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Reading Specialist Certification program receives international distinction

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The College of Education and Human Development’s Reading Specialist Certification program was recently received a Certificate of Distinction and national recognition from the International Literacy Association (ILA).

“We are certainly happy to have been awarded the Certificate of Distinction,” said Dr. Sam DeJulio, assistant professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching (ILT). “This recognition that the reading specialist program is of the highest quality is the result of years of hard work and collaboration.”

Faculty from ILT, where the program is housed, will be presented with the award at the 2019 ILA conference in October.

“The ILA Certificate of Distinction not only indicates the quality of the reading specialist program, but also points to the benefits of a strong group of faculty, instructors, and field-based colleagues who have been essential in supporting the program,” said DeJulio. “It shows that where there is collaboration and support, UTSA has the potential to offer exceptional educational experiences.”

The program earned the distinction for its alignment to the association’s Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals.

“While the graduates leave the program with the knowledge and skills needed to help teachers and students with literacy across the grade levels in K-12 schools from early literacy learning to adolescent disciplinary literacy, they are instrumental in guiding program development and growth toward new levels of effectiveness,” said Dr. Janis Harmon, professor in ILT.

“The course work for the program provides students with opportunities for classroom and tutoring experiences in districts where they can apply theory and research,” added Dr. Rosalind Horowitz, professor in ILT.

The Reading Specialist Certification program is an optional certification and advanced statewide licensure that is offered as part of the Master of Arts in Reading and Literacy degree program. For the last 10 years, the program has boasted a 100 percent passing rate on the reading specialist exam.

“We believe the quality of the program is signaled by the Certificate of Distinction as well as the graduates’ pass rates on the reading specialist exam,” said Dr. Miriam Martinez, professor in ILT.

“While there are a number of strengths to the reading specialist program, we believe that the graduate students enrolled in the program, and the local community in which they teach, are the most valuable part of the program,” added DeJulio. “We recognize that the ILA Certificate of Distinction is a great honor and are resolved to continue our work to update, adjust, and improve the program so it continues to be a program that stands out.”

Learn more about the Reading Specialist Certification program.

Learn more about the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching.

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UTSA College of Education and Human Development

Phone: 210-458-4370