Early Grade Reading in Developing Countries Graduate Certificate

The Early Grade Reading Graduate Certificate is the first university program that focuses specifically on early grade reading in developing countries. This 15-credit, fully-online program offers state-of-the-art professional development for practitioners and policymakers working on early grade reading projects around the world.

The program consists of 5 courses which may be taken in any order. Courses are asynchronous and designed for working professionals living in countries outside of the US as well those based in the US. Credits earned can be applied towards a master’s degree in international education or a doctoral degree with a specialization in international education at UMass Amherst if you decide later that you would like to pursue a degree program.

Who should consider the Early Grade Reading Graduate Certificate)?

You may be interested in pursuing the Early Grade Reading Graduate Certificate if you:

  • Are employed by a governmental or a non-governmental organization and would like to build your capacity to develop, monitor and improve early grade reading programs in development contexts
  • Are a practitioner or policymaker working in early grade reading and would like to enroll in a university-accredited professional development program but cannot attend on-campus classes in the U.S.
  • Are an international education professional interested in applying to the master’s degree program in international education at UMass Amherst (the 15 credits earned can be applied to the 36-credit master’s degree)

The Early Grade Reading Graduate Certificate is most suitable for those who work or intend to work in early grade reading projects in developing countries.

Past course participants have included practitioners working in countries such as Malawi, Indonesia, Senegal, Nepal, Nicaragua, Kenya, and Bhutan. They have included staff working for organizations such as USAID, EDC, AIR, Banyan Tree, World Learning, World Education, and UNICEF.

Courses included in the Early Grade Reading Graduate Certificate

  • EDUC 680 – How Children in Developing Countries Learn to Read (Foundation Course)
  • EDUC 680B – Systems to Support Early Grade Reading
  • EDUC 697TP – Teacher Preparation and Support for Early Grade Reading
  • EDUC 687T – Materials and Technology for Early Grade Reading
  • EDUC 687R - The Role of Community and Family in Supporting Early Grade Reading
  • Electives – Courses may include:
    • How Children in Developing Countries Learn to Do Math (proposed for Fall 2018)

The certificate is fully online. Normally one or two courses are offered in the fall, spring and summer sessions each year. Courses may be taken in any order. Each course is 3 credits.

Program Tuition and Fees

The Early Grade Reading Graduate Certificate is administered through Continuing & Professional Education (C&PE). For more information on C&PE tuition and fees, see www.umassulearn.net/financial-info/fees-expenses

  • Tuition for each 3-credit course is currently $1,422 ($474 per credit)
  • Total tuition for the 5-course program is $7,110
  • There is also a $47 non-refundable registration fee for each course

Tuition waivers for eligible Massachusetts state employees enrolled in Continuing & Professional Education courses offer a 50% discount on the course tuition. For more information on tuition waivers, see www.umassulearn.net/financial-info/financial-aid

Financial Aid - Financial aid is unfortunately not available for certificate programs. Please check with your employer to see if they offer professional development support schemes for their staff.

For more information on course fees and payment, see blogs.umass.edu/egrcert/faqs/

Admission to the Early Grade Reading Graduate Certificate

Admission is on a rolling basis.

In terms of requirements, you should:

  • Hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree
  • Work or intend to work in the field of education and/or early grade reading
  • Have sufficient English reading and writing skills to participate in the courses (As a guideline, this would be equivalent to at least 80 on the TOEFL IBT. Note that you DO NOT need to take the TOEFL or submit any scores).

International applicants (non-U.S. citizens) are welcome.

We encourage participants to apply to the Certificate program by the end of the second course.

To apply to the Certificate program:

  1. Fill out the online application form
  2. Send the following materials to egrcert@umass.edu:
    1. Resume or CV
    2. Personal statement (maximum 1 page single-spaced), explaining your interest in the Certificate, how your professional and educational background makes this program a good fit for you, as well as your professional development goals.

If you have any questions or concerns about the application process, email: egrcert@umass.edu

Transfer of Credits

If, after you complete the requirements for the Early Grade Reading Graduate Certificate, you apply to and enroll in either the master’s (36 credits) or doctoral program with a specialization in International Education, you will be able to apply all 15 credits to that program.

Contact information

Email: egrcert@umass.edu

Web site: blogs.umass.edu/egrcert

Associated Faculty

Cristine Smith (Associate Professor), John Comings (Adjunct Professor), Rebecca Stone (Adjunct Professor), Katherine Hudson (Director of Program Development)