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Master of Arts in Literacy Education

College of Education


Program Description

The Department of Literacy Education offers three strands of graduate work leading to Type 10 Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach Certification, Reading Teacher Endorsement for Elementary Grades, or Reading Teacher Endorsement for Secondary Grades, all designed to meet the urgent need for informed and trained instructional leaders in literacy education. The specific objectives of the programs are: to increase candidates knowledge of the nature and score of literacy processes; to advance professional growth in the teaching of literacy; to provide specialized training in assessment and intervention for students who struggle with reading and writing; to prepare candidates for leadership in literacy instructional planning, curriculum development, and professional support. Please visit the Department of Literacy Education website at www.neiu.edu for further information.


Admission Requirements

For students admitted to master’s programs after Fall 1997, all graduate credits will be at the 400 level. Students must meet the requirements for admission to the Graduate College.

Additional Requirements for Admission to the Master of Arts in Reading Program

A course in educational psychology

  1. One of the following courses or its equivalent:
    1. READ-301 Teaching Reading in Junior
      and Senior High School...........................3 cr.
    2. READ-311 Fundamentals of
      Reading Instruction..................................3 cr.
    3. ECED-306 Methods of Teaching
      Reading in Early Childhood......................3 cr.
    4. ELED-306 Methods of Teaching Reading –
      Elementary School...................................3 cr.
  2. Minimum grade point average of 3.0 in undergraduate work
  3. Successful completion of the Illinois Certification Testing System Basic Skills Test
  4. Current Illinois teaching certificate, Type 03, 04, 09, or 10
  5. A minimum of one year full-time teaching experience

Degree Requirements

Required Courses:

The Graduate Program in Reading is organized into three sequences:

Sequence I
READ-416 Primary Reading Instruction.........................3 cr.
READ-417 Reading Instruction in Intermediate
and Upper Grades...................................3 cr.
READ-412 Measurement and Evaluation in Reading ..3 cr.
Prereq.: READ-416 and READ-417
READ-425 Literature-Based Reading Instruction ........3 cr.
Prereq.: READ-416 and READ-417
Students must successfully complete the Content Knowledge Examination to apply for Degree Candidacy after completing Sequence I.

Sequence II
Students must apply for Degree Candidacy to enter Sequence II. Only one course in Sequence II may be taken before candidacy is approved.
READ-401 Developmental Reading Theory .................3 cr.
Prereq.: Completion of Sequence I
READ-407 Diagnosis and Remediation of
Reading Disabilities..................................3 cr.
Prereq.: Completion of Sequence I
Students choose one of the following:
READ-414 Reading and Writing Processes .................3 cr.
Prereq.: READ-416
or
READ-415 Reading and Writing in Content Areas........3 cr.
Prereq.: READ-417

Sequence III
READ-403 Curriculum and Supervision in Reading.......3 cr.
Prereq.: READ-404, READ-405, and permission of program
READ-404 Clinical Practicum in Reading......................3 cr.
Prereq.: Completion of Sequences I and II, permission of program, and successful submission of fingerprint background check
READ-405 Research Seminar in Reading......................3 cr.
Prereq.: Completion of Sequences I and II, permission of program
READ-409 Advanced Practicum in Reading..................3 cr.
Elective to be taken in Sequences II and III or a Thesis
(READ-406)..............................................3 cr.
Total 36 cr.

Program Requirements
The Graduate Program in Reading consists of thirty-six graduate level credit hours. There are ten required courses and one elective. Electives may be selected from the approved list available on the department’s website at www.neiu.edu/~readdept or from the Department Office, Room 2062 in Lech Walesa Hall.

A maximum of three hours of C credit is accepted. Students who receive a second grade of C must petition the Dean of the Graduate College in writing with a rationale for permission to continue in the program.

Upon acceptance into the program, students are required to attend an Orientation Meeting. At this meeting, students receive information about program procedures and assessment requirements.

Students must apply for Degree Candidacy after completing Sequence I. To qualify for Degree Candidacy, students admitted after May 20, 2006, must:

  • Successfully complete the Content Knowledge Examination.
  • Submit a self evaluation of Professional Dispositions.
  • Request evaluations of Professional Dispositions from two faculty members.

Students must be accepted for Degree Candidacy to advance to Sequence II.

Students must complete self evaluations of Professional Dispositions after completing Sequences II and III. Students must apply one year in advance to enter Sequence III. All courses in Sequence III require program authorization.

Due to the demands on students’ time, the Department recommends that the following courses be taken alone:

READ-412 Measurement and Evaluation in Reading
READ-401 Developmental Reading Theory
READ-404 Clinical Practicum in Reading
READ-405 Research Seminar in Reading

Thesis Option
Upon invitation by the program at the time of acceptance to degree candidacy, a student has the option of writing a master’s thesis for three hours of credit. The course, READ-406 Thesis Seminar: Reading, takes the place of the elective.

Final Evaluation
Students apply for Final Evaluation during their last semester of required classes. The Final Evaluation for the Master of Arts Degree in Reading includes:

  • Self Evaluation of Professional Dispositions
  • Faculty Evaluation of Professional Dispositions completed by the student’s READ 404: Clinical Practicum in Reading instructor
  • Submission of the Program Evaluation Survey
  • Successful completion of the Reading Specialist Test administered by the Illinois Certification Testing System. Students must submit proof of successful completion of this test to the department.
  • Cumulative Final Evaluation. Students admitted prior to May 20, 2006, may elect to take the Comprehensive Examination administered by the Department of Reading or to submit a cumulative portfolio. Students admitted after May 20, 2006, submit cumulative electronic portfolios using the LiveText™ platform. Students submit a preliminary portfolio to their advisors for review when they complete Sequence II. Students submit cumulative portfolios for final evaluation after they have completed all required classes. Upon acceptance of the portfolio by the department, students present their portfolios to an evaluation panel.

In addition to the program requirements, students obtaining the Master of Arts Degree in Reading are eligible to apply for an Illinois Type 10 Reading Specialist Certificate. The Illinois State Board of Education also requires a minimum of two years’ teaching experience as teacher of record to qualify for Reading Specialist certification. Students who have not taken the Assessment of Professional Teaching for Grades K through 12 will be required to take this test to obtain the Type 10 Certificate.

Reading Center
The Department of Reading operates a Reading Center, which gives graduate students practicum experiences in assessing, planning, and implementing instructional programs for struggling readers. The Center is attended by students from the community who are recommended by teachers and parents. Students receive a thorough reading diagnosis at the Center. In addition, individual and small group instruction, incorporating innovative strategies and materials, helps students improve their literacy. The Reading Center also sponsors a variety of activities and programs for the community.