Roosevelt University in Chicago, Schaumburg and Online - Logo

Reading, MA


This program prepares licensed K-12 teachers and teachers in post-secondary settings for a variety of teaching and supervisory roles in language and literacy. The program is ideal for teachers who aspire to enhance their knowledge of reading and literacy instruction and transform schools and classrooms in pursuit of social justice. Core courses focus on the foundations of language and reading instruction, content area reading, the assessment and diagnosis of reading problems, and strategies and materials for teaching reading, writing, and language. In addition to completing the core courses, teachers develop their leadership potential through enrollment in one of the following concentrations: reading specialist, bilingual/ESL literacy, or post-secondary reading.

Course work is based on professional standards set by the International Reading Association (IRA), and the reading specialist program is nationally recognized by IRA and approved by the state of Illinois. A 200 hour clinical practicum, completed during the summer semester in Schaumburg, is required of the reading specialist concentration; upon successful completion of this concentration, and the required state exam, teachers can add the reading specialist endorsement to their teaching license. Upon the successful completion of the bilingual/ESL literacy concentration, teachers can add a bilingual or ESL endorsement to their license.


A minimum undergraduate or graduate GPA of 2.7 is required for admission to the program, in addition to a valid teaching license. Applicants to the reading specialist concentration must provide evidence that two years of teaching experience will be completed before exit from the program.


Upon admission to the reading specialist concentration, a faculty advisor will conduct a transcript review to ensure that a special education survey course on exceptional children was taken as part of the completed teacher preparation program.


To earn the MA in reading, students must complete 30 semester hours of course work and all clinical experiences. No grades below C may apply toward the degree, and no more than two courses with grades of C+ or C are allowed. The program faculty routinely assess students for evidence of professional dispositions.

In addition to the 12 semester hours of core courses listed below, students should choose one of the 18-semester-hour concentrations that follow (Bilingual/ESL Literacy, Post-Secondary Reading or Reading Specialist):

  READ 432 Strategies and Materials for Teaching Reading, Writing, and Language .....3
  READ 436 Foundations of Language and Literacy Instruction .....3
  READ 437 Principles and Practices in Language and Literacy Assessment .....3
  READ 463 Teaching Language and Literacy in the Content Areas .....3

In order to qualify for Roosevelt University's recommendation for a K - 12 reading specialist endorsement all requirements in effect at the time of application must be met, including passing scores on the ILTS Basic Skills Test, the K-12 Assessment of Professional Teaching, and the Reading content exam. The Reading content exam should always be taken after all course requirements have been completed.

Bilingual/ESL Literacy Concentration

The Bilingual/ESL Literacy concentration does not require teaching experience, but it does require a teaching license. All courses are delivered online.

  READ 458 Linguistics for ESL Teachers .....3
  READ 468 Foundations of Bilingual and ESL Education (10-30 clinical hours) .....3
  READ 473 Assessment of Bilingual Students (10-25 clinical hours) .....3
  READ 474 Methods and Materials for Teaching Bilingual Students (10-20 clinical hours) .....3
  READ 475 Methods and Materials for Teaching ESL (10-25 clinical hours) .....3
  READ 476 Cross-Cultural Studies for Teaching Limited English-Proficient Students (10-20 clinical hours) .....3

Post-Secondary Reading Concentration

The Post-Secondary Reading concentration requires teaching experience in a community college or other adult educational setting. This concentration does not lead to an endorsement, but it does provide expertise in adult reading and literacy instruction.

  READ 435 Approaches to Teaching Language and Literacy to the Learning Disabled .....3
  READ 438 Supervision of Personnel and Curriculum Development in Language and Literacy .....3
  READ 439 Young Adult Literature (online, spring semester) .....3
  READ 480 Inquiry in the Classroom .....3
  READ 495 Independent Study (6 credit hours. Must entail a field-based project at the post-secondary level) .....6

Reading Specialist Concentration

The Reading Specialist concentration requires the reading specialist exam at the completion of the concentration and a minimum of two years of documented teaching experience. It is available online and at the Schaumburg campus.

  READ 434 Literature for Children and Adolescents .....3
  READ 435 Approaches to Teaching Language and Literacy to the Learning Disabled .....3
  READ 438 Supervision of Personnel and Curriculum Development in Language and Literacy .....3
  READ 470 Clinical Practicum in Literacy (6 semester hours, 200 hours of clinical practice required) .....6
  READ 480 Inquiry in the Classroom .....3