Literacy and Language Certificate (with an option for licensure as a Reading Specialist in MA)


Our Literacy and Language Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) is designed for educators wishing to acquire expertise in reading and written language to support a range of learners.  Coursework is 100% online to accommodate the busy schedule of working professionals and those who are unable to travel to campus.  We offer two options to obtain a CAS in Literacy and Language.

Our 20-credit licensure option is designed for educators who have an initial license in another subject matter area and wish to become licensed as a reading specialist in MA.  While coursework is 100% online, this program requires two onsite practicum experiences.

Our 17-credit program is designed for those wanting to develop expertise in literacy and language, but are not seeking licensure.  This program is 100% online and includes the same coursework, but it does not require the onsite practicum components. 

Both programs complement the credentials of classroom teachers, special educators, speech-language pathologists, administrators, psychologists, and private tutors.

With a foundation in spoken language development, the programs are relevant for educators of students who are second language learners and those with diverse linguistic backgrounds. 


This comprehensive 17 credit (non-licensure) or 20 credit (licensure) reading program:

  • Starts two times each year, each fall and summer semester.
  • Can be completed in 16 months (17-credit program) or 21 months (20 credit program) on a part-time basis.
  • Allows flexible scheduling designed to accommodate busy professionals. Coursework is 100% online.
  • Clinical and school-based practica only pertain to the 20-credit licensure program.  

Curricular Goals for the Literacy and Language CAS

The Literacy and Language CAS program places emphasis on how language development relates to reading proficiency and communication disorders. In the context of the latest evidence-based research, you will:

  • Become proficient in providing reading instruction for all students
  • Learn the most effective classroom screening instruments and individual diagnostic literacy tests
  • Develop the skills associated with interdisciplinary case consultation skills
  • Be prepared to take on a literacy leadership position
  • Those in the 20-credit program will complete requirements leading to Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) endorsement through MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE). 

A major goal of the program is to develop you as a literacy leader who can leverage your knowledge and experience to improve reading and writing practices in schools and health care settings. 

See the program's application process and requirements for more information. The Literacy and Language Certificate is in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. 

Educators who wish to attend an information session or have specific questions about the program may contact the Literacy and Language Certificate program director, Patricia Kelley-Nazzaro, at