist Endorsement Program: The Commonwealth of Virginia allows currently licensed teachers who already hold a Master's degree to obtain the Reading Specialist endorsement by completing an approved graduate-level reading specialist preparation program. The Endorsement-Only program is designed to provide current Master's level practitioners with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for effective teaching of reading, the development of reading programs, and literacy coaching at the elementary and secondary school levels.  Successful candidates will provide needed leadership in the field of reading.