Course Requirements​

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

Reading Specialist Core Courses: 20 quarter hours required, grade of C or better required

Leadership Courses: 8 quarter hours required, grade of C or better required

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

Master of Arts (M.A.) Degree Requirements: 4 quarter hours, grade of C or better required

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 M.A. Thesis Handbook for additional information.   

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.  Theses courses are offered in an on-campus facility.

Reading Specialist plus LBS1 option

Candidates may also have the option of pursuing an endorsement in special education while enrolled in or immediately following the Reading Specialist program.  Interested candidates can discuss this option with a faculty advisor.

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 K-12 (APT) – assesses knowledge of teaching planning, delivery, assessment, professionalism, and technology.