“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
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction 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.
Candidates earning the degree are eligible to apply for the reading specialist 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.
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. The program can be completed in Macomb, Quad Cities, and Springfield. The majority of the courses are offered one evening each week. Occasionally, courses are scheduled in a six Saturday format. Four required courses are offered online. Western Illinois University is an NCATE institution and regionally accredited.
Faculty members in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction 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. Professors in the department 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. The Illinois Reading Council Journal is housed in our department, and our literacy faculty members author the monthly columns for the publication.
Candidates are encouraged to become involved in local, state, and national professional organizations.
For additional information about the Curriculum and Instruction programs, please visit www.wiu.edu/coehs/curriculum_and_instruction/prospective_students/elementary_ed_grad.php (Elementary Education) or
- Quad Cities
- Cumulative: 2.75 or
- Last 2 years: 3.0
- Valid Teaching License
Interesting Facts: Fall 2015
- Currently enrolled: 51
- International: 0
- Minority: 3
- Male: 1
- Female: 50
- Students with Assistantships: 1
Department Contact Information:
Horrabin Hall 69