Curriculum and Instruction

Reading Graduate Program

rdggrad

Master of Science in Reading

There are two options for completing the Reading Graduate Degree Program:  the K-12 Reading Specialist Emphasis and the Reading Teacher Emphasis.

 
Features of the K-12 Reading Specialist Emphasis

The K-12 Reading Specialist emphasis prepares candidates to serve as reading specialists and literacy coaches and to lead school-wide efforts in improving literacy instruction. The reading specialist must be qualified and prepared to help teachers in grades K-12 improve reading instruction and assist struggling readers at all grade levels in developing literacy skills.

Our Reading Specialist program has been approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.  The program is designed for teachers seeking the K-12 Reading Specialist Endorsement.  The K-12 Reading Specialist Endorsement in Illinois may be issued as an endorsement on an existing Early Childhood, Elementary, Special or Secondary certificate for service at the grade level of the certificate.  Reading Specialists can teach reading and provide technical assistance or professional development for teachers. 

The K-12 Reading Specialist Emphasis:

  1. Prepares teachers for the varied roles a reading specialist is often asked to assume.
  2. Prepares teachers to serve as a literacy coach.  In the "Literacy Coaching Practicum," teachers complete authentic coaching activities in a school setting.  Access to a school throughout the semester is needed.
  3. Includes coursework that prepares teachers to work in K-12 settings.

    Click here for Reading Specialist Emphasis coursework requirements.

Features of the Reading Teacher Emphasis

The Reading Teacher emphasis is designed to enhance teachers' knowledge of and skills in teaching literacy in their classrooms or teaching small groups of struggling readers. In some districts, individuals with an appropriate reading teacher endorsement are eligible for employment as Title I reading teachers.

The Illinois Reading Teacher Endorsement is available at the following grade levels:  K-3, K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Teachers seeking the 5-8 grade level Reading Teacher Endorsement in Illinois must have a middle school endorsement.  If you have an early childhood certificate, you are only eligible for the K-3 grade level endorsement.  If you have an elementary certificate, you are eligible for the K-4 grade level endorsement and the 5-8 grade level endorsement, if you have a middle school endorsement.  If you have a 6-12 certificate, you are eligible for the 9-12 grade level endorsement.

The Reading Teacher emphasis:

  1. Requires the completion of one practicum.
  2. Requires the completion of RDG 580 (Reading in the Content Areas)  if  you are seeking the reading teacher endorsement.
  3. Does not require the completion of the "Literacy Coaching Practicum."
  4. Requires completion of LLA 525 (Literature and the Reader) which spans all grade levels and is required by Illinois.
    Click here for Reading Teacher Emphasis coursework requirements.
Other Important Information

1.  If you are uncertain about whether to pursue the Reading Specialist or the Reading Teacher emphasis, it is possible, with careful planning, to begin one emphasis and later change to the other.  The following core courses are required in both emphases:

a.  RDG 570

b.  RDG 576

c.  LLA 525

d.  EIS 500

e.  RDG 588

2.  The practicum(s) for both emphases are completed under the direct supervision of a WIU university faculty in an afterschool program in Macomb, Springfield or the Quad Cities selected by WIU.

3.  LLA 525, RDG 568, RDG 570, and RDG 576 are only offered online.

4.  EIS 500 is offered online and face-to-face on the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses.

5.  All prerequisites must completed to enroll in a course:

a.  RDG 570 is a prerequisite for RDG 571.

b.  RDG 568 is a prerequisite for RDG 573.

c.  RDG 568 and RDG 573 are prerequisites for RDG 589.

d.  RDG 570 or RDG 569 and RDG 571 are prerequisites for RDG 587.

e.  24 semester hours of coursework, including one practicum (RDG 587 or RDG 589) must be completed prior to enrollment in RDG 588.

f.  RDG 588 is a prerequisite for RDG 590.

6.  Assignments that include teaching and/or assessing students are required in RDG 571 and RDG 573.

7.  Assignments that include providing professional development to one or more colleagues are required in RDG 588 and RDG 590.

8.  Authentic coaching activities in a school setting are required in RDG 590.  Access to a school and classroom teachers throughout the semester is needed.

9.  Assignments in courses taken in later in the program may require information from earlier courses.  It is important to keep all completed assignments.

10.  Teachers are not required to apply for the Reading Specialist or Reading Teacher Endorsement to complete the degree.

11.  Successful completion of the master's degree in reading does not guarantee issuance of the Reading Specialist or Reading Teacher Endorsement.  (See requirements for endorsements below.)

12.  When you apply to take a state certification test (Reading Specialist Content Test, Reading Teacher Content Test and APT), request that the scores be sent to WIU.

Applying for the K-12 Reading Specialist Endorsement in Illinois

The following requirements must be met:

1.  Completion of the Graduate Reading Master's program and successful completion of coursework for the Reading Specialist emphasis.

2.  Verification of two years of teaching experience.

3.  Passage of the Reading Specialist Content Test.

4.  Passage of the K-12 APT (Assessment of Professional Teaching).  If you took the K-9 APT as you completed requirements for initial certification, the 6-12 APT can be taken.  Overall, the APT tests must span K-12.

5.  Passage of the Basic Skills Test, if you did not take it is for initial certification.

6.  Complete and return the forms sent by the department after the master's degree has been posted.

To find preparation materials, test sites and test dates, please visit the Illinois Licensure Testing System website at http://www.il.nesinc.com/.

Applying for the Reading Teacher Endorsement in Illinois

The following requirements must be met:

1.  Completion of 24 semesters of coursework, which includes the following: RDG 570, RDG 568 or RDG 569; RDG 571 or RDG 573, RDG 587 or RDG 589, LLA 525,  RDG 580, RDG 576 and two literacy electives. (NOTE:  RDG 580 is not required to obtain an MSEd. from WIU with a Reading Teacher emphasis.  However, if you are working on your Masters in Reading with a Reading Teacher emphasis, and plan on applying for the Illinois K-12 Reading Teacher Endorsement, you should add RDG 580 to your Degree Plan).

2.  Passage of the appropriate Reading Teacher Content test or the Reading Specialist Content test.

3.  Upon completion of #1 and #2, contact the department indicating you would like to apply for a reading teacher endorsement.  You can also apply for the Reading Teacher Endorsement after you have completed the master's degree.   An additional APT does not need to be taken for the Reading Teacher Endorsement.

To find preparation materials, test sites and test dates, please visit the Illinois Licensure Testing System website at http://www.il.nesinc.com/.

Applying for Reading Endorsements in Iowa

The following requirements must be met:

  1. Completion of the Graduate Reading Master's degree.   Additional coursework, in addition to the WIU Master's in Reading degree, may be needed.
  2. Verification of at least one year of experience which includes the teaching of reading as a significant part of his/her responsibility to earn the Iowa Reading Specialist endorsement.

The Iowa Reading Endorsement applications can be found online at http://iowa.gov/boee/ Forms may be sent to Missy Phillips, Western Illinois University, 1 University Circle Drive, Horrabin Hall 91, Macomb, IL 61455.

For more information contact:

Marie Cheak, Ph. D.                                

Coordinator, Reading Graduate Program
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Western Illinois University - Quad Cities
3300 River Drive, Room 1113
Moline, IL  61265
E-Mail:  MJ-Cheak@wiu.edu
Phone:  309/762-9481
 
Anne E. Gregory, Ph. D.
Chair, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Western Illinois University
One University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
E-Mail:  AE-Gregory@wiu.edu
Phone:  309-298-1961