Date: February 5, 2005
Contact: Michael Hopkins
Phone: (708) 534-7090
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
University Park, February 5, 2005 – Governors State University has created a new Reading Teacher Endorsement Program. The university’s Graduate Reading Program in the College of Education created the sequence in response to new state requirements for reading endorsement for teachers of kindergarten through 12th grade.
The endorsement program consists of a set of eight courses, 24 semester hours, which meet the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) requirements for endorsement as a Reading Teacher. The courses are designed for those who would like to teach reading to K-12 students.
Applicants must hold an Illinois or comparable out-of-state Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, or Special teaching certificate.
Formal application to this certificate program is required.
Dr. Nina Nilsson, professor of Reading for the college, explained that the new sequence offers teachers a way to earn the 24 hours now required by the ISBE for a reading endorsement without formally entering a master’s degree program.
“The requirement for the reading endorsement used to be 18 additional credit hours,” Nilsson said. “Just recently, the state has raised the requirement to 24 hours, and mainly the only way to get it was for teachers to enroll in a master’s degree program.”
The GSU sequence eliminates that need and also reduces the number of practicums teachers must complete, from the two required for the master’s degree, to one.
However, she added, “The courses taken for the new sequence can be applied to the M.A. in reading degree and certification as a reading specialist, a key position which has become increasingly important in school districts.”
Within certain time limits, teachers who wish to continue in the university’s master’s program can apply the credits earned in the 24-hour sequence to the 36-hour master’s program, if they are admitted to the program.
In contrast to the eight course sequence preparing teachers for the Reading Teacher endorsement, the M.A. in reading program prepares students for the role of reading specialist, a position that has recently expanded in schools and now includes providing technical assistance and professional development to other teachers, in addition to teaching reading to students.
For more information about the M.A. in reading program, the new 24-hour Reading Teacher Endorsement program, contact John Powers at 708-534-6363.