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Professional Development, University Extended Education, California State University, Fullerton

Postsecondary Reading and Learning

Postsecondary Reading and Learning FAQ

This certificate consists of four courses that total 12 units:

  • READ 505 (3 units) - Foundations of Postsecondary Reading and Learning
  • READ 507 (3 units) – Literacy in the Academic Disciplines
  • READ 516 (3 units) – Literacy Assessment and Analysis for Instruction
  • READ 587 (3 units) - Program Management in Postsecondary Reading and Learning

All courses will be offered each semester dependent upon enrollment per the California State University, Fullerton Academic Calendar.

You can apply to the program using our online application form; it takes about 15-30 minutes to complete, and will give you the opportunity to share your educational background and relevant work experience.

The deadline will be different each semester, so you should check the PRL website or updated deadlines. Please contact Laura Keisler if you have questions about the application deadline.

All classes are offered during the Fall and Spring semesters. You can complete the certificate over a two-year time frame by taking one course per semester in the following sequence:

  • READ 505 (3 units) - Foundations of Postsecondary Reading and Learning
  • READ 507 (3 units) – Literacy in the Academic Disciplines
  • READ 516 (3 units) – Literacy Assessment and Analysis for Instruction
  • READ 587 (3 units) - Program Management in Postsecondary Reading and Learning

You can also pair the following courses to complete the certificate in one year:

  • READ 505 and READ 507
  • READ 516 and READ587

Prerequisites include completion of a BS or BA from an accredited institution and a minimum GPA of at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester units you attempted. You will also need to submit responses to two prompts which focus on your technology knowledge, skills, and abilities to be an online learner, as well as your professional goals in relationship to completion of the certificate.

A master’s degree is not required for admission to the program. However, if you are completing the certificate to be qualified to teach reading classes at the community college (as required by AB 1725) you will need an appropriate master’s degree to obtain such a position.

This 12-unit online program satisfies the California mandate under AB 1725 requiring certification in adult reading instruction for community college teachers of reading. This legislation requires that individuals have a master’s degree in reading to teach reading classes at the community college level.

However, a master’s degree in another teachable subject such as English, TESOL, psychology, history or the equivalent, coupled with an additional 12 graduate units in postsecondary reading, is also acceptable. The PRL certificate is meant for people who already have an appropriate master’s degree in another subject area and want to teach reading at the community college level, but need the additional certification.

The PRL program was designed for working professionals as an entirely online program, and thus is primarily asynchronous in nature. However, there will be occasions and opportunities in each class where you might need to connect in a time-certain manner to work in a group or as part of e-office hours that might be offered by your instructor.

Students do not need to be working in a college setting to take any of the PRL courses. The PRL program has had graduates from various professional backgrounds. However, during the program, students will need to have access to a developmental student.

An official acceptance letter will be sent upon acceptance into the program. You can request a formal certificate that will be mailed upon completion of the program, signed by both the coordinator of the PRL program and the dean of Cal State Fullerton’s University Extended Education.

Admission to this certificate program does not guarantee admission to CSUF or to any other graduate program. However, if you are a student in CSUF’s MS in Reading degree program, then you can transfer READ 507 and READ 516 to the Postsecondary Reading and Leaning Certificate program. You would need to be accepted into the degree program and have the courses reviewed for approval by the department chair.

Laura Keisler, Ed.D. is the coordinator of the Postsecondary Reading and Learning Certificate (PRL) program. Dr. Keisler is on faculty at Cal State University, Fullerton in the Department of Literacy and Reading Education. She has nearly 20 years of experience in education; working as a classroom teacher, literacy coach, professional developer and university educator. She currently teaches in both the graduate and undergraduate programs at CSUF.

Dr. Keisler designed and taught READ 536, Literacy Curriculum, in the graduate degree program. She has been teaching READ 390, Critical Literacies for Community Engagement, since its inception.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Keisler trains teachers nation-wide on best practices for instruction of struggling readers and English Language learners. She has presented at national conferences numerous times on a variety of literacy topics. She has published several articles and is the co-author of the book Building Academic Language through Content-Area Text: Strategies to Support English Language Learners.

Dr. Keisler earned her Ed.D. in Literacy and Language from the University of Southern California, her M.A. in Educational Administration from St. Peters College, her B.A. in Mass Media Studies/Political Science from Hofstra University and she holds a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential in both California and New Jersey.

Instructors include:

Dr. JoAnn Carter-Wells: Dr. JoAnn Carter-Wells received her Ph.D. in college/adult reading, evaluation research and higher education from Claremont Graduate University and has served as the chair of the reading department, coordinator of the undergraduate reading program, technology coordinator for the College of Human Development and Community Service, director of the Community Learning and Literacy Center, Irvine campus, developer of the online certificate program in postsecondary reading and learning , and founding workgroup manager and coordinator of the MS in instructional design and technology, the first online degree program at CSU Fullerton, which began in 2001.

Dr. Carter-Wells has made over 175 presentations as an invited scholar, lecturer, panelist, consultant or speaker related to critical thinking/ communication skills, college adult reading/learning, online learning, assessment/evaluation, and international issues in online learning. Dr. Carter-Wells has also been an invited consultant and commissioned participant in national policy forums in Washington, D.C. related to college student outcomes, assessment protocols and methodology particularly in college reading, critical thinking and problem solving. She currently serves as an evaluator/reviewer for new online programs, site visits, and competency based degrees for WASC.

She has served as the editor of the Journal of College Reading and Learning, a member of the editorial review board for the Journal of General Education and co-author of three editions of the Language of Learning: Vocabulary for Colleges and Careers and Preparing Competent College Graduates: New and Higher Expectations for Student Learning.

Gena Lovett, M.S.: Ms. Lovett received her MS in Education with a specialization in Reading from California State University Fullerton. She has taught at Mt. San Antonio College, Fullerton College, Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College, and is presently a part-time lecturer at CSUF, teaching READ 290, our undergraduate critical thinking class, and READ 202, an academic vocabulary class. As a member of the CSUF reading department since 2002, she has also taught READ 507 Reading and Thinking in the Content Areas in the graduate cohort program. She is currently teaching READ 516, Diagnostic and Prescriptive Teaching of Reading in the postsecondary reading and learning certificate program. A member of the Reading Educator’s Guild since 2002, Ms. Lovett has served as a board member and the editor of The REG Newsletter, for this work, she received the Volunteer of the Year award for REG in 2006.

Angela Henderson, M.S.: Angela Henderson teaches developmental reading and critical thinking at Fullerton College. She received her MS in education with a specialization in reading, and her MA in English from CSU Fullerton. In December 2013, Ms. Henderson completed the virtual teacher certificate program at the University of California, Irvine. Ms. Henderson served as the reading department chairperson from 2006-2009. She developed the curriculum for the READ 587 course as her graduate project and taught the course in its inaugural year.

Angela Henderson has presented at several national conferences for the past 20 years. Her presentations have included tutoring, supplemental instruction, experiential learning, critical thinking and blogging. Her current research interest is in digital literacy and technology. Currently, Ms. Henderson serves as the California chapter president of the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA). She has also served as the co-leader of the College Reading Special Interest Group. She is an active member of the Reading Educator's Guild. Ms. Henderson was the recipient of the 2011 CSUF College of Education's Honored Educator Award.

The courses will be offered using the TITANium course management system, which is the CSUF version of Moodle, and will include some streaming media. There will be access to a HELP desk and other technical support.

For detailed information about what hardware and software you’ll need, please visit our Technical Requirements page.

As with any graduate program, you must maintain a GPA of 3.0 throughout the program. In addition, a grade of "C" or better must be earned in each class to be eligible for the certificate.

Although first priority will be given to students enrolled in the courses to complete the requirements for the certificate, you can enroll in individual courses upon the permission of the instructor and upon space availability.

READ 505, READ 507 and READ 587 cost $345 per unit with an additional $99 online surcharge per course to total $1134 for each 3-unit course. READ 516 costs $378 per unit with an additional $99 online surcharge to total $1233. The additional per unit charge for this course is due to the inclusion of testing materials that will be provided by the instructor and will become part of the participants’ professional library. Books and other materials are separate.

Textbooks are required for each course and will be available through the Titan Bookstore at the beginning of each term. For more information, you can also call (657) 278-3418. Courses and texts will be listed under UEE classes.

Contact Laura Keisler at (657) 278-5930 or You can also send an e-mail to Denelle Pankratz.

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About the Program

The certificate satisfies the California mandate under AB 1725 requiring certification in adult reading instruction for community college teachers of English.

Laura Keisler
(657) 278-5930

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