Master of Education

This program is approved by the State of Delaware, is nationally recognized and accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and meets the International Literacy Association (ILA) standards at the Reading Specialist level.

THIS IS A DELAWARE LICENSURE/CERTIFICATION PROGRAM WITH CONTENT KNOWLEDGE AND PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS. Students taking courses to satisfy certification requirements are personally responsible for verifying with the Delaware Department of Education (or the appropriate licensure/certification authority in another state) that such course work is applicable and acceptable. Students are also responsible for meeting all state-mandated testing requirements and/or teaching experience requirements, and for applying for credentials.  Wilmington University has not made determinations for licensure in states outside of Delaware. For state-by-state contact information for inquiring about individual state licensure requirements, please visit NC-SARA's Professional Licensure Directory.

Program Purpose

The Master of Education in Reading prepares teachers for certification as a Reading Specialist in grades K-12. Reading specialists must demonstrate the ability to produce high levels of student achievement in literacy. Literacy requires an understanding of reading and writing intertwined with the ability to interpret critically and apply new information to existing knowledge. Every school should have access to Reading Specialists who have specialized training related to addressing reading difficulties and who can give guidance to classroom teachers in language arts, writing, and content area reading.

Program Competencies

The program competencies are the ILA (International Literacy Association) Standards, summarized below, and can be accessed in their entirety through the ILA’s website.

The program develops reading experts who have demonstrated mastery in:


Candidates demonstrate knowledge of major theoretical, conceptual, historical, and evidence-based foundations of literacy and language, the ways in which they interrelate, and the role of the reading/literacy specialist in schools.


Candidates use foundational knowledge to design literacy curricula to meet needs of learners, especially those who experience difficulty with literacy;  design,  implement, and evaluate small-group and individual evidence-based literacy instruction for learners; collaborate with teachers to implement effective literacy practices.


Candidates understand, select, and use valid, reliable, fair, and appropriate assessment tools to screen, diagnose, and measure student literacy achievement; inform instruction and evaluate interventions; assist teachers in their understanding and use of assessment results; advocate for appropriate literacy practices to relevant stakeholders.


Candidates demonstrate knowledge of research, relevant theories, pedagogies, and essential concepts of diversity and equity; demonstrate an understanding of themselves and others as cultural beings; create classrooms and schools that are inclusive and affirming; advocate for equity at school, district, and community levels.


Candidates meet the developmental needs of all learners and collaborate with school personnel to use a variety of print and digital materials to engage and motivate all learners; integrate digital technologies in appropriate, safe, and effective ways; foster a positive climate that supports a literacy-rich learning environment.


Candidates demonstrate the ability to be reflective literacy professionals, who apply their knowledge of adult learning to work collaboratively with colleagues; demonstrate their leadership and facilitation skills; advocate on behalf of teachers, students, families, and communities.


Candidates complete supervised, integrated, extended practica/ clinical experiences that include intervention work with students and working with their peers and experienced colleagues; practica include ongoing experiences in school-based setting(s); supervision includes observation and ongoing feedback by qualified supervisors.

Outcomes Assessment

The assessment of outcomes consists of multiple measures. Grades on assignments and for courses are the first level of assessment. The course goals, learning outcomes, and assignments are designed to address the measurement of program and graduation competencies. The Knowledge of Reading Test (KRT) must be taken online during either MRD 7920, Practicum in Reading, or MRD 7970, Practice in Reading Research. Other assessment measures include the observation of application of knowledge in practical settings and alumni surveys that query such items as preparation levels for careers, preparation for passage of PRAXIS II, and life-long learning activities. PRAXIS II (5302 Reading Specialist) must be taken and passed (score of 165) prior to receiving a grade in MRD 7970. It is a graduation requirement.

Program Design

The Master of Education in Reading program was designed to meet four sets of professional standards: Delaware Professional Teaching Standards (DPTS), National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and International Literacy Association (ILA). Students who complete the program are eligible for a State of Delaware Certificate as a Reading Specialist. Candidates are required to register for MED 6102, E-Folio as the initial course in the program as this course will allow them to document various course requirements needed to satisfy program competencies.

When compared to other current graduate programs in reading, four unique features are evident. First, the reading practicum is six (6) credits and must be completed over the length of a full semester. This practicum is in addition to another course in diagnosis and remediation which many institutions view as a practicum experience. A second difference is in the presentation of diagnosis, assessment and correction as one six-credit course. This allows candidates to see the complete process with the same individual. Most institutions offer two separate three-credit courses. The third, and most unique requirement, is the inclusion of field experience in content area classrooms in a combined study of strategies and application of those strategies. Many programs have a content area reading course, but not one that requires field experience in content area classrooms. Finally, candidates must participate in local, state and/or national professional organizations.

Candidates in this program are required to collaborate and partner with teachers, administrators, specialists, and parents in assessment of reading, instruction in reading, designing reading programs, and conducting research in reading. Candidates, then, develop partnerships with a wide network of parties to support reading achievement in the school, home, and community as learning environments.

This program is designed to serve students with several career opportunities:

15 or 18 course credits for a cluster of graduate study in reading

34 credits are required for the master’s degree. Subsequently, candidates may apply for the Reading Specialist certificate through the Department of Education. Documentation of a passing PRAXIS II score (165) is required.

An exit interview with the Program Chair or an advisor is required.

Program Requirements

A current valid United States teaching certificate is required for admission to this program.

Completion of the degree includes successful completion of core courses, clinical courses, and a research course. Twelve (12) credits of core courses in language, literacy, content area reading, literature and non-fiction materials for children and adolescents are required. The required clinical sequence includes twenty-two (22) semester credits with a minimum of 250 clock hours of practice. All of the core courses require some collaboration and practice in schools. The research course is five (5) semester hours and includes analyses of research and conducting research. Most MRD courses require interaction with children and/or teachers and paraprofessionals at multiple grade levels.

The clinical component requires candidates to arrange for time to be spent in elementary and secondary schools, so that they can become familiar with classrooms and the learning environment K-12. In addition, time must be arranged to work with other teachers at the elementary and secondary levels, specialists, parents, and community organizations. Experience serving as a resource person to other professionals in middle and secondary schools is required. Case studies of individuals and groups, analyses of classrooms of students, instructional planning and delivery for individuals, groups, and classrooms are all requirements. Participation in the reading clinic is required as part of the diagnosis and assessment course (MRD 7903). A course grade no lower than “B” must be achieved in this course. A final component requires candidates to attend school board meetings and be affiliated with either a local, state or national professional reading organization.

A research project is required. This research project may be qualitative or quantitative and designed for a classroom, school, or a district level. The final two courses, MRD 7920 and MRD 7970, may not be taken concurrently without prior approval from Program Chair. Verification forms are collected throughout the program for various learning experiences.

Qualifications for a Degree

To qualify for a Master of Education in Reading, a candidate must complete all courses: core and clinical, for a total of 34 semester credits. The Knowledge of Reading Test (KRT), which assesses knowledge of basic reading skills, strategies and materials, must be taken online and during MRD 7920, Practicum in Reading, or MRD 7970, Practice in Reading Research. The PRAXIS II Reading Specialist test (5302) must also be taken and passed using State of Delaware passing criteria (164) prior to receiving a grade in MRD 7970. Praxis scores should be submitted to Wilmington University via ETS. They will also need to be posted in Taskstream. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 must be maintained throughout the program. The program must be completed within five years.

Please note that state-mandated licensure/certification exams and minimum score requirements are subject to change by the Delaware Department of Education.  Any changes mandated by the Department of Education will be implemented as required by state regulation.

Content and Performance Assessment Requirements

This is a state-approved degree program which contributes to eligibility for licensure and/or certification as an educator in Delaware public schools. As such, all candidates must meet the content and performance assessment requirements described in DE Administrative Code.

The regulation states, in part:

Content Assessment 

“Where a content readiness exam is applicable and available in area, subject, or category of specialization sought, the Candidate shall achieve a passing score on an examination as established by the Professional Standards Board, in consultation with the Department and with concurrence of the State Board.”

Performance Assessment 

“Where a performance assessment is applicable and available in an area appropriate to the Program in which a Candidate is enrolled, the Candidate shall achieve a passing score as a requirement to Exit the Program. The performance assessment may not be scored by any employees of the Educator Preparation Program or Unit, and shall be scored by Certified Reviewers.”

The instrument selected by Wilmington University as a required exit assessment for the M.Ed. in Reading is ETS Praxis II, #5302 Reading Specialist. The minimum acceptable score is 164. The assessment is administered and scored by ETS.

Candidates must consult with program advisors and/or the program chair to obtain the most current information about exit and graduation requirements.

Course Requirements

Master of Education in Reading leading to State Certification as a Reading Specialist K-12 (34 credits)

Core Courses

MED 6102 E-Folio

MRD 7801 Language Development

MRD 7802 Process and Acquisition of Literacy

MRD 7803 Strategies and Materials for Teaching Reading and Writing

MRD 7804 Literature and Non-Fiction Books/Materials for Children and Adolescents


Clinical Courses: All clinical courses are semester courses: See note below

MRD 7815 Application of Strategies for Teaching Content Area Reading

MRD 7903 Diagnosis and Correction of Reading Difficulties

MRD 7920 Practicum in Reading

MRD 7970 Practice in Reading Research

MRD 7970 is not offered in the summer.

MRD 7903: This course requires onsite tutoring and final grade of “B” or higher. 

MRD 7920 and MRD 7970 may NOT be taken concurrently without Program Chair approval.

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2024-2025 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2023 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.