Reading Teacher Certificate

The Reading Teacher (1316) Certificate Program addresses the needs of students, school districts, and the community in building competency in literacy.

Teachers who complete this certificate program gain significant benefits. The Reading Teacher Certificate Program expands teachers' knowledge in literacy and trains them to become teacher leaders. The program reinforces many of the best practices in teacher education including constructivism, reflective practice, and transformation. The certificate program also allows participants to apply for financial aid.

This program is offered off campus - either online, face-to-face, or blended - throughout the state. Learning outcomes for the Reading Teacher Certificate Program are based on the standards from the International Literacy Association and have been approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as satisfying the competencies for a 1316 license.


Applicants to these programs must

  • Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in education and provide an official transcript
  • Provide a resume that documents at least one year of full-time regular teaching experience in a K-12 classroom and current teaching position in a K-12 classroom
  • Provide copies of teaching license or certificate
  • Have one of the following:
    • An overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.85 on a 4.00 scale, or
    • An average of at least 3.00 in the last half of all undergraduate work, or
    • An average of at least 3.00 for no fewer than 12 semester credits of graduate study at another accredited graduate institution
  • Complete 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).


(18 credits) 

RDG 601Literacy and Language Development for Diverse Learners3
RDG 702Disciplinary Literacy3
RDG 703Literacy Assessment and Instruction3
RDG 704Emergent Literacy3
RDG 714Reading Teacher Practicum3
RDG 715Children's and Adolescent Literature3
Total Credits18

Program completion and eligibility for certification

Eligibility for Reading Teacher (1316) certification is contingent upon:

  • Cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0
  • Passing score on the Foundations of Reading Test or holding a lifetime teaching license 
  • Hold a Tier II (or higher) WI teaching license1
  • Completed DPI employment verification form indicating at least two years of employment as the teacher of record in K-12 schools

Out of state license holders may contact the School of Education Certification Officer for assistance with applying for an equivalent WI teaching license.