Reading Specialist Add-On Certification


Applicants to this program must

  • Provide a resume that documents at least three years of full-time regular teaching experience in a K-12 classroom and current teaching position in a K-12 classroom
  • Provide copies of teaching licenses or certificates1
  • Have a Reading Teacher (1316) license or equivalent1
  • Have a master's degree in reading or literacy
  • Research in reading or literacy
  • Completion of a successful criminal background check (initiated by UWL)

Criminal background check

The WI Department of Public Instruction (DPI) requires that candidates for admission to a teacher education, administration, or pupil services program successfully pass a criminal background check (CBC) as one criterion for admission. By applying for admission to one of these programs, candidates agree to provide the necessary personal information to UWL in order to initiate their CBC and to complete their portion of the process prior to the deadline specified in their admission letter. Teacher candidates are responsible for all costs associated with their criminal background check(s).


RDG 718Guiding and Directing a Schoolwide Reading/Literacy Program3
RDG 780Reading Specialist Practicum3

Program completion and eligibility for certification

Eligibility for Reading Specialist (5017) certification is contingent upon:

  • Cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0
  • Passing score on the WI Foundations of Reading Test 
  • Completed DPI employment verification form documenting completion of at least six semesters of employment of teaching experience in K-12 schools
  • Reading Specialist (5017) candidates must have earned a master's degree with an emphasis in reading 

Out of state license holders may contact the School of Education Certification Officer for assistance with applying for an equivalent WI license. Candidates must hold a WI license prior to endorsement for the 5017 license.