Literacy Coach

Certified reading specialists are welcome to register for courses leading to a letter of endorsement as a K-12 Literacy Coach. Widener University is pleased to be in the forefront of training literacy specialists for this growing field.

Literacy Coaching, a peer coaching framework in K-12 classrooms, is becoming an area in which both schools and individual teachers are requesting training. The International Reading Association’s (IRA) monograph, The Role and Qualifications of the Reading Coach (2004) addresses the need for quality training for this important professional development role. In response to this need, Widener University will offer a letter of endorsement in literacy coaching beginning fall of 2008. Graduate training for literacy coaching will address both IRA’s standards and the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Instructional Coach Endorsement Competencies.

A sequence of four graduate courses is required for the letter of endorsement: two supervision/leadership courses in education and two literacy coaching courses. It will be possible for candidates to meet this requirement within one year. Supervision/leadership courses from prior graduate work in education may apply toward the coaching endorsement. The literacy coaching courses include Foundations of Literacy Coaching (ED 566) and Practicum in Literacy Coaching (ED 567).

If you feel that becoming a literacy coach may be the next step in your career path, contact the advisors listed below for further information.        

Dr. Annemarie Jay (610-499-4652) or

Dr. Mary W. Strong (610-499-4629) or


Prerequisites for K – 12 Literacy Coaching Endorsement

Basic Requirements 

  • PA Teaching Certification

  • PA Praxis in Reading (completed)

  • 5 years teaching experience

Graduate Course Requirements

  • 2 courses in supervision/leadership (These may be transferred from another university).

  • WU graduates should have taken ED 545 (Supervision in Public Education) and ED 546 (Analysis, Innovation, and Evaluation of Curriculum) or similar courses.

Professional Core

ED 566            Foundations of Literacy Coaching 

ED 567            Practicum in Literacy Coaching 

Course Descriptions

Course Title:                 Foundations of Literacy Coaching 

Graduate Credits:         3 credits

Course Number:           ED 566

Course Description: This course will focus on introducing participants to best practices for K- 12 literacy coaches. Topics will include providing leadership for a school’s literacy program, collaboration with teachers and administrators, data analysis, curriculum issues, knowledge of literacy standards, and professional development facilitation. These foundations will provide students with experience in working with teachers to improve their instructional practice as well as student achievement. Special attention will be given to mastering the complexities of observing and modeling in classrooms and providing feedback to teachers.  

Prerequisites: Reading specialist certificate; minimum of 5 years teaching experience

Course Title:                 Practicum in Literacy Coaching

Graduate Credits:         3 credits

Course Number:           ED 567            

Course Description:      This course provides a variety of intensive field work requirements in educational settings that build on the foundations of literacy coaching. Students translate current issues of literacy instruction and assessment into practical, effective solutions in the field. The course professor will mentor and supervise students during on-site visits in addition to class sessions. Prerequisites: Reading specialist certificate; minimum of 5 years teaching experience; Foundations of Literacy Coaching (ED 566)