Reading Specialist (5017) Add-On Certification

Reading Specialist (5017) Add-On Program (Online)

The Reading Specialist (5017) add-on is for candidates who are ready to take on increased leadership in literacy. Candidates must already hold a Reading Teacher (1316) license and have completed a Master’s degree which includes a significant culminating project related to reading. This program provides candidates with the administrative Reading Specialist (5017) license, which prepares individuals to direct reading programs or work with school districts and CESA organizations as a resource for literacy. The program is 6 credits and is completed in one semester. Financial aid is not available for this program.

Update: The 2020 Fall for Education Conference has been cancelled.
The Fall for Education Conference is the first full weekend in November annually.  The conference is part of learning outcomes for each IPSE program including Educational Leadership, Director of Instruction, ME-PD Learning Communities, and Reading.  A Special Course Fee of $60.00 is incorporated into fall tuition for the conference to help compensate for meals and breaks. Attendance at the conference is a program requirement.

Non-Wisconsin Teaching Licensure/Certification
UW-La Crosse programs offering a licensure or certification in Wisconsin will need to be reviewed by the State Board of Education of any other state in which the student plans on teaching.  The individual state education boards determine what courses transfer in to meet license or certification requirements of each state.

Program Curriculum


Term 1 Only
RDG 718 Guiding & Directing a School Wide Rdg/Lit Plan 3 credits
RDG 780 Reading Specialist Practicum 3 credits
TOTAL   6 credits

Program Completion

Candidates must complete all UWL graduate degree requirements.

In addition, eligibility for Reading Teacher (1316) and Reading Specialist (5017) certifications are contingent upon:

  • Cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0
  • Satisfactory completion of MSED Reading Teacher/Reading Specialist program coursework, associated experiences, and artifacts
  • Passing score on the Foundations of Reading Test (FoRT; score of 240 or higher).
  • Successful completion of at least two years of teaching at the PK-12 level for Reading Teacher (1316) certification, and a total of six semesters of successful classroom experience in any grade for Reading Specialist (5017) certification.
  • Reading Specialist (5017) candidates must have earned a Master's degree with an emphasis in Reading.