Reading Teacher/Reading Specialist

The K-12 Reading Teacher program is intended for candidates who want to be certified for the WDPI license "Reading Teacher" (Code 316) and is offered to experienced teachers who desire to strengthen their teaching and/or become a reading teacher and literacy coach in a K-12 setting. The six-course program is designed to help you get to the heart of effective reading instruction and supports a practical, creative, and research-based approach to the work of teaching reading and promoting literacy.

The Reading Specialist program is designed for candidates seeking the WDPI license “Reading Specialist” (Code 317) and is offered to experienced teachers who already hold the Reading Teacher license (Code 316) and wish to pursue a Master of Arts degree. This continuation program is intended to produce instructionally focused administrators who have a deep understanding of the work of teaching reading and promoting literacy, and are equipped to apply reformative expertise at a school, community, and district level. Such license holders will be competent with data analysis, dealing with issues of second language acquisition, mentoring, supervision, ethical leadership, and action research.

Program Highlights

The Department of Public Instruction’s New Wisconsin Promise initiative includes a focus on teaching and leadership for improved student learning at the school and district level. This Quality Educator Initiative, as a part of the New Wisconsin Promise, has a goal of placing highly qualified teachers in every classroom and highly qualified leaders in every school. The Reading Program offered by Edgewood College is our attempt to assist with the Quality Educator Initiative and to help alleviate some of the achievement problems by producing highly qualified and experienced teachers, and instructionally focused administrators, who are expertly prepared.

  • Cohort model starts once a year in October
  • The time commitment for the full sequence of courses resulting in two licenses (316/317) and a Master’s degree, is under two years.
  • Courses meet once a week in the evening and during the summer
  • Our small class size promotes a sense of community and facilitates individualized instruction.
  • School-based practicums with opportunities to work with experienced educational leaders
  • Cutting edge instructional techniques for ELL literacy development are interwoven throughout the program with two courses specifically focused in this area.
  • The instructors include nationally recognized professionals who are experienced practitioners of teaching reading and literacy coaching.
  • Assessment is heavily biased towards performance-based approaches as these have a greater potential for creating meaningful engagement with an area of learning that takes on a ‘real world’ functional quality. Student reflection, as captured in a portfolio of authentic work that documents the value added of the courses are critical in this program.

License and Degree Requirements

Reading Teacher
ED 605A Formal to Functional Linguistics (3 credits)
ED 611 Approaches to Literacy (3 credits)
ED 618 Diversity, Culture and Literacy (3 credits)
ED 624 Literacy Development (3 credits)
ED 686 Genre, Knowledge and Pedagogy (3 credits)
ED 694 Supervised Field Experience/Practicum (1-2 credits)

Reading Specialist
ED 627 Assessing Literacy (3 credits)
ED 689 Mentoring, Coaching and Supervising (3 credits)
ED 604A Second Language Acquisition in the Content Areas (3 credits)
ED 605A Formal to Functional Linguistics (3 credits)
ED 611 Approaches to Literacy (3 credits)
ED 618 Diversity, Culture and Literacy (3 credits)
ED 624 Literacy Development (3 credits)
ED 686 Genre, Knowledge and Pedagogy (3 credits)
ED 694 Supervised Field Experience/Practicum (1-2 credits)

Master Degree Research Courses
ED 603 Introduction to Educational Research (3 credits)
ED 692 Research Capstone Project (3 credits)

Course Descriptions:

ED 611: Approaches to Literacy 3 Credits
This course focuses on major historical developments in the teaching of reading including influential literacy paradigms and their impact on teaching and curriculum. In particular, students will be introduced to socio-linguistically informed approaches.

ED 618: Diversity, Culture, and Literacy 3 Credits
This course provides a critical review of current thinking in literacy grounded in a range of perspectives including sociolinguistics, systemic functional linguistics, and critical discourse analysis. It emphasizes the importance of developing multiple literacies and the ethical implications for how these play out in schooling. Prerequisite: ED 611 and ED 686 or consent of instructor

ED 624: Literacy Development 3 credits
This course focuses on pedagogies supporting literacy development in the elementary classroom inclusive of linguistically and culturally diverse students. Building upon ED 611, it explores how literacy traditions, sociocultural theory, and key historical figures have influenced classroom practices in beginning literacy. Requirements for discussions and the final project assume students are currently teaching. Prerequisite: ED 611 Co-requisite: ED 694

ED 627: Assessing Literacy 3 Credits
This course emphasizes principles and guidelines behind assessing literacy. The course introduces a developmental approach to assessing literacy based on work in systemic functional linguistics and pays particular attention to the academic language demands of schooling. The course aims to provide teachers with ways of doing assessment resulting in useable diagnostic insight. Prerequisite: ED 605A

ED 686: Genre, Knowledge and Pedagogy 3 Credits
This course aims at understanding the educative power and potential of texts when approached through an artistically productive lens involving critical analysis, intra-textual experimentation, and play.  The course will involve exploring certain school genres and developing literacy pedagogies consistent with the many ways of being literate.

ED 689: Mentoring, Coaching, and Supervising 3 Credits
This field work intensive course promotes the art of supporting and nurturing educational leaders and teachers who are in the process of reforming their own or their institution's professional practices.  It focuses on critical ways for identifying needs, selecting instructional materials, developing phased implementation plans, and creating an open accountability culture to productively monitor and nurture professional learning communities. A practicum is required.

ED 605A: Formal to Functional Linguistics 3 Credits
This course is designed to introduce us to the study of language from a broadly communicative approach including a Systemic Functional Linguistic perspective. Emphasis will be placed on learning how to investigate language and how this impacts our understanding of literacy promotion.

ED 604A: Second Language Acquisition in the Content Areas 3 Credits
This course provides a comparative overview of first and second language acquisition theories and practices and explores the factors that influence acquisition.  Emphasis is placed on curriculum and design, instructional strategies, and cultural considerations in order to engage language learners in academic coursework in the content areas while they develop a second language.

ED 603: Introduction to Educational Research 3 Credits
This course provides a general introduction to educational research and ethnographic, qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.  Students learn how to construct research statements, research designs and data collection tools; do literature reviews; collect and analyze data; write up research findings; and develop research proposals.

ED 692: Research Capstone Project 3 Credits
Students in this course design, conduct and write up Master's research capstone projects. Prerequisites: ED 603 Introduction to Educational Research

Tuition and Financial Aid

Edgewood College is committed to making a life-changing education more affordable and accessible to more people than ever before. As part of the Graduate Affordability Promise, courses in the Reading Teacher licensure program are now $569 per credit.

In response to a critical need in Wisconsin schools, Edgewood College has redesigned our tuition structure, allowing for a significant reduction in graduate tuition for our Reading Teacher license certification program. This cost reduction offers you one of the most competitively priced ways to complete this license in the state.

At just $569 per credit, you can now complete your Reading Teacher 316 license certification at Edgewood College for $12,718. Only 5 additional classes would be required to obtain your Master’s Degree.


Graduate tuition for the 2019-20 year (beginning Summer 2019) is $997 per credit. Each course is 3 credits, and can be applied towards a Master of Arts in Education with a Reading Specialist concentration. 

Based on current tuition rates, the estimated total tuition cost to complete the license requirement would be $12,718. The projected total tuition cost to achieve both the license and the Master’s degree would be $27,549.

Financial Aid

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid in the form of Federal Stafford Loans. Learn more about Stafford Loans, including eligibility requirements and application instructions.

Graduate Student Financial Aid

Our admissions and financial aid counselors have worked with thousands of students who have questioned how they could afford to complete their graduate education. They will use their experience to suggest creative solutions for financing your education. We work with students and organizations to manage tuition reimbursement plans, extend tuition discounts to various corporate partners in the region, offer third party billing and monthly payment plans, and work with veterans to maximize their available aid. 

Admission Requirements

  1. Provide evidence of a baccalaureate or more advanced degree from a United States regionally accredited or equivalent post-secondary institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale for regular admission status. The cumulative grade point average is computed on the highest degree held at the time of application to the Edgewood College graduate program.
  2. Complete and submit graduate application (including $30 fee). This application is for graduate students who want to pursue a Master’s degree, license or certificate, or take courses as a non-degree student.
  3. Request that official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate academic credits received from each post-secondary institution you attended be sent directly to Edgewood College Graduate and Professional Studies.
  4. Provide two letters of recommendation from college or university professors, supervisors, and/or professional colleagues who can focus on the probability of your success in graduate school. Letter of Recommendation Guidelines
  5. Submit a written statement listing the reasons why you think you will be successful in graduate school; cite how specific background experiences will aid in your success as a student.
  6. Provide evidence of three years full-time relevant professional work experience.

The priority application deadline for the Reading Teacher License program is September 1. All required application materials should be submitted by this deadline.   Applications received after September 1 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

International Students may have additional admission requirements. Learn more.

Transfer Credits

You may submit up to 12 semester hours of graduate credit for consideration of transfer to Edgewood College for application to a degree program. Approval of the respective department is required. To be considered for application to a degree program, a course must have been taken within the past five years. For more information about transfer credits, please contact your admissions counselor.