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Help Students Struggling With Reading

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that, in 2017, 32% of fourth graders were reading below the Basic level, based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment. According to Vanderbilt professor Laurie E. Cutting, Ph.D., a fourth grader reading below the Basic level “isn’t able to find details in a text that support simple interpretations.”

The NAEP reading assessment of students in grades four and eight is conducted every two years. It measures reading comprehension by asking students to read grade-appropriate materials and answer questions based on what they have read. NAEP’s 2017 assessment tested about 148,800 fourth graders and 141,800 eighth graders. The study revealed that 24% of eighth graders were reading below the Basic level. Only 37% of fourth graders were reading at or above the Proficient level, meaning 63% were below proficiency. Among eighth grade students, only 36% were at or above Proficient level, with 64% reading below proficiency.

Help Children and Advance your Career With Online Degree

Students experience reading difficulties for a variety of reasons, including limited exposure to language and literacy-promoting activities in early childhood. Other factors include inadequate instruction and biological factors, such as dyslexia and other disorders. According to the Dyslexia Center of Utah, one in five students has a language-based learning disability, and dyslexia is the most common.

With a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Reading from Texas A&M International University, you’ll be able to help diagnose struggling students’ reading problems — and then help them become better readers. From a career standpoint, this fully online Master of Science degree program not only prepares you for a position as a reading instruction specialist, it also provides the advanced knowledge required to serve in various leadership roles in education.

Individuals who earn an M.S. in C&I in reading are able to:

  • Assess and integrate current research to develop curriculum and instructional models
  • Apply evidence-based teaching practices
  • Use data to improve instruction and student learning

The program also reinforces culturally competent teaching.

The core curriculum focuses on research, the application of current theory to everyday practice, assessment tools, and coaching to improve learning. Courses include Social and Cultural Studies of Education, Advanced Theories for Learning, Collegial Coaching and Mentoring, and Evaluation of Curriculum & Instruction.

The coursework addresses various reading models, with an emphasis on language and cognition, literacy development, comprehension, motivation, and current literacy trends. The interventions for struggling readers draw on classroom-based results.

A Program That Works With Your Schedule

The accelerated master’s program is tailored for working professionals. Each course takes just seven weeks to complete. The program also offers six different start dates during each calendar year, so you have the flexibility to begin the program when it works best for you. Students can complete this 33-credit-hour program in as few as 12 months.

Texas A&M International University’s online Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction program not only prepares you for Reading Specialist Certification, it provides the education and qualifications you need to achieve a career as a curriculum leader in literacy instruction.

In her article “What are the Factors that Contribute to Reading Failure?” Dr. Cutting states that reading skills “are clearly fundamental life skills that are important for future employment and attaining higher-level education.” With the Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction, you can advance your career while helping children reach their full potential.

Learn more about TAMIU’s online Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Reading program.


The Nation’s Report Card: NAEP Reading Report Card: Grade 4

The Nation’s Report Card: NAEP Reading Report Card: Grade 8

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: What Are the Factors That Contribute to Reading Failure?

Dyslexia Center of Utah: 5 Steps for Identifying Dyslexia in Your Child

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