Program Details

Graduate Certificate of Completion in Reading for Elementary Educators

Offered By: College of Education
Total Program Credits & Course Length:
Total Program Credits: 18
Online: 6 weeks
Transfer Credits:
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the program
Program Tuition Rate:
Online: $530 per credit. [ More Info ]
VA Approved Program Icon

What Is an Elementary Reading Specialist Certificate?

Literacy is the key to a child’s future success. After all, reading sparks the imagination and fuels the quest for knowledge. Children who are fluent readers can better navigate complex information across different subject areas. To help each child reach his or her full potential, you may decide to pursue the Graduate Certificate of Completion in Reading for Elementary Educators. This program is offered by the College of Education at GCU. It is designed for currently active teachers who work with K-8 students.

During this program, students learn best practices in improving literacy. They explore assessment tools, reading strategies and literate environments. The program offers opportunities for the practical use of concepts, theories and research. It is aligned standards from the International Literacy Association (ILA), as well as the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC).

Become a Reading Specialist with a Graduate Certificate in Elementary Reading Education

This certificate program blends traditional studies with hands-on learning experiences. The result is a comprehensive program designed to support success in modern classrooms. By the time you graduate, you will have a firm grasp on foundational theories and research. You will study concepts related to:

  • Literacy coaching
  • Effective communication with students
  • Instructional leadership
  • Child development
  • Corrective reading processes

Earn Your Graduate Certificate in Reading for Elementary Educators Online

You can become an elementary reading specialist with GCU’s online classes. The program requires 18 credits, and all online classes are six weeks long.

GCU is a leader in innovative online classroom experiences. This means that you can expect the same high-quality instruction from our online classes as you would get from an on-campus program. All of the instructors are fully qualified, leading experts in their fields. They share their experiences in student cognition, phonics, linguistics, literacy, emergent literature and assessments.

The program consists of these courses:

  • Foundations in Language and Literacy
  • Survey of Reading Assessments
  • Advanced Studies in Reading Assessment Systems
  • Literate Environments
  • Professional Learning and Leadership in Literacy
  • Introductory Instructional Methods for Elementary Reading and Writing

This program covers key concepts in literacy, including:

  • Curriculum design
  • Leadership models
  • Collaborative learning
  • Advocacy
  • Reading-rich environments
  • Reading instruction and assessments
  • Writing instruction and assessments
  • Professional ethics

What Does an Elementary Reading Specialist Do?

Elementary reading specialists play a key role in education. They work closely with students to improve their skills in writing, decoding, reading comprehension and reading fluency. Reading specialists often work within districts and individual public or private schools. Reading specialists may:

  • Work one-on-one with struggling students
  • Assist small groups of students
  • Consult with classroom teachers and discuss reading strategies
  • Provide extra skills practice for struggling students
  • Serve as tutors for schools, private agencies or community organizations

GCU requires a copy of your current teaching license before you enroll in the elementary reading graduate certificate program. Alternatively, you may give proof of at least one year of teaching experience. You must have access to an elementary classroom to complete the assignments and practicum course for this program. This program does not lead to licensure or certification.

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
18 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
18 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

Reading specialist/Literacy coach candidates survey the theoretical and evidence-based foundations of reading and writing processes and instruction. This survey includes an exploration of historical through current reading and writing development, processes, and components. Reading specialist/literacy coach candidates are introduced to ethical and professional roles. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Reading specialist/literacy coach candidates survey a variety of assessment tools and related practices. This survey prepares the reading specialist/literacy coach to plan and evaluate effective reading and writing instruction that optimizes student learning. In addition, the reading specialist/literacy coach candidates develop effective communication techniques. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: REA-500.

Course Description

Reading specialist/literacy coach candidates engage in advanced studies of assessment systems to develop, select and interpret data at the building and district level. This advanced study of assessment information is used to plan and evaluate curriculum and instruction at the building and district level. In addition, the reading specialist/literacy coach candidates communicate assessment results to a variety of audiences. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: REA-510.

Course Description

Reading specialist/literacy coach candidates create a literate environment that fosters reading and writing by integrating foundational knowledge, instructional practices, approaches and methods, curriculum materials, and the appropriate use of assessments. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: REA-515.

Course Description

Reading specialist/literacy coach candidates survey professional learning and leadership models for promoting literacy. emphasizing positive dispositions, individual and collaborative learning, the ability to design and evaluate professional learning experiences, the importance of advocacy, and a need for knowledge about adult learning and school leadership. From this survey, reading specialist/literacy coach candidates demonstrate and facilitate professional learning and leadership as a career-long effort and responsibility. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: REA-550.

Course Description

Reading specialist/literacy coach candidates survey instructional approaches and materials that support student learning in reading and writing. This survey prepares the reading specialist/literacy coach candidates to design an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Program Locations



Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.


Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom. Night classes are designed for a specific number of students, providing a warm and nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. In an evening cohort, you will progress through your degree program with the same career-minded classmates, providing an opportunity to network and forge relationships that go beyond the classroom. Classes begin frequently at various locations, including our main campus.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

* The Department of Education defines how an institution must calculate a program's On-Time Completion rate for federal disclosure purposes. The On-Time Completion rate is based on a program's published required number of months to complete all degree requirements as provided in the institution's catalog. Completion statistics are updated every January and are based on the cohort of students who started the program in the same year and then graduated within the published program length.

Online and Evening program disclosures (10 months)

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.