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Concentration Area

Reading Specialist PK-12

The Instructional Specialist Reading program is intended for the teaching practitioner in settings from early childhood through adolescence and young adulthood.

Through the program, the candidates will learn to deal more effectively with diverse candidate learners and move from theory to best practice in the field. The Reading Specialist PK-12 serves practicing teachers, elementary or secondary, who wish to acquire initial reading specialist licensure with a master’s degree in Kansas. It is based on the International Literacy Association’s Standards for Reading Professionals (ILA: formerly the International Reading Association). In 2009, the International Reading Association awarded ESU the Certificate of Distinction for the elementary education reading program.

The master’s degree does not require Kansas state licensure completion and is open to out-of-state applicants. The program is available online and is designed to:

  • provide specialized training for teachers to work with children in the classroom or in reading programs;
  • enhance a teacher’s expertise in reading to serve as a district- or building-level leader as an instructional specialist, reading teacher, or literacy coach;
  • provide coursework that may be transferred to other states with the approval of the licensing state;
  • prepare educators for teaching reading and language arts in a community college;
  • provide master’s level preparation for doctoral programs in reading and language arts;
  • provide the coursework and requirements for a Kansas Initial Specialist License—Reading Specialist through an accredited program. The ESU Reading Specialist Program is accredited by the Kansas State Department of Education and NCATE.


Students who have earned a previous master’s degree may enroll as a Licensure Only student and will only need to complete a 19-hour program. See the details for the plan.pdf.

Program of Study

Introductory Core Courses (15 hours)

EL 751

Application of Developmental Theories

3 hrs

EL 810

Information Literacy

3 hrs

EL 725

Differentiating Instruction

2 hrs

EL 854

Action Research in the Classroom

3 hrs

EL 828

Instructional Leadership and Coaching

2 hrs

EL 829

Leadership & Coaching Practicum

2 hrs

Reading Specialist Concentration (15 hours)

EL 721 Reading Theory and Literacy Practices: Elementary 3 hrs
EL 723 Reading Theory and Literacy Practices: Secondary 3 hrs
EL 821 Curriculum and Standards in the Literacy Environment 3 hrs
EL 823 Analysis of Reading Assessment and Instruction 3 hrs
EL 827 Assessing and Instructing Learners: Literacy Practicum 3 hrs

In response to the increasing conversation surrounding dyslexia and the science of reading, Emporia State is offering a new series of courses on dyslexia.

This online series is designed following the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading.

Course inquiries, contact:
Teddy Roop, Ph.D.

Application questions, contact:
Erin Tuttle