The Reading Teacher Endorsement PK-12 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: 18


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 in Literacy Education or a Reading Teacher Endorsement PK-12 must provide evidence of:

  • A current Illinois professional educator license endorsed for teaching
  • 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 500-word written essay focused on professional experiences and goals
  • Two letters of recommendation

In addition to these requirements, candidates seeking admission to the Master of Arts 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:

  • Lead Literacy Teacher for a team or grade level, guiding colleagues in effective instructional techniques and the application of literacy instructional strategies in content areas
  • Title 1 Reading Teacher, providing assessment and intervention for students who struggle with reading and writing

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 PK-12 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 the Department of Literacy, Leadership, Development and Special Education.

Literacy, Leadership, Development and Special Education

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