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).