Stephen F. Austin State University

RDG Specialist

Steps for Admission and Registering for Courses on the Reading Specialist Degree Plan

  1. Apply for admission to graduate school and the Reading Specialist program. Make sure you choose "Elementary Education" on the application and then "Reading Specialist" for the specialization to ensure that it is submitted to Dr. Kimberly Welsh, Reading Specialist graduate program coordinator. Admission to the Master of Education: Professional Reading Specialist program requires a valid permanent teacher's certificate or at least 18 semester hours of approved courses in education.
  2. For clear admission to graduate school and the Reading Specialist Masters Program, an applicant must have an overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale and a 2.8 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. In all cases, an applicant must be recommended for admission to the program by the Department of Elementary Education and the academic dean.
  3. Before registering for courses, contact Dr. Kimberly Welsh for advisement and removal of registration block.
  4. Register for courses specific to your degree plan.

Financial Assistance and Grants for Reading Specialist Certification

Congress has created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants up to $4,000 per year (maximum $8,000) to students seeking the Reading Specialist certification who intend to teach in a school that serves students from low-income families. If after reading the information at this web site,, you meet the criteria and are interested, please contact the SFA financial aide office at SFA at 936 468-2403.

For a listing of schools identified as low-income schools go to