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The Reading Specialist program combines developmental and remedial reading content with course work in understanding individuals who exhibit learning challenges and those with identified disabilities. It provides candidates with a well-rounded and in-depth understanding of issues related to teaching literacy to a wide variety of students, with a particular focus on students in urban environments. The program also prepares candidates to assume leadership roles within schools, including the coordination of school-wide assessment, instructional coaching, and professional development.
Students who hold an Illinois professional educator license are eligible for a Reading Specialist endorsement (K-12) upon completion of the Reading Specialist master’s program, the required licensure tests, and the required employment experience (2-years of full-time teaching experience on an Illinois professional educator license or comparable out-of-state license). Endorsement only options are available for individuals who already hold a master's degree. Note: Courses in the Reading Specialist program are designed for practicing educators and are not open to students seeking a first teaching license (Teaching and Learning).
|Program Requirements||Quarter Hours|
|Degree Requirements (MA)||56|
|Total hours required||56|
|Program Requirements||Quarter Hours|
|Degree Requirements (MEd)||52|
|Total hours required||52|
Students will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of major theoretical, conceptual, historical, and evidence-based foundations of language and literacy.
- Use foundational knowledge to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based literacy instruction and curricula for diverse learners.
- Select and use appropriate assessment tools to screen, diagnose, and measure student achievement literacy to inform instruction, evaluate interventions, and assist teacher in their use of assessment results.
- Demonstrate knowledge of research, relevant theories, pedagogies, and essential concepts of diversity and equity.
- Address developmental needs of all learners and collaborate with colleagues to engage and motivate learners and support a literacy-rich learning environment.
- Apply knowledge of adult learning to work collaboratively with colleagues in the roles of leader, coach, and advocate.
The academic programs within the College of Education have set forth these dispositions as educational and professional expectations for all students. Students should be aware that failing to abide by DePaul University or College of Education policies including, under certain circumstances, these dispositions, could result in adverse consequences for the student, including removal from his or her program, the College of Education, or the University.
- Is receptive to faculty feedback and acts meaningfully and professionally upon suggestions
- Reflects on his or her own progress and identifies strengths and weaknesses, including evaluating strategies for success, finding alternatives for inappropriate strategies, and modifying future practices
- Demonstrates a positive attitude and commitment to the profession
- Demonstrates thoughtful, effective verbal and non-verbal communication and listening skills
- Respects and considers cultural contexts in order to determine how to be responsive to learners and to proactively promote all students' learning
- Is committed to collaboration with colleagues, families, and communities in order to promote all students' learning and development
- Demonstrates professional ethical and legal behavior as defined by the respective codes of ethics and laws
- Recognizes and fulfills professional responsibilities and habits of conduct (e.g., dress, language, preparedness, attendance, punctuality, etc.)
- Demonstrates concern for and protection of safety and well-being of others
Degree Conferral and Graduation
The awarding of a degree is not automatic. You must submit an application to be considered for the degree. DePaul awards and posts degrees at the end of each regular academic term (autumn, winter, spring, summer).
It is your responsibility to initiate the degree conferral application process by submitting an online application. Submitting an application means you intend to finish your degree requirements by the end of the term for which you have applied.
Graduate students must be approved for student teaching and complete student teaching, seminar, and induction courses to be cleared for the degree. Student must submit graduation application for the quarter you are completing the final course (student teaching is considered a course).
After you submit the application, you cannot register for any term after the one selected in the application.
To apply for degree conferral, log on to Campus Connection. Select FOR STUDENTS, then GRADUATION, then APPLY FOR DEGREE CONFERRAL. On screen instructions will take you through the application process.
Provided that all requirements and financial obligations are met, degrees are posted 30 days after the official end of the term. Official dates are listed on the Academic Calendar.
DePaul holds one commencement ceremony each year in June. If you intend to participate, you must first apply for degree conferral for the current academic year and then submit a cap and gown order. Honors are not announced at the ceremony for undergraduates completing their final courses in spring quarter because a final GPA is not available at the time of the ceremony.
Additional information about degree conferral and graduation can be found on the College of Education website.
Social and Cultural Studies Courses: 12 quarter hours required, grade of C or better required
|SCG 410||INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH: PURPOSES, ISSUES, AND METHODOLOGIES||4|
|Select one of the following:||4|
|ADVANCED LIFESPAN DEVELOPMENT|
|PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING|
|HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING: ELEMENTARY|
|HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING:SECONDARY|
|PHILOSOPHY AND PSYCHOLOGY OF YOUTH AND MIDDLE LEVEL EDUCATION|
|Select one of the following:||4|
|EDUCATION AND SOCIETY|
|SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION|
|PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION|
Reading Specialist Core Courses: 20 quarter hours required, grade of C or better required
|SER 430||INTRODUCTION TO READING ASSESSMENT||4|
|SER 405||TEACHING LITERACY TO EXCEPTIONAL LEARNERS||4|
|SER 432||DEVELOPING LITERACY: ASSESSMENT AND INSTRUCTION||4|
|SER 433||ASSESSMENT AND DIAGNOSTIC TEACHING OF READING||4|
|SER 438||LITERATURE-BASED AND CONTENT AREA LITERACY INSTRUCTION||4|
Leadership Courses: 8 quarter hours required, grade of C or better required
|SER 435||LITERACY PROGRAMS: CURRICULUM AND COLLABORATION||4|
|SER 437||LEADERSHIP AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN LITERACY||4|
Practicum Courses: 12 quarter hours required, grade of C or better
|SER 542||PRACTICUM IN LITERACY ASSESSMENT||4|
|SER 543||PRACTICUM IN LITERACY INSTRUCTION AND ASSESSMENT||4|
|SER 544||PRACTICUM IN LITERACY INSTRUCTION, ASSESSMENT, AND COLLABORATION||4|
Choose one: Thesis (MA) or Capstone (MEd)
Master of Arts (MA) Degree Requirements: 4 Quarter Hours, Grade of C or Better Required
|SER 549||THESIS RESEARCH IN SPECIALIZED INSTRUCTION||4|
The Master’s Thesis is completed in conjunction with faculty advisement. Preparation for the writing of the Thesis should begin well in advance of the completion of coursework. Oral examination on Thesis required. Consult the MA Thesis Handbook for additional information.
Master of Education (MEd) Degree Requirement
|SER 608||CAPSTONE IN SPECIALIZED INSTRUCTION (non-tuition, PA grade required)||0|
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. Theses courses are offered in an on-campus facility.
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:
- Reading Specialist Content Area Test (test #176) – assesses knowledge of language, reading, and literacy.
- Test of Basic Skills (one of the following):
- 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 applying for the endorsement. *Check with your advisor about qualifying for a waiver with acceptable ACT or SAT test scores.
- ACT: Prior to 9/1/15-Composite score of 22 with combined English/Writing score of 19 OR 9/1/15 and later-Composite score of 22 with Writing score of 16
- SAT: Composite score of 1030 (mathematics and critical writing) with a minimum writing score of 450
- Out-of-state test of basic skills that led to licensure in another state