Graduate Certificate in Early Literacy

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: Graduate Certificate

Classroom Type: Fully Online

Equips preschool and primary grade teachers and para-educators with advanced skills in the development, assessment, and instruction of literacy for young learners. The certificate includes methods that help all learners-including those who are linguistically or culturally diverse-gain important literacy skills.

Application​ deadlines

Rolling Admission

Program Details

Interest Categories: Education & Counseling

Campus: CU Denver Online

What you'll learn

Developing early literacy skills is a crucial step in children’s growth and development. Early literacy instruction is a national focus, and for good reason. Studies show that students who are not reading on grade level by fourth grade have decreased chances of graduating from high school. Students need educators who can help them grow their reading skills at an early age as a way of preparing them for a successful future.

The University of Colorado Denver’s Early Literacy certificate offers primary grade teachers, preschool teachers and para-educators advanced skills in the development, assessment and instruction of literacy for young learners. You’ll explore methods that will help all learners--including those who are linguistically or culturally diverse--gain important literacy skills.

Even though these courses are offered online, participants still become part of a learning community. You’ll learn and share with like-minded peers and form lasting relationships with colleagues as you learn and grow together. All courses may be applied directly toward a full master’s degree in Literacy. Certificate courses may also be applied toward a master’s degree in Literacy with the Reading Specialist Endorsement and the CO READ Act requirements upon application and completion of additional coursework.

After completing the program, you’ll have the knowledge and skills necessary to create rich environments that envelop young learners in language and literacy development opportunities, both oral and written. You will be the guide who sets young learners on a path to success and empowers them for a lifetime of learning.


Faculty at CU Denver match your passion for education and believe in giving all students equal access to an excellent education. Engaged in literacy education at the local, state, national and international levels, these professionals bring with them a wide breadth of experience. Additionally, our faculty network and collaborate with local district leaders to ensure you are prepared for the current challenges that schools and districts face.

Choose CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development

You can trust CU Denver to provide an education that will prepare you for excellence in your career. We have a name that is recognized for preparing leaders of excellence who value diversity and inclusion. Additionally, CU Denver’s School of Education and Human Development is counted among U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” making us one of the top education schools in the country.

Sample Courses

  • LCRT 5795 - Current Children's Literature 3 credits
  • LCRT 5710 - Primary Literacy for Diverse Learners, PreK-3 3 credits
  • LCRT 5810 - Oral & Written Language & Literacy 3 credits
Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:1 year

Required Credits for Completion:12

Admission Requirements

This program has rolling admissions. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible. 

Application Requirements

  • Resume/CV
  • Written Statement: Describe your interest in the certificate and your special strengths 
  • $50.00 application fee
  • International Applicants only: Proof of English Language Proficiency (International applicants should review the following information regarding English language proficiency)
For more information, email or call 303-315-6300.

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