College of Education > Academics > Graduate Programs > Licensure Programs & Endorsements > Reading Teacher endorsement

Reading Teacher endorsement

Reading teachers have a deep understanding of how diverse students learn to read. They understand the characteristics of proficient readers and the nature of reading difficulties. They understand the structure of language and the close relationships of oral and written language. They are experts in the practical skills of literacy instruction and understand the role of assessment in promoting reading and writing skills in diverse students.

The Reading Teacher endorsement program is designed for licensed teachers who wish to gain expertise in literacy instruction and provide advanced reading instruction in their school. This unique program offers a powerful blend of two fields - reading instruction and special education - to prepare educators to address the needs of struggling readers and those with learning disabilities.

Courses in the Reading Teacher endorsement program are a subset of courses in the Reading Specialist program. Students who complete the program have the option to continue coursework to qualify as a Reading Specialist and earn a full master's degree. 

Interested in enrolling in this program? Learn more about the application process and find out how to apply.


The Reading Teacher Endorsement program leads to a Reading Teacher endorsement from the Illinois State Board of Education, which educators can add to their Illinois teaching license.

Program Format

To accommodate working professionals, the Reading Teacher program offers courses that meet on weekday evenings. Other course delivery options within the program include hybrid courses (a blend of on-campus and online classes) and fully online courses. In addition, you may choose your pace  through this program, selecting a a full-time course load (two courses per quarter) to complete the program in two years or a part-time course load (one course per quarter) to complete the program in three years.

Program Requirements

Candidates may choose to complete the Reading Teacher endorsement through one of two avenues. They can complete the full Reading Teacher program, which includes nine courses (36 quarter hours) in Literacy and Special Education. Alternately, a candidate may submit his/her prior transcripts (undergraduate and graduate-level coursework) to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for evaluation. A deficiency statement will be created by ISBE, at which time the candidate can complete only the remaining ISBE-required coursework to qualify for the endorsement (typically four to seven courses or 16-28 credit hours.)

The program includes a practicum requirement, which provides students with clinical experience working in DePaul's Education and Counseling Center (ECC). The ECC offers academic tutoring services for children and adolescents with reading and learning difficulties; it is located on the Lincoln Park Campus.

Want to learn more? For detailed information about program requirements, see the official DePaul University Graduate Catalog.​

This program is typically eligible for financial aid.  Please see this document​ and consult your advisor in the COE.​​​​