The program in Literacy and Specialized Instruction prepares individuals to become reading specialists. The 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).