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Reading, CAGS

The Graduate Program offers the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in Reading with an option for institutional endorsement for Massachusetts licensure as Reading Specialist (all levels). The 33-credit program is offered to cohort groups who move through the entire program together. To enhance the experience, courses are scheduled on Saturdays during the academic year and as two-week intensives in the summer.

Program learning experiences and outcomes are designed to meet the recommendations of the Professional Standards and Ethics Committee and the Advisory Group to the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Joint Task Force of the International Reading Association (IRA), reading/literacy supervisor and consultant.

*This program is not currently accepting applications at this time.

A CAGS in Reading from Bridgewater State University offers:

  • Diverse faculty with extensive teaching experience and ongoing participation in education research, scholarly publication and professional organizations
  • Compliance with recommendations of the Professional Standards and Ethics Committee and the Advisory Group to the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Joint Task Force of the International Reading Association (IRA) Role 7, Reading/Literacy Supervisor and Consultant
  • Small classes facilitating a more personalized learning experience
  • Benefits of a state institution that has been training teachers for more than 170 years
  • Affordable tuition, whether you live in state or out of state

 Program Director: Dr. Adam Ulenski

Admissions Requirements

*This program is not currently accepting applications at this time.

  • Online application and $50 application fee
  • Resume 
  • Transcripts - Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work
  • Master’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • A rating of “one” on three letters of recommendation (at least one from teaching supervisor and one who has knowledge of applicant’s aptitude for advanced scholarship)
  • A minimum graduate GPA of 3.0
  • Possession of an active Massachusetts State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE) professional teacher license
    1. Possession of MA DESE licensure as Reading Specialist or
    2. A qualifying score on the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure® (MTEL) Communications and Literacy Skills (01)
  • Three years of experience teaching in the area of licensure
  • Evidence of having taken at Bridgewater State University or six credits of equivalent course work at another institution of higher education
  • Foundational knowledge in computer technology (Microsoft Word and Office)

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Required courses (33 credits)


*Students who do not successfully complete READ 681 are required to enroll in READ 682 - CAGS Literacy Practicum .
**With advisor’s consent, another 500- or 600-level course in instructional technology may be substituted for INST 552.

Exit requirement

In addition to the course requirements above, candidates must demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Successful completion of a multimedia exhibit in exemplary literacy practices
  • Support for the work of professional literacy organizations
  • Successful defense of the research project and multimedia exhibit

Total minimum credits: 33

The learning outcomes for graduate students in this program are the following from the International Literacy Association's standards for reading professionals 2017:

STANDARD 1: FOUNDATIONAL KNOWLEDGE -  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.

STANDARD 2: CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION - 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.

STANDARD 3: ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION - 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.

STANDARD 4: DIVERSITY AND EQUITY - 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.

STANDARD 5: LEARNERS AND THE LITERACY ENVIRONMENT - 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.

STANDARD 6: PROFESSIONAL LEARNING AND LEADERSHIP - 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.

STANDARD 7: PRACTICUM/CLINICAL EXPERIENCES - * Only applies to Reading MEd and CAGS. 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.

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