The Reading Teacher Endorsement for Elementary Level is designed to meet the need for informed and trained instructional leaders in literacy education.

For students admitted to graduate programs after Fall 1997, all graduate credits must be at the 400 level or above.

Credit hours required: 24


The program admits students for the fall, spring and summer semesters.

Candidates must meet the requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research and any additional requirements for admission to the Graduate Programs in Literacy Education. Candidates seeking a Master of Arts Degree in Literacy Education or a Reading Teacher Endorsement at the Elementary Level or at the Secondary Level must provide evidence of:

  • A current Illinois professional educator license endorsed for teaching
  • Successful completion of a course in educational psychology
  • A minimum grade point average of 2.75 in undergraduate work with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the education major coursework
  • Submission of a written essay focused on professional experiences and goals

In addition to these requirements, candidates seeking admission to the Master of Arts Degree in Literacy Education leading to a Reading Specialist/Literacy Coaching Endorsement must present evidence of a minimum of one year full-time teaching experience as the teacher of record. The Illinois State Board of Education requires a minimum of two years teaching experience as teacher of record in Illinois to qualify for Reading Specialist (K-12) endorsement. 

Program Benefits

The endorsement program objectives are:

  • to increase candidates' knowledge of the nature and scope of literacy processes
  • to advance professional growth in the teaching of literacy
  • to provide specialized training in assessment and interventional for students who struggle with reading and writing
  • to prepare candidates to effectively address literacy challenges students may experience with state-mandated assessments
  • to prepare candidates for leadership in literacy instructional planning, curriculum development, and professional support

Career Options

The endorsement program prepares students for careers such as:

  • Title I Reading Teacher, providing instructional intervention for students struggling with reading and writing
  • Team or Department Literacy Leaders, providing guidance and support to their grade-level or content-area colleagues to apply literacy strategies across the curriculum

For more detailed career information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Academic Catalog Information

Take a closer look at the Reading Teacher Endorsement: Elementary Level and the courses offered toward the program.

Reading Teacher Endorsement: Elementary Level

Department and Contact Information

If you are interested in the program or have questions, please contact Literacy, Leadership and Development.

Literacy, Leadership and Development

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