Special Reading (K-12) Certification

Our literacy program completes the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirements for the Special Reading Teacher Certification, K-12; however, you must hold a valid teaching certificate in Missouri before you can qualify. The DESE Special Reading Teacher Certification, K-12 Program allows teachers to become Title I teachers, literacy coaches and other district-level positions, and will also help you to be a more effective teacher of reading in the regular classroom. The certification coursework focuses on children in grades K-12 who are struggling readers and need to learn strategies to become independent readers and learners.

Currently, Missouri State Offers two routes to certification in Special Reading (K-12).


Follow the instructions on the website below to apply for your Initial Certifiate:


MSED in Literacy/Teacher Certification

This option allows individuals to earn certification in Special Reading (K-12) and complete a Master of Science in Education - Literacy. Total Credit hours in this option is a minimum of 39. Who would complete the MSED in Literacy?

  • Teachers who wish to improve their literacy skills in their regular education classroom
  • Teachers who wish to add Special Reading Certification (K-12), and would like to complete the Master's degree.

For more information on the MSED in Literacy/Teacher Certification program, including coursework required, admission criteria and the application process, please visit the Literacy Graduate Program website. You can also contact Kayla Lewis, Program Coordinator.

Postbaccalaureate, Teacher Certification Option

This option allows individuals to earn certification in Special Reading (K-12), but does not include the Master of Science in Education - LIteracy. This option consists of up to 36 hours of coursework, but several course requirements may be met with prior education courses taken at the undergraduate level for initial certification. For example, a currently certified Elementary Education teacher could complete this certification with as few as 18-21 additional credit hours. Who would complete the postbaccalaureate option?

  • Teachers who already hold a Master's Degree in another area, and do not wish to complete the additional coursework for a second master's degree.
  • Teachers who want to earn Special Reading (K-12) certification, but are also considering moving into a position as a principal or school counselor later in their career. Both of those positions will require a Master's degree in Education Administration or School Counseling

To see the coursework required for the postbaccalaureate teacher certification option, please view our Academic Program Guide.

To apply for the postbaccalaureate, teacher certification program, please follow the application process found on our website.

For more information, please call the Teacher Certification Office at 417-836-8772.