Reading Specialist (K-12) Endorsement

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​Admission Requirements

To be eligible for the Reading Specialist endorsement only program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a valid Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL).

To apply, please submit the following materials to the Office of Graduate Admission:

  • A completed graduate application
  • Application fee ($40.00)
  • Copy of a valid Illinois teacher license
  • A bachelor’s degree conferred by an accredited, recognized institution
  • A previous grade point average of 2.75 or above on a 4.0 scale
  • Two letters of reference, one of which must be from persons familiar with your academic work
  • One official transcript from each college or university attended
  • Resume or curriculum vitae showing evidence of adequate background for the program
  • The admission process also may include an interview with program faculty

Note: The Reading Specialist Endorsement requires a previously completed Master's degree. ​

Course Requirements

Reading Specialist Core Courses: 20 Quarter Hours Required, Grade of C or Better Required

Course Title Quarter Hours
SER 430INTRODUCTION TO READING ASSESSMENT4
SER 405TEACHING LITERACY TO EXCEPTIONAL LEARNERS4
SER 432DEVELOPING LITERACY: ASSESSMENT AND INSTRUCTION4
SER 433ASSESSMENT AND DIAGNOSTIC TEACHING OF READING4
SER 438LITERATURE-BASED AND CONTENT AREA LITERACY INSTRUCTION4

Leadership Courses: 8 Quarter Hours Required, Grade of C or Better Required

Course Title Quarter Hours
SER 435LITERACY PROGRAMS: CURRICULUM AND COLLABORATION4
SER 437LEADERSHIP AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN LITERACY4

Clinical Experience

The practicum courses provide an opportunity to apply knowledge from course work to teaching struggling learners and those with disabilities. In these courses, students provide diagnostic and remedial services to children and adolescents from the Chicago area under the supervision of program faculty. These courses are offered in an on-campus facility.

Practicum Courses: 12 Quarter Hours Required, Grade of C or Better

Course Title Quarter Hours
SER 542PRACTICUM IN LITERACY ASSESSMENT4
SER 543PRACTICUM IN LITERACY INSTRUCTION AND ASSESSMENT4
SER 544PRACTICUM IN LITERACY INSTRUCTION, ASSESSMENT, AND COLLABORATION4

Licensure Tests

All individuals licensed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) are required to complete licensure tests specific to their teaching license.  

Reading Specialist students must complete the following tests:

  • Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) (test #400) - assesses knowledge of reading comprehension, language arts, writing, and math. Test must be passed one quarter prior to Student Teaching. *Check with your advisor about qualifying for a waiver with acceptable ACT or SAT test scores.​​
  • Reading Specialist Content Area Test (test #176) – assesses knowledge of language, reading, and literacy.