Course Requirements​

Social and Cultural Studies Courses: 12 quarter hours required, grade of C or better required

Reading Specialist Core Courses: 28 quarter hours required, grade of C or better required

Practicum Courses: 12 quarter hours required, grade of C or better

Clinical Experience:​​

The program requires a minimum of 150 hours of clinical working with students with reading and learning disabilities. These hours are earned in the on-campus Family Lab in conjunction with LSI 542, LSI 543, and LSI 544. The Family Lab provides diagnostic and remedial services for children and adolescents with reading disabilities.  Graduate students who are enrolled in advanced courses provide diagnostic and remedial services to children and adolescents in the Chicago area.

Reading Specialist plus LBS1 option

Students admitted to the Reading Specialist program may elect to pursue the LBS1 endorsement.  Students must complete four courses plus the LBS1 content area test (#155) in addition to the Reading Specialist program.  These courses are:

Students may take these courses concurrently with or at the end of the Reading Specialist program.  Students must consult their Faculty Advisor if they elect to pursue the LBS1 option.

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.  ​*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.
  • Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) (test #104, grades K-12) – assesses knowledge of teaching practice and classroom scenarios.

SCG 410

INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH: PURPOSES, ISSUES, AND METHODOLOGIES

(formerly CUG 400) This course will examine the basic questions, issues and theoretical frameworks central to the purpose, conceptualization, conduct, writing, reading and the use of educational research as a means for informing educational theory, practice and policy. Students will be exposed to the multiple frameworks which inform education research, the various methodologies employed in collecting and analyzing data and will examine the advantages, limitations and values implicit in conducting and evaluating research.

SCG 401

ADVANCED DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

Current research and theories in human development relating to motivation, personality, learning and socialization. Case studies and an analysis of various developmental problems.

SCG 402

PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING

Study of the learning-teaching process with specific emphasis on the person as a learner, human capacity and potential, learning theories and materials, motivation, concept formation, and behavior.

SCG 403

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING: ELEMENTARY

This course will focus on the developmental processes of school-age children, kindergarten through middle school, by beginning with the study of the young child's social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth and change. The theoretical and observational study of child development will be framed by an examination of culture, gender, and socio-economic factors as they inform assumptions about normative processes. The relationship between development and learning in a social context will be examined with particular attention to children's developing concepts in math, science, and language arts. Attention will also be given to the role of teachers and schools and other institutions in fostering the healthy development and learning of young people.

SCG 406

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING:SECONDARY

This course focuses on the multiple factors that contribute to the period of adolescence, bridging childhood and adulthood. Particular attention is given to the intrapsychic, interpersonal, biological, and socio-cultural processes that are mediated by the meanings that youth give to their identity vis a vis rac, class, and gender formations within the broader society. Students will engage in interdisciplinary study of theories to examine the implications for teaching and learning processes and the role of educational institutions in fostering the healthy development of youth in society. Forms of inquiry will include students' examination of their own lives and assumptions, critique of theory, and observations of young people in a variety of contexts.

SCG 439

PHILOSOPHY AND PSYCHOLOGY OF YOUTH AND MIDDLE LEVEL EDUCATION

This course examines foundational and contemporary theories of youth and adolescent development. It considers how these theoretical ideas relate to contemporary questions of youth and middle level education. The course explores the historical invention of adolescence, changing ideas about the meaning of childhood, as well as some of the broader social, economic, political, and cultural implications of these changing ideas. This course seeks to develop in prospective educators a broader capacity to theorize about youth and schooling, and, hence, to act critically and reflectively in multiple contexts in which youth learn.

SCG 408

EDUCATION AND SOCIETY

A study of social forces that impinge upon the educational enterprise and analysis of the relationship to major social problems in urban education with emphasis on their social, economic, political, historical and philosophical dimensions.

SCG 409

SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION

This course focuses on the relationship between school structures and culture, social relations of race, ethnicity, class, and gender, and ideologies organizing education in the United States. Students will explore a range of theories in the sociology of education atha5t explore linkages between school structures and processes and broader social forces. Readings may examine the political economy of schooling, inequalities in educational practices, and student and teacher identities shaped by schools and the larger society.

SCG 411

PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION

This course examines the relationship of education to the moral and ethical dilemmas or predicaments of the human condition. It will entail issues related to the nature of education's responsiveness, or lack there of, to the concerns of the human condition: for example, human alienation, suffering, success and failure, caring, freedom, responsibility, liberaiton and agency. Special attention will be given to how these concerns influences or have social, cultural and political implications for how teachers address them within the teaching and learning process.

LSI 430

INTRODUCTION TO ASSESSMENT OF READING AND LEARNING DISABILITIES

This course introduces the student to concepts and procedures in assessment of literacy and learning disabilities. Emphasis will be given equally to a theoretical framework for testing and to practical applications with actual tests. Topics to be covered include standardized testing (test construction, reliability and validity, procedures for administering standardized tests, scoring, test interpretation, non-discriminatory testing, and cultural, linguistics, and technical limitations of standardized tests) criterion referenced assessment (informal, curriculum-based, authentic assessment, portfolio assessment) and, other modes of assessment (interviewing and case histories). The course will examine assessment of various cognitive abilities, oral language, and achievement in reading, spelling, and writing. Candidates will also be introduced to analysis and interpretation of tests, profiling and report writing.
Prerequisites:
Status as an Education student in the LSI program is a prerequisite for this class.

LSI 431

FOUNDATIONS OF LITERACY: ASSESSMENT AND INSTRUCTION I

This course focuses on the nature of the reading process, current literacy theory and practices, and research-based instructional strategies to develop literacy skills in emergent and developing readers and students with reading/learning disabilities. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the reading process, analyzing and applying research-based instructional practices, administering, analyzing, and interpreting formal and informal reading assessments, and making informed instructional decisions to meet the unique needs of individual readers. Differences in reading abilities will be examined in light of providing appropriate, effective, and meaningful literacy instruction.
Prerequisites:
Status as an Education student in the LSI program is a prerequisite for this class.

LSI 432

DEVELOPING LITERACY: ASSESSMENT AND INSTRUCTION II

LSI 432 focuses on the reading, writing and literacy development of the middle and high school student (Grades 5-12). Emphasis will be placed on understanding literacy, the reading process, the interaction of reading and learning, and the connections of reading and writing. All of the above will be examined taking into consideration the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development of the middle level student, in conjunction with the diverse demands placed upon the student by the schools. In order to comprehend these complex relationships, philosophical approaches, theoretical models, assessment measures and practical implications will be analyzed. Finally, the role of technology in literacy will be examined. (Prerequisite: LSI 431).
Prerequisites:
LSI 431 and status as an Advanced Masters Education student are a prerequisite for this class.

LSI 433

DIAGNOSIS AND INTERVENTION FOR READING AND LEARNING DISABILITIES

This course is designed to give the student an understanding of the characteristics of children with reading and learning disabilities, and of the process of diagnostic evaluation, test interpretation and report writing, and strategies for intervention. It is also designed to give some practical experience with selected tests used in diagnosis. Emphasis will be given to the use of case study material to help the student learn to analyze and interpret assessment data, write diagnostic results, and develop intervention strategies. (Prerequisite: LSI 430).
Prerequisites:
LSI 430 and status as an Advanced Masters Education student are a prerequisite for this class.

LSI 435

CURRICULUM, COLLABORATION, ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION OF READING PROGRAMS

This course will prepare the reading specialist to assume a leadership role within a school or district, to help develop and supervise reading programs, and to be instrumental in integrating good reading practices throughout the curriculum and across grade levels. Students will learn about the leadership role of the reading specialist as they explore the ways in which a reading specialist can be a teacher leader, curriculum developer, and liaison to parents and the community beyond the school.
Prerequisites:
Status as an Education student in the LSI program is a prerequisite for this class.

LSI 437

LEADERSHIP AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN READING & LEARNING

In this course, an emphasis will be placed on developing the necessary skills to provide leadership, professional development and support to school personnel in the area of literacy, particularly for struggling readers and those with learning disabilities. Students will engage in a variety of activities to promote the development of these skills which include but are not limited to planning and executing a professional development event, evaluating published reading programs to determine their alignment with research-based instructional practices, administering and interpreting findings from standardized measures of academic achievement, instructing others how to interpret findings from standardized measures of achievement and mentoring a colleague in the area of literacy instruction. (Prerequisites: LSI 431, and LSI 432).

LSI 438

READING COMPREHENSION FOR STRUGGLING READERS: LITERATURE-BASED AND CONTENT AREA INSTRUCTION

This course is designed to contextualize comprehension strategy instruction in the framework of high-quality children's literature and content-area expository texts. Students will learn think-aloud strategies to use across genres, as well as explicit, research-based instructional practices in comprehension for struggling readers. Opportunities for students to model integrated strategy use with peers and participate in a service-learning project to engage struggling readers in meaningful interactions with texts will be provided. Students will also learn the characteristics of engaging, quality literature and well-structured, accessible expository texts, and apply this learning to support classroom teachers in selecting books to engage K-12 students of a variety of backgrounds and skill levels. The relationship between comprehension and writing instruction will also be explored.

LSI 542

TESTING/DIAGNOSIS OF READING & LEARNING DISABILITIES:PRACTICUM I

Students participate in a clinical setting and evaluate children and adolescents with suspected learning problems. Under close instructor supervision, students will administer and interpret tests, deal with the ethics of testing, interpret and communicate results to parents, schools and other social agencies. (PREREQUISITES: LSI 430, LSI 431, LSI 432, LSI 433, LSI 434, LSI 435, and LSI 436).
Prerequisites:
LSI 430, LSI 431, LSI 432, LSI 433, LSI 434, LSI 435, LSI 436 and status as an Advanced Masters Education student are a prerequisite for this class.

LSI 543

DIAGNOSIS AND REMEDIATION OF LEARNING DISABILITIES:PRACTICUM II

Clinical observation and practical application of the diagnostic-remedial process by working in a supervised clinical setting with children and adolescents who have specific learning disabilities. (PREREQUISITES: LSI 430, LSI 431, LSI 432, LSI 433, LSI 434, LSI 435, and LSI 436).
Prerequisites:
LSI 430, LSI 431, LSI 432, LSI 433, LSI 434, LSI 435, LSI 436 and status as an Advanced Masters Education student are a prerequisite for this class.

LSI 544

DIAGNOSIS AND REMEDIATION OF LEARNING DISABILITIES:PRACTICUM III

Clinical observation and practical application of the diagnostic-remedial process by working in a supervised clinical setting with children and adolescents who have specific reading disabilities. (PREREQUISITES: LSI 430, LSI 431, LSI 432, LSI 433, LSI 434, LSI 435, and LSI 436).
Prerequisites:
LSI 430, LSI 431, LSI 432, LSI 433, LSI 434, LSI 435, LSI 436 and status as an Advanced Masters Education student are a prerequisite for this class.

LSI 549

THESIS RESEARCH IN SPECIALIZED INSTRUCTION

A Master of Arts candidate conducts original research, writes a thesis, and presents an oral defense before a committee of faculty members. PREREQUISTE(S): SCG 410 and approved thesis proposal.

LSI 440

SURVEY OF EXCEPTIONAL LEARNERS: PSYCHOLOGY AND EDUCATION

A survey of exceptional learners and characteristics of students with both high- and low-incidence disabilities, with consideration of placements appropriate for children with such disabilities. Emphasis on historical, theoretical, practical and legal implications and issues. The course also addresses the importance of developing and maintaining collaborative relationships with parents and professionals in order to maximize the academic, social, and emotional benefits of all learners.

LSI 458

TEACHING STUDENTS WITH HIGH INCIDENCE DISABILITIES I

Introduction to the theoretical and practical approaches to instruction for students with high incidence disabilities across ages and levels of severity. Emphasis on developing an understanding of supportive learning environments, classroom and behavior management; developing collaborative practices with multiple service providers and families to meet the needs of diverse learners with high incidence disabilities. Strategies and materials for improving the social, emotional, and academic adjustment and functioning of students with high incidence disabilities are examined. Includes teaching social and emotional curricula; developing and implementing functional behavioral assessment; and monitoring growth and development in targeted areas. Strategies to increase the individual's self awareness, self-management, self control, self reliance, and self esteem are considered. (Prerequisite: LSI 442).

LSI 468

TEACHING STUDENTS WITH LOW INCIDENCE DISABILITIES I

Introduction to the theoretical and practical approaches to instruction of children with low incidence disabilities including functional assessment and instructional strategies, curricular options and adaptations, as well as levels of participation and accommodation in the general curriculum. Emphasis will be placed on understanding theoretical models of language development and communication, instructional strategies for language and communication, and adjusting language instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners. Candidates will explore individualized planning (IEPs), transition needs, integration of related services into the instructional program, and strategies and materials for improving the social, emotional, and academic functioning of diverse students with low-incidence disabilities. (Prerequisite: LSI 442).

LSI 469

TEACHING STUDENTS WITH LOW INCIDENCE DISABILITIES II

Continued study of the theoretical and practical approaches to instruction for diverse students with low incidence disabilities. Focuses on addressing the intellectual, educational, physical, motor, health, social, and transitional needs of diverse students with more severe low incidence disabilities. Examination of etiological factors, growth, development, and long-term outcomes. Developing collaborative efforts with family and multiple care and service providers is addressed. Provides strategies to facilitate maintenance and generalization of both academic and non-academic skills across learning environments. Includes experiences with assistive technology, community-based instruction, and designing and implementing a functional curriculum when needed. (Prerequisite: LSI 442).
​​