1. What is the Reading program? What's the difference between M.Ed. and C.A.S.?
The Reading program meets the International Reading Association, NCATE and Illinois State Board of Education standards for the preparation of reading specialists and reading teachers. This is a program for teachers who are already licensed. In Illinois, Reading Teacher endorsement and Reading Specialist endorsement is a second process for those who hold a K-9, 6-12, preK-3, special education or other special endorsement.
The M.Ed., or Masters in Education program is for students who hold an undergraduate degree. The C.A.S., or Certificate of Advanced Studies program is for students who already have a master's degree in another area. Rather than taking a second masters, they opt for the C.A.S. program, which is a 32 sh program with different core requirements but the same reading requirements.
The Reading program is a demanding program, and students should expect: reflective papers, teaching projects, with both research and reflection involved, examinations, evaluation of your participation, presence and professionalism, completion of an electronic LiveText portfolio and membership and participation in a professional literacy organization.
Typically Reading students who are practicing teachers take one course per quarter. At one course per quarter, it takes two years for the Reading Teacher Endorsement to be obtained, and two to three years for Reading Specialist endorsement.
2. What can I do with a Reading degree?
Reading teachers work primarily with school age students and may teach reading 50% or more of their time. Reading Specialists are called upon work in classrooms with individuals and smaller groups of students to identify their specific needs and to plan instructional interventions. Specialists may also fill coaching roles and provide curriculum leadership for program design and teaming, professional development for teachers and administrators, and community outreach. Degree holders also work in publishing, as college instructors, as district coordinators and as literacy consultants.
3. How can I start? How can I get admitted?
Students may register as a "student at large" for any of the following courses: RLR 501, RLR 502, RLW 541, RLL 520 or 528. Students must enroll in a Reading program to take any other Reading courses, or receive approval from an instructor. To enroll in a Reading program, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office.
- NLU Admissions Office: 847.947.5151, firstname.lastname@example.org
- NLU Graduate Advising: 847.947.5900, email@example.com
Once admitted to a Reading program, you will be contacted by a Graduate Academic Advisor who can assist with questions and can help determine your course sequence.
4. Can I transfer in courses?
The Reading program is constrained by national and state standards. NLU may accept up to 6 sh of graduate transfer credit (not older than 6 years old from your graduation date) from other institutions if applicants have performance examples of their work and syllabi that show how the course meets ISBE and IRA standards. These determinations are made by the Admissions Office.
Teachers with ISBE deficiency statements unfortunately cannot take a single upper-level Reading course to fulfill their deficiency. Contact the Admissions Office with further questions.
5. What is the difference between a Reading endorsement and Reading certification?
Endorsement requires 24 sh hours of Reading courses. See the Reading Teacher Endorsement page to learn more about the coursework and the additional requirements needed. Students do not have to finish a degree program to be endorsed.
Certification requires 36 sh (for M.Ed.) or 32 sh (for C.A.S.) of Reading courses. See the Reading Certification (Type 10) page to learn more about learn more about the additional requirements and NLU certification process. Students need to graduate from an NLU Reading program in order to apply for certification.
All students working toward endorsement or certification must complete and submit an electronic LiveText portfolio documenting assignments that meet Illinois and International Reading Association Standards. See the Electronic Portfolio page to learn more about the portfolio process for the Reading program.
Reading Recovery teachers may transfer in 5 hours of their reading recovery work which will waive RLR 501 and RLR 592A . If you have other graduate preparation in reading it may transfer in if it exactly matches Illinois Standards reflected in the graduate coursework at NLU.