School of Graduate Studies. Western Illinois University.
Site Index. WIU Home.
Current Students. Prospective Students. International Students. Personnel. Apply Online. Graduate Studies Home.

Reading (2002-2003)

Admission | Certificate | Courses | Program | Requirements

Department Chairperson: Kathy Barclay
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Angela Ferree
Reading Program: Linda Thistlethwaite
Department Office: Horrabin Hall 58
Department Telephone: 309/298-1961 Fax: 309/298-2800
WWW Address:
Location of Program Offering: Macomb, Quad Cities, and Springfield

Graduate Faculty

  • Professors
    • Kathy Barclay, Ed.D., Northwestern State University
    • Pamela Terry Godt, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
    • Linda Thistlethwaite, Ed.D., University of Missouri
  • Associate Professors
    • Cindy J. Dooley, Ph.D., University of Iowa
    • Angela M. Ferree, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
    • H. Jon Jones, Ed.D., Ball State University
    • Sara D. Simonson, Ph.D., University of Iowa

Associate Graduate Faculty

  • Assistant Professor
    • Marie Cheak, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University–Carbondale
    • Frances A. Steward, Ph.D., Louisiana State University

Program Description

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers work leading to the Master of Science in Education degree with a major in reading. The objective of the program is to provide elementary and secondary teachers with opportunities to increase their professional competency. The focus is on in-depth understanding of both developmental and remedial reading theory and instructional practices based on theory and research. The goal is to prepare teachers for a variety of professional positions: as effective elementary and secondary classroom teachers, as reading specialists endorsed to teach in specialized reading programs such as Title I at either the elementary or secondary level, and as K-12 reading specialists.

Admission Requirements

  1. Admission to the School of Graduate Studies
  2. Cumulative GPA of 2.75
  3. Graduate Record Examination not required
  4. Acceptance by the Departmental Graduate Committee
  5. A valid teaching certificate or the willingness to obtain one
  6. Teaching experience (preferred)

Degree Requirements

The program requires a minimum of 32 semester hours.

  • EIS 500 Methods of Research: 3 s.h.
  • Reading Core: 18 s.h.
    • RDG 468G Teaching Reading in Secondary School and College or RDG 570 Teaching Reading in the Elementary School: 3 s.h.
    • RDG 571 Assessment of Reading Abilities and Disabilities: 3 s.h.
    • RDG 573 Correction and Remediation of Reading Difficulties: 3 s.h.
    • RDG 574 Practicum in Reading: 3 s.h.
    • RDG 576 Psychology of Reading: 3 s.h.
    • RDG 588 Leadership in Reading (prerequisite: 15 hours in reading at the
      graduate level or educational administrative experience): 3 s.h.
  • Reading Electives: 6 s.h.
    • RDG 468G Teaching Reading in Secondary School and College (may be
      taken if not used as a core course)
    • RDG 553 Integrating Reading and Writing through Inquiry
    • RDG 569 Reading in Early Childhood
    • RDG 570 Teaching Reading in the Elementary School (May be taken if
      not used as a core course)
    • RDG 575 Seminar in Reading Research
    • RDG 580 Reading in the Content Areas
    • RDG 581 Reading in Adult Basic Education
    • RDG 585 Reading Comprehension
    • RDG 586 Language Development and Reading
    • RDG 675 Experimental Course
  • Elective Core (recommended courses): 5 s.h.
    • CN 444G Counseling Children
    • CN 540 Marriage, Family, and Relationship Counseling
    • CSD 435G Communication Disorders in the Classroom
    • ECH 564 Language and Thought of the Child
    • EDAD 505 School Improvement and Organizational Development
    • EDAD 560 Supervision of Instruction
    • EIS 587 Human Development throughout the Life Span
    • C&I 403G Middle Level Education
    • GFT 582 Instructional Strategies and Curriculum for Gifted Students
    • GFT 584 Language Arts and Reading for the Gifted
    • ITT 520 Microcomputer Applications in Instructional Technology
    • LA 567 Teaching Language Arts in the Elementary School
    • LA 577 Writing in the Elementary Schools
    • LA 578 Diagnostic and Corrective Techniques in the Language Arts
    • LLA 443G Creative Uses of Literature for Children and Young Adults
    • LLA 513 Advanced Children’s Literature
    • LLA 523 Advanced Literature for Young Adults
    • MATH 501 Elementary Mathematics I
    • MATH 505 The Teaching of Mathematics in Middle Grades and Junior High
    • MATH 509 Diagnostic and Prescriptive Teaching of School Mathematics
    • PSY 425G Psychology of Exceptional Children
    • SPED 510 The Exceptional Individual
    • SPED 513 Families of Individuals with Disabilities
      TOTAL PROGRAM: 32 s.h.

The student may need to take other courses to meet certification requirements in the state in which he/she resides.

A student majoring in reading may be permitted to transfer a maximum of six semester hours of approved graduate credit from an accredited institution. Courses taken through the Quad Cities Graduate Study Center are considered residence credit. Reading courses taken at extension centers where the reading core of courses is offered is considered residence credit. All transfer and extension credits are subject to the approval of the adviser and the Departmental Graduate Committee.

Courses graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis cannot be included on a degree plan.

The following policies are effective for courses taken after September 1, 1984: A degree plan cannot contain more than six semester hours of any combination of the following courses: 450G, 475G, 550, 599, and 675. Students may write to the department chairperson for information concerning the scheduling of courses.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program

The department offers a post-baccalaureate certificate in Language Literacy. For program details, please go to

Course Descriptions

433G Introduction to Corrective Reading. (3) A course emphasizing group and individual identification and instructional procedures for corrective reading in the elementary school. Prerequisites: EIS 301, RDG 383 and RDG 584 or departmental approval.

468G Teaching Reading in Secondary School and College. (3) A theory-based course that translates knowledge and research concerning reading at the junior high, senior high, and college level into recommendations for effective instruction, and focuses on the various kinds of reading programs that exist at the post-elementary level.

508 Phonics for Decoding and Spelling. (3) From an approach that focuses on environmental print and authentic literature experiences, this course examines a variety of aspects of phonological processing: (1) phonological/phonemic awareness, (2) phonics and other word identification strategies, and (3) spelling.

533 Special Problems in Reading. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Not allowable on degree plans but rather designed to give teachers an opportunity for in-service growth through application of problem-solving strategies in dealing with individual education problems in a specific school setting. Graded S/U.

550 Professional Workshop in Reading. (1–3) Workshops are usually organized around a particular theme based upon student demand.

553 Integrating Reading and Writing Through Inquiry. (3) This K-12 course explores relationships between reading and the use of collaborative, authentic reading and writing learning experiences within an inquiry-oriented curriculum.

569 Reading in Early Childhood. (3) Designed to help teachers of preschool, kindergarten, and primary grades to plan and design developmentally appropriate programs aimed at facilitating the acquisition of pre-reading and reading abilities. Emphasis on how early guidance and instructional programs can attend to all aspects of language: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

570 Teaching Reading in the Elementary School. (3) An introductory course comparing various approaches to teaching reading and translating knowledge and research concerning elementary reading into recommendations for effective instruction.

571 Assessment of Reading Abilities and Disabilities. (3) A K-12 course focusing on the uses of diagnostic tools, tests, and procedures (both formal and informal) for investigating reading abilities and disabilities in clinical and classroom settings. Prerequisite: RDG 468G or RDG 570.

573 Correction and Remediation of Reading Difficulties. (3) A K-12 course focusing on effective corrective reading and remedial reading instruction that arises from assessment information and considers techniques, strategies, and programs for individual, small group, and classroom settings. Prerequisites: RDG 570 or RDG 468G; RDG 571.

574 Practicum in Reading. (3) An advanced course where knowledge of diagnosis and instruction is refined, applied, and extended as students work individually with small groups of elementary and/or secondary students in a closely supervised instructional setting. Prerequisites: RDG 570 or 468G; 571; and 573.

576 Psychology of Reading. (3) A theory course for elementary and secondary teachers focusing on the psychological and linguistic factors that influence the reading process, including topics such as language learning and reading disabilities, processing differences between good and poor comprehenders, and the effect of current reading process theory on teaching practices. Prerequisites: RDG 570, RDG 468G, or permission of the instructor.

580 Reading in the Content Areas. (3) An individually designed course for elementary and secondary reading majors and non-majors, this introductory course helps enrollees become familiar with concepts and teaching strategies needed to assist students to learn from textbooks and nontextbook materials.

581 Reading in Adult Basic Education. (3) This course, designed for the volunteer tutor, ABE teacher, or adult literacy program coordinator, focuses on a philosophy of teaching adults to read, appropriate assessment procedures/instructional strategies/reading materials, and trends in the adult literacy movement. Prerequisite: RDG 570, RDG 468G or permission of the instructor.

586 Language Development and Reading. (3) This pre K-12 course explores theories of language development and the relationship between language development and learning to read. Of special interest are populations (such as second language learners, those with a learning disability with respect to oral communication, and hearing impaired students) who find learning to read difficult because of language barriers. Prerequisite: RDG 569, RDG 570, or RDG 468G.

588 Leadership in Reading. (3) Designed for the reading specialist in the classroom or remedial program and for the administrator responsible for the reading program, this course prepares participants to act as change agents within the school-based reading program in areas of curriculum/methodology, organization, administration, and staff development. Prerequisites: Fifteen graduate hours in reading to include RDG 468G or RDG 570, RDG 571, and RDG 573. School administrators may enroll with permission of the instructor.

599 Independent Study. (1–4, repeatable to 4) An investigation of problems related to the student's major area. A substantial written report, as well as an informal report, will be required. Students will meet regularly with an instructor during the course on an arranged basis. Enrollment by permission only.

Western Illinois University.

1 University Circle | Stipes Hall 527 | Macomb, IL 61455-1390
E-mail: | Phone: 309/298-1806 | Fax: 309/298-2345
©2006 | Web Support Services | AA/EO | Privacy Policy