Online Literacy and Language Development Program Overview

The Literacy and Language Development for Diverse Learners online graduate certificate program offers K-12 teachers a greater background in the development, assessment, and instruction of literacy for diverse learners, including children and youth who speak dialects of English or are English language learners. This certificate was developed in response to public school districts’ need to improve reading and writing achievement and culturally responsive instruction for diverse students.

Teachers in K-12 grades, including content area teachers and those teaching special reading classes, as well as administrators, have also found this program to help them best meet the needs of struggling learners.

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

Program at a Glance

Degree Program:

Literacy and Language Development for Diverse Learners Graduate Certificate

Offered By:

University of Colorado Denver


Cost Per Credit:


Cost Per Credit:


Credit Hours:


Program Details

The fully online certificate totals 12 credit hours and consists of four graduate courses, each 3 credits. The certificate may be completed in four semesters, and students can begin in any term. Courses may also be applied toward the CU Reading Teacher endorsement (additional courses and applications are required).

Certificate Format
This four-course certificate is available fully online. Courses may be taken in any order, and the certificate may be completed in four semesters or in one year if two courses are taken concurrently in the fall. Courses may also be applied toward CU Denver’s Colorado Reading Teacher Endorsement program and MA in Literacy Education. Additional courses and applications are required for both programs. This certificate is also available for implementation in-district with a district partnership agreement. In the case of a district partnership, this certificate offers the option for some customization to meet the needs of the individual district, such as fully online or hybrid delivery with some in-person classes held on-site in-district. 


The Literacy and Language Development for Diverse Learners certificate totals 12 credit hours and can be completed in four semesters or in one year if two courses are taken concurrently in the fall.


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 Literacy and Language Development for Diverse Learners 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

The Literacy and Language Development for Diverse Learners Certificate can solidify the understandings of oral and written language and literacy development as well as culturally responsive pedagogy for:

  • Teachers in of all content areas in grades K-12
  • District and School Administrators
  • Professional Developers
Certificate Courses
LCRT 5810 — Oral & Written Language & Literacy (Spring)
This course provides students with an opportunity to examine language development and use by learners with English as their first language, learners of English as an additional language, bi-dialectal speakers and bilingual speakers.
LCRT 5770 — Effective Literacy for Diverse Learners (Fall)
This course allows students to explore, apply, and evaluate various research-based instructional models and learning strategies for teaching literacy to English language learners. Students will develop a professional practice of providing instruction to support oral language development, academic reading acquisition, and academic writing acquisition for both native speakers and English language learners.
LCRT 5055 — Literacy Assessment & Informed Instruction (Fall)
This course provides participants with a study in current assessment topics, the analysis of assessment tools, and the use of assessment data as a guide for making instructional decisions. Participants will critically examine current assessment topics; explore a variety of assessments of language proficiency, literacy, and content concepts; use data to make decisions about how to best differentiate instruction and document student progress over time.
LCRT 5150 — Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogies (Summer)
In this course, students will develop an understanding of how one's cultural identity affects their teaching behaviors and instructional methods. Using data from their school contexts, participants will examine contextual factors that account for differences regarding language, literacy, and culture, and will then develop a plan for productive change.