College of Education & Human Services

Reading Specialist and Reading Teacher Endorsements

Reading Specialist and Reading Teacher endorsements are offered through WIU's School of Education.

Reading Specialist Endorsement

The Reading Specialist endorsement 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.

This endorsement can be obtained by completing our Master's in Education in Reading degree with an emphasis in PK-12 Reading Specialist. In addition to a master's degree and the completion of a PK-12 reading specialist preparation program, further requirements for the endorsement are to:

  • Hold a Illinois Professional Educator License endorsed in a teacher field
  • Present evidence of two years of full-time teaching experience either on the Illinois Professional Educator License or on a comparable out-of-state license
  • Complete the Reading Specialist Test #221; 

Reading Teacher Endorsement

The Reading Teacher endorsement is designed to enhance licensed teachers' knowledge and skills in teaching literacy in classrooms or with small groups of struggling readers in grades PK-12. In some districts, individuals with an appropriate endorsement are eligible for employment as Title I reading teachers. 

A master's degree is not required for the Reading Teacher endorsement and can be obtained as a non-degree seeking student by completing 18 credit hours in specific courses, and passing the Reading Teacher Test #222 or Reading Specialist Test #221;

This endorsement can also be obtained by completing our Master's in Education in Reading degree with an emphasis in Reading Teacher.

The required courses for a Reading Teacher endorsement are:

  • RDG 568 Foundations of Reading in the Middle and Secondary School; or RDG 569 Reading in Early Childhood; or RDG 570 Integrating Literacy Instruction in the Elementary Curriculum
  • 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 580 Reading in the Content Areas
  • LLA 525 Literature and the Reader
  • RDG 587 Practicum in Reading K-5; or RDG 589 Practicum in Reading 6-12
  • Plus 3 semester hours of an approved elective

Quick Facts

  • Questions on any teaching endorsement should be directed to Tammy Wilson, WIU's Licensure Officer,
  • All classes are online
  • Designed to meet individual educational needs and goals
  • Addresses Illinois and Iowa special education endorsement requirements. Other states will need approval from a local state education agency.
  • Can be completed in 2-3 semesters

Admission Requirements

  • Admission to the School of Graduate Studies
  • The transcript from your highest degree granting institution, submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. This can be uploaded this during the only application process, emailed to, or mailed to the School of Graduate Studies, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455
  • A valid U.S. teaching certificate
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75,  or  a 3.0 or higher GPA for the last two years (60 s.h.) of undergraduate work, if applying for the full master's degree in reading.

Iowa Endorsements

Endorsements in Iowa are also possible through WIU. The Iowa Reading Endorsement applications can be found online at the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners site.

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Reading Program Coordinator

Melissa Stinnett

Dr. Melissa Stinnett


WIU Teacher Licensure Officer

Tammy Wilson

Tammy Wilson
Phone: 309-298-1434
Office: Horrabin Hall 40