VCU Reading Specialist Cohort Beginning This Fall: Complete Our Interest Form by March 17

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Beginning in the 2024-25 school year, the Virginia Literacy Act requires school divisions to employ endorsed reading specialists in elementary schools. ACPS has expanded our staffing standard to include middle and high schools as well, such that each of our schools will be staffed with at least one reading specialist. These positions will require a reading specialist endorsement. To support individuals who are interested in pursuing endorsement, ACPS has partnered with Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Education to design a reading specialist pathway. Please click the links below to explore VCU’s program offerings:

Through our informational meetings, we learned that employees preferred a program that was lower in cost, virtual in format, and provided the option for a master’s degree in reading or a reading certificate. We decided to partner with VCU because their program best fits this criteria.

We anticipate launching the Reading Specialist Cohort this fall. Participants will take two courses per term and complete the program requirements by fall of 2024. If you are willing to commit to this program, please complete our Reading Cohort Google Form by Friday, March 17.

Regarding tuition, ACPS will supplement VCU’s cohort rate by providing Professional Development Reimbursement Program (PDRP) funds for each course and term (spring, summer and fall); however, please note that participants will need to contribute personal funds. At this time, we are unable to provide a total tuition cost, as VCU’s tuition rates will not be published until May. We estimate the total cost per individual will be no more than $2,000 per term (compared to the typical cost of $4,500 per term). In order for ACPS to provide financial assistance, we must meet a minimum number of participants. We will provide more information about cost as soon as it is available.

Once we have a complete list of participants, we will schedule meetings to support the enrollment process and answer any specific questions you may have regarding the program. If interest exceeds capacity, we will work on establishing another cohort.

If you need more information, please contact Megan Wood, Director of Professional Development.