Program: Reading and Literacy Leadership Specialist Credential (RLLSC)

Program Description

The Reading and Literacy Leadership Specialist Credential (RLLSC) is for candidates, holding a valid teaching credential, who want to specialize in the field of literacy and become effective leaders for California’s multicultural population. Candidates who complete the specialist credential program will have developed competencies to provide specialized services in literacy in any grade—preschool, kindergarten, grades 1 through 12, and in classes organized for adults. The holder of a RLLSC may:

  • Provide direct reading intervention to students and adapt instructional routines and strategies to provide direct specialized reading instruction to students with severe reading difficulties, including monitoring and adjusting intervention instruction.
  • Coordinate adoption and facilitate implementation of adopted literacy curricula, including training to teachers.
  • Select and administer reading and literacy assessments, interpret results to determine student growth and identification of struggling students, select interventions, communicate results, and provide guidance and coaching to teachers.
  • Design, implement and evaluate a comprehensive literacy plan.
  • Support students’ literacy development and inform and train teachers in literacy skills using information and communication technologies.
  • Evaluate literacy practices and report findings; guide teachers and administrators in collaborative efforts to design, implement, and evaluate local, state and/or federal programs; and plan and conduct staff development.
Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU, and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., Social Security number or taxpayer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements is available from the department. See Notice to Students: Licensure and Certification for more information.

Program Requirements

A. Required Prior to Admission

  1. RLLSC program application.
  2. Graduate program application.
  3. Transcripts (official copy of transcripts showing a baccalaureate degree and all post-B.A. coursework).
  4. Overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75.
  5. Verification of a valid Basic Teaching Credential.
  6. Verification of at least 1 year of full-time teaching experience in any grade, preschool through adult, exclusive of student teaching, internship teaching or teaching while holding an emergency permit.
  7. Application processing fee.

B. Program Prerequisites

Basic Teaching Credential

C. Required for Reading and Literacy Leadership Specialist Credential (RLLSC) (29 units)

D. Required for RLLSC Recommendation

  1. Completion of RLLSC coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  2. Completion of RLLSC Portfolio approved by the program coordinator, one program faculty member and the Department of Elementary Education graduate advisor.
  3. Three years of full-time teaching experience in any grade, preschool through adult, exclusive of student teaching, internship teaching or teaching while holding an emergency permit.

Total Units Required for the Credential: 29

More information

For more information about this program, please contact


Department of Elementary Education
Chair: Greg Knotts
Education (ED) 1206
(818) 677-2621

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Reading and Literacy Leadership Specialist Credential will be able to:

  1. Assess academic needs, interests, attitudes and achievement of students, including English speakers and English Language Learners. Assessments are effectively used to make decisions related to appropriate instruction and materials in reading, writing, speaking and listening for a class and/or an individual student.
  2. Provide leadership in the selection, adaption and use of instructional materials, including the textbook adoption process.
  3. Assist and support classroom teachers K-12 in creating an effective literacy-rich learning environment that meets the California Content Standards of any subject area.
  4. Work with the school or district to design effective reading and language arts programs that meet state standards and guidelines. The candidate demonstrates the ability to conduct a comprehensive program review and to suggest needed modifications.
  5. Design and implement professional development activities, including inservice education programs.
  6. Assume a leadership role in the school and community, including working collaboratively with allied professionals, district/county personnel and members of the community.