College of Education & Human Services

Master of Science in Education in Reading

Location: Online

Program Description

The School of Education offers coursework leading to a Master of Science in Education degree in Reading. The objective of the program is to provide elementary and secondary teachers with opportunities to increase their professional competency. The focus is on acquiring an in-depth understanding of both developmental and remedial reading theory and evidence-based instructional practices. The goal is to prepare teachers for a variety of professional positions: as effective elementary and secondary classroom teachers, as reading specialists endorsed to teach in specialized reading programs such as Title I at either the elementary or secondary level, and as K-12 reading specialists and literacy coaches.

The courses in the reading program emphasize authentic learning with assignments that include teaching and assessing students, providing professional develoment to colleagues, and authentic coaching activities in a school setting. Practicums are completed under the direct supervision of faculty in the School of Education.

Areas of Emphasis

The Reading Master's Degree offers two areas of emphasis:

  • PK-12 Reading Specialist
  • Reading Teacher

If you are uncertain about whether to pursue the Reading Specialist or the Reading Teacher emphasis, it is possible, with careful planning, to begin one emphasis and later change to the other. Both areas of emphasis require a total of 33 semester hours (s.h.), including the following 15 s.h. of core courses:

  • EDS 500 Methods of Research
    LLA 525 Literature and the Reader
    RDG 570 Integrating Literacy Instruction in the Elementary Curriculum
    RDG 576 Psychology of Reading
    RDG 588 Leadership in Reading
Features of the PK-12 Reading Specialist Emphasis

The K-12 Reading Specialist emphasis is designed for teachers with a State of Illinois Teaching Certificate seeking the PK-12 reading specialist endorsement, which requires a master's degree. The program prepares candidates to serve as reading specialists, literacy coaches, and leaders of school-wide efforts to improve literacy instruction. Reading specialists can teach reading and provide technical assistance or professional development to teachers of all grade levels.

The PK-12 reading specialist endorsement may be issued on an existing State of Illinois early childhood, elementary, special education, or secondary certificate for service at the grade level of the certificate. Endorsements in Iowa are also possible. Actually applying for the endorsement is not required to complete this degree.

In additional to the program's core courses, students in the Reading Specialist emphasis will complete the following:

  • RDG 568 Foundations of Reading in the Middle and Secondary School
  • RDG 571 Literacy Assessment, Instruction and Interventions for Diverse Learners, K-5
  • RDG 573 Literacy Assessment, Instruction and Interventions for Diverse Learners, 6-12
  • RDG 587 Practicum in Reading K-5
  • RDG 589 Practicum in Reading 6-12
  • RDG 590 Effective Practices of Literacy Coaching
  • Plus 9 s.h. of approved electives
Features of the Reading Teacher Emphasis

The Reading Teacher emphasis is designed to enhance teachers' knowledge and skills in teaching literacy in classrooms or with small groups of struggling readers.

In additional to the program's core courses, students in the Reading Teacher emphasis will complete the following:

  • RDG 568 Foundations of Reading in the Middle and Secondary School; or RDG 569 Reading in Early Childhood; or RDG 580 Reading in the Content Area
  • RDG 571 Literacy Assessment, Instruction and Interventions for Diverse Learners, K-5; or RDG 573 Literacy Assessment, Instruction and Interventions for Diverse Learners, 6-12
  • RDG 587 Practicum in Reading K-5; or RDG 589 Practicum in Reading 6-12
  • Plus 9 s.h. of approved electives. If seeking the reading teacher endorsement, RDG 580 must be one of the electives.

With completion of the appropriate coursework (RDG 580 as an elective), students in this program are eligible for the Illinois Reading Teacher Endorsement for grade levels PK-12. In some districts, individuals with an appropriate endorsement are eligible for employment as Title I reading teachers.

The Reading Teacher endorsement can be obtained without a master's degree. Follow this link for more information on receiving the endorsement as a non-degree seeking student.

Admission Requirements

  • Admission to the School of Graduate Studies
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or 3.0 in the last two years
  • Transcripts from your highest degree granting institution
  • A valid U.S. teaching certificate
  • Teaching experience (preferred)
  • International students do not qualify for admission to this program

To seek admission, you must formally apply to the School of Graduate Studies declaring Reading as your area of study. You must meet the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and have a minimum cumulative GPA for all undergraduate work of 2.75. You will need to submit your official transcripts, which can be uploaded during the online application process, emailed to Grad-Office@wiu.edu, or mailed to the School of Graduate Studies, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455-1390.

Graduate Assistantships

The School of Education offers several graduate assistantships in three areas:

  • School of Education  - Open only to students seeking graduate degrees in the College of Education and Human Services, with preference given to those seeking graduate degrees in the School of Education.
  • WIU Preschool - Open only to students seeking graduate degrees in the College of Education and Human Services, with preference given to those seeking graduate degrees in the School of Education.
  • America Reads  - Open to all graduate students, with preference given to students in the School of Education. Applicants must qualify for federal work study. International students do not qualify.

These positions offer opportunities for graduate candidates to provide instructional, research, and clerical support for faculty. A graduate assistant completes at least nine semester hours of online coursework each semester and works with one or more faculty for fifteen hours each week. Graduate assistanships do not cover the cost of tuition, but graduate students in these positions do receive a monthly stipend. Assistantships are awarded for a single year, but may be renewed for one additional year. Positions are available on both the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses and require an on-campus commitment. Applications are available through the  School of Graduate Studies.

Reading Program Coordinator

Melissa Stinnett

Dr. Melissa Stinnett
Office: Horrabin Hall 54
Phone: 309-298-2033
Email:
M-Stinnett@wiu.edu

Leadership in Reading – Getting Results

Leadership in Reading is a course taught by Dr. Stinnett. In this course, students (typically practicing teachers) submit grant proposals in which they request materials they would like for their "dream classroom" and describe how this would benefit their classroom students. Students have submitted grants to Donors Choose, Illinois Reading Council, Wal-Mart, Kappa Delta Pi, Ameren, Rotary, DOT foods, School District Foundation, and others.

Successfully funded grants have included requests for headphones; non-fiction books, diverse books, class book sets, writing notebooks, diverse books, and student field trips (for example, to the Figge Art Museum, Nahant Marsh & Education Center, and Putman Museum).

We are proud of our students!