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.

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 6915 - Seminar and Practicum in Literacy Professional Development 3 credits
  • LCRT 5810 - Oral & Written Language & Literacy 3 credits
Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:1 year

Required Credits for Completion:12

Admission Requirements

Click the 'Apply now" button for instructions on how to fill out the Graduate CPE Non-degree application. If you are already a current CU Denver student you can register directly in UCD Access.

Additional Information

Application Instructions for Graduate Non-Degree Certificate Programs

Thank you for your interest in our Graduate Certificate in Early Literacy. To ensure a smooth application process, follow the instructions below.

Access the Application:

Begin by accessing the application through the "Apply Now" link on our website: Apply Now| CU Denver. This will direct you to the online application portal. Select the Graduate Non-Degree Admissions application, then, follow these steps:

1. Personal Information:

  • Begin by filling in your personal information. This step lays the foundation for your application. Ensure accuracy and completeness before proceeding.

2. Academic Interest:

  • The requirements of the application will update based on the program you apply to, so complete each section of the application in the order presented.
  • Your information will automatically save as you complete each section and click "Continue."

3. Certificate Selection:

  • Click on the "Certificate" button to indicate your interest in our certificate program.
  • Choose between the On-Campus or Online certificate options. Note that this program is exclusively offered online.

4. Certificate Choice:

  • From the Certificate drop-down menu, select the specific certificate program you are applying for. Choose "GRADUATE CERTIFICATE in EARLY LITERACY" from the list.

5. Term in which you plan to enroll:

  • Select the term you would like to begin the certificate program.

6. Program Questions. Academic History, TOEFL/IELTS, Residency:

  • Ensure accuracy and completeness before proceeding.
  • Select "no" to the Graduate Credential question.
  • If you've already taken classes towards the certificate, please let us know what you've taken.

7. Add'l Materials

  • Upload the following materials to your application:
    • Resume or CV
    • Personal Statement describing your interest in the program, your special strengths, and the goals you hope to achieve through your work in the program.

8. Student Conduct:

  • Provide information regarding any academic suspensions or instances of academic misconduct, if applicable. Be transparent about your academic history.
  • Disclose any relevant criminal history. Note that this information will be handles confidentially and will be considered with the utmost discretion.

9. Signature:

  • Review your application thoroughly to ensure accuracy.
  • Sign the application electronically to confirm the authenticity of the information provided.

10. Fee Waiver Code (if applicable):

  • If you have a fee waiver code, enter it in the designated field during the application process. This step is applicable only if you qualify for a fee waiver.

Important Note:

  • Our program operates on a rolling admissions basis. To secure your spot, we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.

For additional information or assistance, please contact us:

  • Email:
  • Phone: 303-315-6300

Thank you for choosing our Graduate Certificate in Early Literacy. We look forward to reviewing your application.