Certificate in Teaching Post-Secondary Reading


The certificate in Teaching Post-Secondary Reading is designed to assist prospective and already practicing post-secondary teachers in meeting specific individual professional needs in the areas of basic literacy and reading instruction. The certificate can help prepare students for teaching position in the community colleges and community agencies where specialized background and techniques in reading instruction are desirable.

The certificate meets new requirements for teaching reading in the community colleges (Assembly Bill 1725) which specifies that new instructors must possess a master’s degree in Education with a specialization in reading, or master’s in English or ESL with additional certification in the teaching of reading.


Bridget GelmsGelms, Bridget
Email: bgelms@sfsu.edu
Phone: (415) 338-3112
Office: Humanities 546






Admission to the Program

If you currently are NOT a matriculated M.A. student at SF State, and you wish to apply for admission to the certificate program, you must apply to the university. To do so, you will need to apply to SF State Graduate Studies online through Cal State Apply. You will also need to upload the following documents (1-3) to the Cal State Apply site’s “Program Materials” section:

  1. A statement of purpose.The statement of purpose should:
  • Explain your interest in pursuing the degree.
  • Describe any previous experience that may contribute to your success in the program.
  • Establish your readiness to do graduate-level coursework.
  • Explain what you plan to do with the degree/certificate upon completion.
  • In addition, be sure your statement of purpose demonstrates your ability to produce clear, cogent, and polished prose.

2. Please upload legible unofficial copies of transcripts from each college or university attended. Including study abroad coursework, or community college coursework, even if this coursework appears as transfer credit appears on your degree transcript. Full academic disclosure is required. Photographs or screenshots of transcripts will be rejected. An incomplete academic history will significantly delay review of your application. The Division of Graduate Studies may request official transcripts from you at any point during the application review process.  

If selected for admission, you will be required to submit official transcripts to the Division of Graduate Studies in order to secure your offer of admission. Please note: if you previously attended SF State, you do not need to submit a SFSU transcript.

If selected for admssion, please mail official transcripts to:

Graduate Admissions Office, ADM 250
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94132

  • If you currently ARE a matriculated M.A. student at SF State, and you wish to apply for admission to the program, you must fill out the Grad Studies certificate application form and submit the application to the Department of English office in HUM 484 or email: english@sfsu.edu.The deadline to apply for fall semester is May 1; the deadline to apply for spring semester is November 1. Spring 2022 application deadline has been extended to December 1.

Please note that you cannot take more than one course for the certificate program through College of Extended Learning. Also, certificate students who are not enrolled in a master’s program are not eligible for financial aid.

Certificate Program Courses

The courses of the Certificate program, English 701, 709, 710 and 715, emphasize both theory and practice. While students receive theory primarily in English 701 and 709, coursework in all four courses, provide opportunities for immediate benefits in the practice of teaching.    

  • English 701: Theoretical Backgrounds in College Reading Instruction - Exploration of history, policy, research, and theoretical approaches that inform the practices of college reading instruction.
  • English 709: Seminar in Teaching Integrated Reading/Writing - Exploration of the integration of reading and writing from both a theoretical and pedagogical perspective. This course is only offered in fall semesters.
  • English 710: Course Design in Composition and Post-Secondary Reading - Theory and practice of designing post-secondary reading and composition courses. This course is offered only in Spring semesters. Prerequisite: English 709.
  • English 715: Pedagogy and Practice of Post-Secondary Reading - Application of theories of reading to the design of teaching activities and course designs. 

Requirement Upon Completion

For the final award of the degree, students must fill out a Certificate Approved Program (CAP) form (pdf) available on the Graduate Studies website, pay the $7.00 application fee, and submit the form to the Department of English Office in HUM 484 for the Certificates in the Teaching of Composition and Post-Secondary Reading.