The Master of Arts in Education: Reading Specialist program is designed to assist practicing teachers in becoming specialists in the area of reading. Through this program, teachers learn how to design assessment, differentiate instruction for text complexity, and design instructional approaches to improve Kindergarten - 12th grade literacy.
Practicing teachers within this program will learn through an interactive format such as online forums, discussion groups, collaborative assignments, and pragmatic case studies. As a candidate in this program, you will study strategies for improving reading comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, phonics and phonemic awareness. Candidates will learn how to assess reading difficulties, analyze and interpret test data, and provide direction for response to intervention initiatives. Focus on diverse learning needs and linguistic differences in a day of CCSS will be included, as well as current technology that facilitates effective reading and writing instruction for learners of different ages, ability levels, and ethnic backgrounds.
The coursework within the Reading Specialist program meets the International Reading/Literacy Association Standards for Reading Professionals, NCATE/CAEP standards for specialization in reading, and the Illinois Standards for Reading Specialists. Three 15-clock hour clinical practicum experiences and a 32-clock hour creative research project/practicum are required.
Begin to research and understand your state’s licensure requirements right away. In the state of Illinois, candidates are required to achieve passing results on the TAP or an ACT overall total composite of 22 (including the writing sample score of a 21) and Content Area Reading Specialist Test in order to become licensed as a Reading Specialist.