Graduate Studies


“I am very glad I chose WIU’s Reading Program. The faculty is wonderful, and all of my classes prepared me for teaching reading.” – Sarah Youngblood


  • Reading Specialist
  • Reading Teacher

Program Overview

The School of Education offers coursework leading to a Master of Science in Education with a major in Reading. Candidates may complete an emphasis that leads to the Reading Specialist endorsement or an emphasis that leads to the Reading Teacher endorsement. Either emphasis can be completed by teachers who are only interested in earning a master’s degree in reading and do not plan to seek an endorsement. Candidates complete one or more supervised practicum experiences arranged by university faculty. The practicum experience takes place in an after school program, enabling candidates to continue their employment with their school district. In addition to one or more practicum courses, candidates complete projects with students in many of the courses in the program. Opportunities for providing leadership to improve reading instruction are included in each emphasis of the program.

Why Choose Reading at WIU?

Teachers can complete coursework leading to the Reading Specialist endorsement in Illinois or Iowa or the Reading Teacher endorsement in Illinois. The program prepares candidates to work with struggling readers in individual, small group, or whole class settings. Candidates seeking the reading specialist endorsement complete coursework and practica focusing on K-12 learners. A third practicum in literacy coaching provides candidates with opportunities to develop skills needed to assist colleagues in improving reading instruction in their classrooms or district. Candidates seeking a reading teacher endorsement complete coursework and a practicum appropriate for the level of the desired endorsement. Although not required for the master’s degree, candidates score well on the Illinois Reading Specialist and Reading Teacher content tests. Western Illinois University is an accredited institution. Both the Reading Specialist Program and the Reading Teacher Program are 100% online.

Our Faculty

Faculty members in the School of Education have a strong interest in helping teachers enhance their effectiveness and their ability to promote student learning. All faculty have practical experience in public schools and have a doctorate in their field. Faculty are actively involved in a variety of professional organizations; provide continuing education workshops for teachers; and publish books and articles in state, national, and international journals, including the Illinois Reading Council Journal.

Possible Careers

Candidates earning the degree are eligible to apply for the reading specialist endorsement in Iowa or Illinois or the reading teacher endorsement in Illinois. Teachers with a master’s degree in reading are also hired as literacy coaches.

Extracurricular Activities

Candidates are encouraged to become involved in local, state, and national professional organizations.

Other Information

For additional information about the School of Education programs, please visit

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Degrees Available:

  • M.S.Ed.


  • Online

Required GPA:

  • Cumulative: 2.75 or
  • Last 2 years: 3.0

Admission Requirements:

  • Transcripts
  • Valid Teaching License

Interesting Facts: Fall 2022

  • Currently enrolled: 43
  • International: 0
  • Minority: 4
  • Students with Assistantships: 0

Department Contact Information:

Horrabin Hall 115