Online Early Literacy Certificate Program

The Early Literacy Certificate offers primary grade teachers, preschool teachers and para-educators a greater background in the development, assessment and instruction of literacy for young children, native speakers of English and English language learners.

Administrators and intermediate-grade teachers have also found this program to be a great way to solidify their understandings of initial literacy development to help them best meet the needs of struggling learners in the upper grades.

A degree from the University of Colorado is a world-class education.

Program at a Glance

Degree Program:

Early Literacy Graduate Certificate

Offered By:

School of Education and Human Development


Cost Per Credit:


Cost Per Credit:


Credit Hours:


Program Details

Certificate Structure

This certificate totals 9 credit hours in the specialty area of early literacy. Courses may be taken in any order, and the certificate may be completed in one year. Courses may also be applied toward a CU Reading Teacher Endorsement. Additional courses and applications are required for both programs.

Tuition and Fees

Investing in your future is a big decision. However, becoming a fully online student at CU Denver is a high-quality and affordable option for learners of all types. Tuition and fees are based largely on the degree program you enroll in.

Tuition is determined based on which CU Denver program is chosen, undergraduate or graduate level, and finally your resident status. Visit our tuition and financial aid page for more information.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.


This certificate totals 9 credit hours in the specialty area of early literacy. One course is offered each semester and the entire certificate can be completed in one calendar year.


Admission requirements and deadlines vary based on the program. In addition, you will have different requirements depending on if you are a first-time student, a transfer student or an international student.

Learn more about the admissions process by filling out the form above or contacting an Enrollment Navigator today.

Career Outlook

Educators who complete the Early Literacy Certificate become teachers with enhanced credentials and skills. Those who continue on to complete the CO Reading Teacher Endorsement are able to use their skills and credentials to become:

  • Reading teachers and reading specialists
  • Reading and/or writing interventionists
  • Literacy and/or instructional coaches

This Early Literacy Certificate can solidify the understandings of initial literacy development for:

  • Primary grade teachers
  • Preschool teachers
  • Para-educators
  • Administrators
  • Intermediate-grade teachers


Early Literacy Certificate Courses
LCRT 5210 — Literacy Development, Pre-K–3rd Grade
Focuses on children's developing literacy understandings and proficiencies beginning in the preschool years.  Attention is given to language development, assessment, and instruction in pre-kindergarten through third grade, partnerships with community literacy institutions provide information on their use for literacy development.
LCRT 5220 — Literacy Routines & Assessment, Pre-K–3rd Grade
This course will focus on the routines and practices which allow for student specific instruction and assessment in the Early Literacy classroom.  Participants will examine and critique current literacy routines and assessments needed to best meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse children.
LCRT 5230 — Early Literacy Instruction
Participants will examine Pre-K–3rd grade literacy instruction to understand how to meet the needs of young students. The course will analyze instructional practices for young gifted, special needs and English language learning students to best meet the needs of all learners.