Program Options, Certificates & Endorsements

Reading Teacher Endorsement

Teacher candidates can earn a reading endorsement on their certificate by taking a series of courses that meet the guidelines of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for reading teacher preparation, and by passing the ISBE reading teacher examination.

The reading teacher endorsement is valid only for the grades specified in the certificate. For example, if the Reading Teacher Endorsement is added to a Type 09 (secondary) certificate, the recipient is eligible to teach reading in grades 9-12.

This information relates to the reading teacher endorsement only. Graduates who already have a teaching certificate and would like to be certified as a reading specialist should consider our Language, Literacies and Learning program,  Strand B.

Teacher candidates pursuing the reading teacher option must apply for the endorsement through the office of the Council on Teacher Education, even if they have already applied for and received their initial certificates. For more information, contact CTE at 312-355-0714 or email Certification Officer Marietta Giovannelli at

For more information contact the Office of Student Services at 312-996-4532 or email Coordinator William Teale at

Degree Requirements

In compliance with Illinois State Board of Education Reading Teacher Requirements, applicants must either:

  • Pass either the Reading Teacher or Reading Specialist exam and complete at least 24 semester hours of coursework, including a practicum, through an approved reading teacher program and be recommended for the endorsement by the university.


  • Pass the Reading Teacher or Reading Specialist exam and complete 24 hours of credit in reading, including a practicum, distributed through the following areas:
    • Foundations of reading
    • Content-area reading
    • Assessment and diagnosis of reading problems
    • Developmental and remedial reading instruction and support
    • Developmental and remedial materials and resources
    • Literature appropriate to students in all grade levels

Please be aware that courses sometimes close because of limited capacity. Flexibility exists in planning one’s program; however, literacy courses that are part of your approved program should be taken before other coursework is completed, and CI 528 should be taken after other courses are completed and during the summer session. Not all courses are offered all semesters. Check the College of Education course listings prior to each semester, and always consult with your advisor to confirm your plans.

Following are the UIC courses that fulfill ISBE requirements for Elementary Education BA students. 

Required Courses for Elementary Education BA in Urban Education students

  • ED 257 Foundations of Literacy Learning and Teaching (3 Credit Hours): An analysis of theoretical and empirical foundations of reading and writing instruction focusing on K-8 children as literacy learners and the texts these children encounter and create as readers and writers. Prerequisite(s): Open only to pre-elementary education standing.
  • ED 340 Teaching of Language and Literacy in the Elementary Grades (3 Credit Hours): A detailed analysis of elementary language and literacy learning including word recognition, fluency, comprehension, and writing.
  • ED 341 (3 Credit Hours): A detailed description of the knowledge base required to orchestrate and implement language and literacy instruction in elementary schools, including ways to organize student grouping and to develop, monitor, and assess student inquiry.
  • CI 541 Oral Language: Its Development and Role in the Classroom (4 Credit Hours): Analysis of oral language development and children's varying patterns of language use; analysis of talk in classroom settings and instructional decision-making processes to assess and optimize student learning. Extensive computer use required. Field work required.
  • CI 546 Children’s and Adolescent Literature (4 Credit Hours). Overview of trade books written for children from preschool through adolescence. Emphasizes critically reading, selecting, evaluating books appropriate for developmental stages, curricular connections, and students in our multicultural society.
  • CI 528 Assessing Literacy in Classrooms (4 Credit Hours). Introduction to and practicum in K-12 classroom literacy assessment and its relation to literacy instruction. Addresses purposes of and techniques for conducting/interpreting specific literacy assessments.

1 of the following 2 courses:

  • CI 543 Using Multimedia Environments to Support Literacy and Learning (4 Credit Hours). Introduction to ways changes in technologies of communication transform environments for teaching and learning. Analyzing technologies, linear and non-linear reading environments and designing instructional strategies to enhance multiple literacies.
  • CI 535 Studies in Literature Research and Teacher Inquiry (4 Credit Hours). Analysis of methodologies and topics of reading research; decision-making processes for effective literacy instruction based on research; skills and strategies in designing teacher inquiry.

Options and Outcomes

The Reading Teacher Endorsement is an effective way to increase your opportunities for employment and leadership in Illinois and Chicago K-12 schools. Students who earn the endorsement are able to teach reading beyond general classroom instruction and provide technical assistance to teachers.

Application Process

Program FAQs