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Reading Teacher (316)

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this program is to prepare the candidate to become a reading teacher and supply the required “competencies” of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for certification as Reading Teacher.  If you hold a license to teach, you may add on a Reading Teacher license (316) which extends your opportunities to teaching in Title One classrooms. 

In addition, all courses in this program taken at the graduate level can be applied to the requirements of the MST - Master of Science in Teaching Reading, providing that they are no more than 7 years old at the time you complete your MST degree.

If you want to obtain the 316 license but not pursue an MST-Reading degree, please contact the Department of Education Studies so that you can meet with one of the literacy faculty to plan your program. A certification plan must be signed by you and a member of the literacy faculty and given to the certification office so that your paperwork will be in order when you apply for certification.

Wisconsin DPI Rules for Certification
as a Reading Teacher

In order to be certified as a reading teacher you must:

  • Be eligible to hold a Wisconsin license to teach or have completed an approved teacher education program.
  • Have completed two years of successful regular classroom teaching experience.
  • Complete an approved program and receive institutional endorsement. The requirements for endorsement include: a minimum of 18 semester credits with at least 12 of those credits taken beyond the bachelor's degree. The 18 semester credits shall include a practicum in teaching reading at the elementary level and middle/secondary level and shall include the coursework below:

    - Developmental reading for grades Kindergarten through 12.
    - Assessment and instructional techniques for readers with special needs.
    - Language Development.
    - Learning Disabilities.
    - Content Area Reading.
    - Literature for Children or Adolescents.

  • Have a portfolio you create to demonstrate your competency approved by the literacy faculty.

UW-Eau Claire Courses for Certification

If you hold a teacher certification in the state of Wisconsin, you may already have course content in some of the above areas which will count towards the additional 316 certification.  These courses can be no more than 7 years old at the time you apply for your 316 license.  Specific UW-Eau Claire courses are listed below.  Each section below represents one of the required areas from DPI.  One or two courses are needed for each section as indicated. 

  CI 305: Reading Curriculum and Instruction in Grades 1-9 (3cr.) (undergraduate only)  or
  CI 450/650: Reading and the Young Child (3cr.) (spring)  or
  CI 726: Issues of Critical Literacy in Grades K-12 (3cr.) (offered odd year summers only)

  CI 753:  Facilitating Literacy Across the Curriculum (3cr.) (offered odd-year summers only) or
  CI 328/528: Content Area Reading and Study Strategies (2cr.) (fall/spring) and
  CI 464/664:  Clinical Experience in Content Area Reading (1cr.)

  CI 705: Literacy Assessment (3cr.) (summer, fall)and
  CI 706: Literacy Practicum (1cr.) (fall, spring) (705 is a prerequisite; this course is recommended as the last course in or near the end of your program.)

  CDIS 311/511:  Language Development and Disorders: Related Disciplines (3cr.) (summer, fall)

  SPED 330/530:  Introduction to Learning Disabilities (3cr.) (spring) or
  SPED 400/600:  Exceptional Child in Regular Classroom (3cr.) (summer, fall) or
  SPED 300/500:  Exceptional Education for Secondary Classroom Teachers (2cr.) (summer, fall)

  LMED 305/505:  Children’s Literature (3cr.) (fall, spring) or
  LMED 306/506:  Literature for Adolescents and Adults (3cr.) (fall, spring) or
  LMED 730:  (3cr.) (summer)

If you have a course that fits a requirement, but it will be more than seven years old at time of licensure, you must meet with a literacy faculty member to choose an alternative course.

Course Descriptions

Plan for Reading Teacher Certification

The certification plan must be filled out by the teacher and an advisor from the literacy program.  Please contact the Education Studies' office—(715) 836-2013—to be given an advisor if you are not applying for admission to the graduate program. 

Certification Plan form

Procedures for Applying for Certification

After you have completed the required courses and approval of your portfolio, as well as have taught for two years, you need to fill out the License Application for Initial In-State Administration or Reading, and send it, related documentation, and the required fee to our Certification and Licensure office (151 Brewer Hall) for processing.  The form can be found at

If your initial teaching certification is not from Wisconsin, please see the information from the WI DPI

Please note the following if you plan to continue for your MST-Reading degree:

If you intend to obtain certification as a Reading Teacher and then perhaps continue to work for the MST-Reading degree* with or without certification as a Reading Specialist:

  1. Apply for admission as an MST-Reading student.
  2. Obtain a copy of "Program for Master of Science in Teaching-Reading" from either the College of Professional Studies or the Education Studies Department. This explains the MST program in detail.
  3. Once accepted into the program, an advisor will be appointed to you as described in the program description.
  4. Complete with your advisor the attached Certification Plan.
  5. You can obtain certification as a Reading Teacher by completing the required coursework without enrolling in the master's program. For certification only, contact the Education Studies Department for an advisor to assist you with planning. However, it is recommended that you enroll immediately in the graduate program because courses taken beyond the 12 credits cannot be applied to a graduate degree unless you have been admitted to a graduate program.
  6. For undergraduate reading courses (e.g. CI 305, 328) to meet UWEC program certification approval (316, 317), the course must have been taken in the last seven (7) years from the date of application for the certification.

* You can earn certification as a Reading Teacher and use those graduate courses for the MST-Elementary Education degree or MEPD degree if you do not wish to pursue the MST-Reading degree.