2018-2019 Catalog

Publication date June 2018

SOE - Reading Graduate Program

Reading Program:
Reading MSED with Non-Certification
Reading MSED with Reading Teacher (1316) Certification
Reading MSED with Reading Teacher (1316) and Reading Specialist (5017) Certification
Reading Teacher (1316) Certificate
Reading Teacher (1316) Add-On Certification
Director: Gary Willhite, Ph.D.
264 Morris Hall; 608.785.8130
Email: gwilhite@uwlax.edu


The online UW‐La Crosse Master of Science in Education in Reading Program is dedicated first and foremost to preparing graduate students who serve communities, families, students, schools and fellow educators as leaders in literacy education.

Through preparation and experiences in developmental and exceptional literacy instruction and assessment, students in the Master of Science in Education in Reading Program develop their knowledge, skills, and dispositions as classroom teachers of reading, as Title I or other Reading teachers, or as Reading Specialists or Consultants/Coaches for schools and/or districts.

Graduates of the Reading Program at UW­‐La Crosse are prepared:

  1. To model current and authentic best practice in K‐12 literacy education;
  2. To seek and identify current research­‐based strategies and resources;
  3. To provide services and support in literacy assessment, diagnosis, and evaluation;
  4. To remain accountable to constituent groups;
  5. And to advocate for students, families, and colleagues.

The Reading Program philosophy reflects the Standards for Reading Professionals of the International Literacy Association (ILA) and the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) Standards of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and is based on current research and best practice in the fields of literacy and reading. The specialized knowledge, skills, and dispositions emphasized in the Reading Program reflect the ILA Standards for Reading Professionals (revised 2010).

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 for each state.

Teacher certification websites for nearby states:

Illinois State Board of Education

Iowa Department of Education

Michigan Department of Education

Minnesota Department of Education

The following is the graduate faculty and staff as of the publication date of this catalog. This list will not be updated again until the next catalog is published in June.


Bill Gillespie, Ph.D., Director of Educational Leadership Program

Gary Willhite, Ph.D., Director of Graduate Reading Program

Ann Yehle, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty

Janel Anderson

Brenda Autz

Daniel Beaman

Carla Hacker

Jeffrey Hansen

Shelly Long

Tim Sprain

Stephanie Sullivan

Tracy Taylor-Johnson

John Weiland

IPSE Director

Patricia Markos, Director of Institute of Professional Studies in Education

Administrative Support

Cindy George, Marketing Outreach Specialist

Jenny Holm, Coordinator


RDG 600 Cr.3

Research Methods in Literacy

The design, analysis, and interpretation primarily of quantitative data relative to Reading. Some qualitative data and action research relative to education may also be discussed. Attention is given to assisting students in being critical consumers of the research literature as well as designing their own studies. Prerequisite: admission to a graduate Reading Program. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

RDG 601 Cr.3

Literacy and Language Development for Diverse Learners

This course surveys theories of language acquisition and development in first and second languages and the role of language as a foundation for diverse learners. Students will examine theoretical perspectives, key concepts of language development and instruction, and major issues pertinent to teaching diverse learners. Emphasis will be on language knowledge and literacy knowledge in second language literacy development and effective instruction for English language learners. Prerequisite: admission to a graduate Reading Program. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

RDG 695 Cr.3

Supervision in Reading

Designed especially for supervising reading teachers having student teachers or teacher interns under their direction, and for other teachers interested in preparing for reading teacher supervising responsibilities. Emphasis on objectives of student teaching, orientation and induction, roles and responsibilities of personnel, instructional planning and implementation, process of supervision and post-instructional conferencing. Additional topics are Wisconsin PI34 expectations, the SoE Conceptual Framework, SoE programs, InTASC standards, Teacher Educator Standards, and the edTPA. Prerequisite: certification for teaching, a baccalaureate degree, and teaching experience; admission to the graduate Reading Program. Consent of instructor. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

RDG 702 Cr.3

Reading and Literacy in the Content Areas

The purpose of this course is to survey current theories and practices for developing readers and writers across all content areas. The course will focus on the development and integration of instructional practices for reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and visually representing in specific subject matters or disciplines and across the content areas. Prerequisite: admission to a graduate Reading Program. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

RDG 703 Cr.3

Literacy Assessment and Instruction

This course introduces students to the key elements of literacy assessment. It surveys a wide range of assessments and instructional interventions in literacy for a variety of learners. It prepares educators to develop theoretical and practical knowledge of effective, research-based interventions, and explores different areas of assessment in literacy, such as phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Prerequisite: admission to a graduate Reading Program. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

RDG 711 Cr.3

Advanced Research Methods in Literacy

The purpose of this course is to provide a comprehensive overview of qualitative and quantitative research purposes, questions, and decision-making tools. In this class, the focus will be on various epistemological, intellectual, and ethical conflicts associated with doing qualitative and quantitative inquiry in the fields of reading and literacy. During this course, students will be guided through the development of their own qualitative and/or quantitative research project on a topic of significance in reading and literacy. Prerequisite: RDG 600. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

RDG 712 Cr.3

Critical Issues in Reading Difficulties

The course is designed to develop competence in determining causes and degrees of reading disabilities, recommending specific corrective or remedial instruction to meet specific needs for students. This course will help reading professionals to investigate important factors of achievement gap in literacy learning and incorporate effective research-based modifications for diverse learners. The course content also focuses on practitioner inquiry, reflective practice, and the evolving concept of literacy shaped by the following trends: culturally responsive literacy curriculum, critical literacy, and new literacies. Prerequisite: RDG 601; taken concurrently with RDG 714; admission to a graduate Reading Program. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

RDG 714 Cr.3

Literacy Practicum

The purpose of this supervised practicum is to gain experience working with K-12 students who have been identified as "struggling" readers and/or writers in your school and/or community. A primary focus for this practicum is to gain experience assessing the strengths and needs of various individual learners, along with the design and implementation of instruction to assist students in becoming better readers and writers. Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment with RDG 712; admission to a graduate Reading Program. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

RDG 715 Cr.3

Children's and Adolescent Literature

This course highlights and analyzes new and recent trends in children's and young adult literature, acknowledging significant earlier texts and their distinguished features. It also considers curricular and pedagogical issues salient to the adoption of multicultural curricula. Prerequisite: admission to a graduate Reading Program. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

RDG 716 Cr.1-3

Special Topics Seminar in Reading Education

Special topics seminar in literacy is designed for the student to explore and study special topics of interest and their application in a reading program. The particular topic selected is to be determined by current need and interest. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Prerequisite: admission to a graduate Reading Program. Offered Spring, Summer.

RDG 718 Cr.3

Guiding and Directing a School-Wide Reading/Literacy Program

This course prepares reading teachers, specialists, coordinators, and administrators for directing textbook adoption, curriculum development, staff development, evaluation, and supervision of reading/writing programs. Prerequisite: taken concurrently with RDG 719; completed nine credits of graduate reading coursework; admission to a graduate Reading Program. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

RDG 719 Cr.1

Administrative Portfolio for Reading Specialist Licensure

This course is designed to assist and direct the graduate reading candidate in demonstration of proficiency in each of the Wisconsin administrative standards as applied to the Reading Specialist licensure. Prerequisite: taken concurrently with RDG 718; admission to a graduate Reading Program. Offered Fall.

RDG 770 Cr.1-3

Symposium in Reading Education

Studies in reading education of interest to specific groups. Varying topics will be offered at intervals with a specific title assigned to each. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Offered Occasionally.

RDG 780 Cr.1-2

Field Experience in K-12 Reading Program

An intensive and diverse professional experience in a school system (a minimum of 60 hours per credit) under supervision of an experienced reading specialist or other person responsible for the school reading program, and a university supervisor. Repeatable for credit - maximum two. Prerequisite: 15 credits of 500-700 level course work or equivalent. Offered Occasionally.

CI/RDG 781 Cr.3

Educational Supervision

Exploration of the nature and scope of responsibilities of areas in educational supervision. Special emphasis will be given to the improvement of instruction and curriculum development through the study of interpersonal relations. (Cross-listed with EDM/RDG; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Summer.

CI/EDM/EFN/RDG 796 Cr.1-2

Independent Study

Directed readings or presentation of material not available in formal departmental courses under the supervision of an assigned staff member. Repeatable for credit - maximum four. (Cross-listed with CI/EDM/EFN/RDG; may only earn four credits total in CI, EFN, EDM, and RDG.) Offered Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer.

RDG 799 Cr.3-6

Master's Thesis

Upon successful completion of required courses for the program, students will critically examine issue(s), problems, and trend(s) related to literacy education and write their master's thesis. They will complete a thesis under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Prerequisite: at least 21 credits or equivalent in the graduate Reading Program. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

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