College of Education > Academics > Graduate Programs > Master's Programs > Reading Specialist (MA/MEd)

Reading Specialist (MA/MEd)

Today's special educators are versatile, multi-talented teachers who bring support services into the general education classroom and who collaborate and co-teach with general educators to give students with disabilities access to the same curriculum as other students.

Reading specialists have a deep understanding of how diverse students learn to read and the nature of reading difficulties, but they also offer much more: They shape and promote effective school-wide reading policies, provide professional development to school staff and improve reading curricula and programs at the school or district level. They are creative leaders who address state mandates such as Response to Intervention (RTI).

Special educators are exceptional teachers and co-teachers, working with students in a variety of settings from inclusion classrooms to more self-contained environments. They mentor other teachers, manage teams, coach paraprofessionals and work closely with parents.

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Education(MEd)


Students who hold an Illinois professional educator license are eligible for a Reading Specialist endorsement (K-12) upon completion of the Reading Specialist Master’s program, the required licensure tests, and the required employment experience (2-years of full-time teaching experience on an Illinois professional educator license or comparable out-of-state license).  Endorsement only options are available for individuals who already hold a Master's degree.  Note: Courses in the Reading Specialist program are designed for practicing educators and are not open to students seeking a first teaching license (Teaching and Learning).​