Reading and Literacy Leadership Specialist Credential

The Reading and Literacy Leadership Specialist (RLLS) Credential authorizes the holder to perform the following duties at the school site, district, and county levels in grades twelve and below, including preschool, and in classes organized primarily for adults:

  • 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 providing 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; and
  • 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.

Requirements for the RLLS Credential

The RLLS Credential may be issued to any teacher who satisfies all of the following requirements:

  1. Possess a valid basic California teaching credential, which may be one of the following:
    1. A teaching credential requiring a bachelor’s degree and a professional preparation program, including student teaching.

    2. A clear, full-time designated subjects teaching credential, provided that the holder also possesses a bachelor’s degree and has met the basic skills requirement. See Commission leaflet CL-667, entitled Basic Skills Requirement, for additional information.

  2. Possess an English Learner Authorization.

  3. Verification of three years of successful full-time teaching experience in any grades preschool through adult, exclusive of student teaching, intern teaching, or teaching while holding an emergency or teaching permit.

  4. Complete a Commission-approved RLLS program, a post baccalaureate professional preparation program based on the Reading and Literacy Added Authorization and Reading and Literacy Leadership Specialist Credential Program Standards (rev. 2/2016), and obtain the formal recommendation of the California college or university where the program was completed.

For Specialists Prepared Outside of California

Specialists who completed their professional preparation at a regionally accredited college or university outside of California must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Possess a valid basic California teaching credential, which may be one of the following:
    1. A teaching credential requiring a bachelor’s degree and a professional preparation program, including student teaching.

    2. A clear, full-time designated subjects teaching credential, provided that the holder also possesses a bachelor’s degree and has met the basic skills requirement. See Commission leaflet CL-667, entitled Basic Skills Requirement, for additional information.

  2. Possess an English Learner Authorization.

  3. Verification of three years of successful full-time teaching experience in any grades preschool through adult, exclusive of student teaching, intern teaching, or teaching while holding an emergency or teaching permit.

  4. Completion of a post baccalaureate professional preparation program comparable to a program accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for the RLLS Credential, including successful completion of supervised field experience, but taken outside California, completed with a grade of “C” or better (Individuals who received a “pass,” “credit,” or “satisfactory” are assumed to have completed their field work at a level equivalent to, or higher than, a grade of “C.”)

  5. Provide verification of issuance, or eligibility for, certification in the state where the program was completed.

  6. Completed application (Form 41-4), and, if not previously submitted to the Commission, a completed Live Scan receipt (form 41-LS). Out-of-state residents must submit two fingerprint cards in lieu of a Live Scan receipt. If submitting fingerprint cards, current fingerprint processing fees must accompany the application packet in addition to the application processing fee. Fingerprint cards may be ordered by sending an email to the Commission at OutofStateFPs@ctc.ca.gov.

  7. Application processing fee.
If the out-of-state preparation does not meet these requirements, the applicant should contact a California college or university with a Commission-approved RLLS program and obtain a formal recommendation for the credential. For more information, visit the Approved Professional Preparation Program.

Restricted Specialist Teaching Credential in Reading

The Restricted Specialist Teaching Credential in Reading authorizes service as a reading specialist in kindergarten and grades 1 through 6, and is available directly from the Commission only to reading specialists who previously held the Miller-Unruh Reading Specialist Certificate.

For initial issuance of the restricted credential, applicants must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  1. Possess a valid California teaching credential requiring a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation, including student teaching.

  2. Provide a Miller-Unruh Reading Certificate issued prior to June 30, 1987.

  3. Provide verification from current or previous employers of three years of teaching experience, including at least one year in a reading specialist position within the last five years.

  4. Submit official transcripts showing completion of all of the following college or university course work:
    1. A basic course in the teaching of elementary school reading.
    2. A basic course in the teaching of elementary school language.
    3. A basic course in the diagnosis and remediation of reading.
    4. A course in directed clinical practice in the remediation of reading disabilities.
      These courses may be taken at any regionally-accredited four-year college or university. If the content is covered by fewer than four courses, or if the content is not clear from the course titles, course descriptions from the catalog or the head of the education department will be required.

  5. Submit a completed application (Form 41-4) and half the current application fee (Applies to initial issuance only. See Fee Information leaflet CL-659 for more information.)
The term of a clear specialist instruction credential is determined by the expiration date of the prerequisite teaching credential held, but may not exceed five calendar years. 

References:
California Education Code, Section 44265 and Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Sections 80066.
California Education Code, Section 44265 and Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Sections 80048 and 80048.1.

CL-537  May, 2019
Updated October 11, 2021