The master of science in teaching reading is designed to further the competency of individuals who have already met full certification requirements for teaching in the elementary/middle or middle/secondary school. Enhancement of these competencies will provide the student with a greater degree of knowledge and understanding in the areas of reading methodology, program design, research leadership and the roles of reading teachers and specialists.
The MST Reading degree is administered by the department of education studies and prepares students for K-12 certification. This degree supplies the required competencies for K-12 State of Wisconsin certification as a reading teacher (316 License) and as a reading specialist (17 License).
The MST recipient will be expected to fulfill her/his role effectively as a practitioner, and as a result of new competencies will be able to:
• Direct and plan for the improvement of reading within total school curriculum.
• Understand and facilitate the reading comprehension processes as they relate to K-12 instruction.
• Assess and provide interventions for struggling readers.
• Apply supervision and leadership techniques for implementing the reading program.
• Develop students’ reading skills, interests and enjoyment at all levels and linguistic backgrounds.
• Direct the development of content area reading across the curriculum.
• Support the language foundations of reading.
• Access, critically interpret and implement current research in reading.
• Gain and provide professional growth as a specialist in reading.
• Provide strategies for working with culturally and linguistically diverse learners.
Procedures and admission criteria
To be admitted to the MST program, the student must have an overall 3.0 GPA. A program adviser, assigned by the graduate coordinator at the time of application for admission, will assist the student in developing a program of study that will meet her/his needs and requirements. The student’s Graduate Degree Program Plan must be returned by the third week of the semester after 15 credits have been completed. The plan must be approved before the term in which graduation is anticipated.
The student must complete a minimum of 30 credits of graduate course work. At least 15 of the 30 hours must be taken in courses open only to graduate students (courses numbered 700 and above). The professional education component contains four specific requirements: an education research course, ES 788; a language development course, CSD 311/511; a learning disabilities course, SPED 330/530 or SPED 400/600 for elementary education majors or SPED 300/500 for secondary education majors; and a children/adolescent literature course, LMED 305/505 for elementary education majors or LMED 306/506 for secondary education majors or LMED 730 for either certification. The area of specialization component requires: ES 705, 706, 726, 731, 741, 753, 765 and 768.
Final project options
The MST Reading program offers one exit option:
• Portfolio with an oral examination
A portfolio is required for both the 316 and 17 licenses by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. It provides an in-depth, long-term opportunity for student reflection, self-evaluation and synthesis of intellectual/professional development over the course of the master’s program. The candidate also must pass an oral examination prior to graduation.
Oral examination committees of three members of the graduate faculty will be established.
• U.S. News & World Report magazine consistently ranks UW-Eau Claire among the top public regional universities in the Midwest.
• Four UW-Eau Claire professors have been recipients of Wisconsin Professor of the Year awards.
The student applying to the MST program must have a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission or an equivalent program. The student must be certified to teach at the elementary, middle or high school level. Other degree holders who also are eligible include teacher certification areas such as special education, speech-language pathology or library and media.
• There are typically fewer than 15 students in an advanced course. Students get individual attention in and out of the classroom.
• Education students gain hands-on experience and research opportunities while working with clients in the Human Development Center on campus.
• According to the Supply and Demand data from the Department of Public Instruction, nearly 50 percent of reading teachers and specialists will retire in the next five years, making teachers with certification licenses or master’s degrees in high demand.