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Department of Reading and Language

at the National College of Education at National Louis University

ul 4.15.13

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the reading program?

The reading program meets the International Literacy Association, CAEP 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 professional educator license (PEL).

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, 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.

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.


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

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    Elgin, IL 60123
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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