Reading Specialist (WI 5017)

Degree Type
Area of Interest
Degree Level
College of Engineering, Letters, and Sciences

An online program that focuses on the social and political aspects of literacy, language variation, and the cultural and community influences on language acquisition and learning. Strength-based approaches to servant leadership, mentoring, coaching, and staff development emphasize positive change and contribution to the common good. Through a sociocultural lens, reading specialist candidates explore district literacy policy to identify and draw upon the literacies and strengths of the educators, parents, and the communities they serve.

  •  10-credits (3 courses) - fully online

Enrollment in the Reading Specialist  licensure only program requires an educational master's degree and the Reading Teacher 1316 license, otherwise it can be combined with the M.A. in Education as the area of emphasis for a total of 31 credit hours.   





Admission Requirements for all Graduate Programs in Education (degree, license, endorsement, or certificate) include the following, but may include additional program-specific admission requirements:

  • A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA for 12 graduate credits from an accredited institution in order to be admitted in good standing
  • Earned teaching or administrative license
  • One academic reference contact required for Wisconsin and Iowa Educational Leadership programs

All requirements for any graduate program in education must be completed within seven years from the date of application to the graduate program. Coursework must have been taken within the last seven years from the date of application to be applied to program requirements, with the exception of Iowa Educational Leadership programs which is limited to five years. 

A student must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to complete any graduate program in education and a grade of C or higher earned in all Viterbo University coursework. 

Students who have completed any Viterbo University graduate program within the last seven years may use up to 15 credits of eligible graduate level courses to satisfy the elective requirements for degree candidacy in the Master of Arts in Education Program

Students who have completed the Viterbo University Post-baccalaureate program within the last seven years may use up to fifteen credits of eligible graduate level courses toward the elective requirement for degree candidacy in the Master of Arts in Education Program

Wisconsin Reading Specialist License (WI 5017)

  • Possess a current Wisconsin Reading Teaching 1316 License
  • Demonstrated three years of regular full-time teaching experience
  • Have a master's degree in education OR be enrolled in Viterbo University's MAED program
  • Earn a passing score on the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test, as required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Transfer Credit

Wisconsin Reading Specialist License (WI 5017)

Graduate credits may not be transferred into this program

Learning Outcomes
  • Shared Vision of Learning: Ability to lead by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared by the school and community
  • Management of school culture and instructional programs: a) Ability to manage by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and b) Ability to ensure management of the organization, operations, finances, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment
  • Collaboration: Ability to collaborate with stakeholders, families, and community mentors—responding to diverse community interests, needs, and resources.
  • Ethical Leadership: Ability to act with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner
  • Public Relations: Ability to understand, respond to, and interact within larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context that affects schooling
  • Best Practices of Supervision and Communication: Ability to supervise and coach teachers and other school personnel through positive communication
  • Demonstrate the ability to align instructional practices to academic standards
    • Viterbo Teaching Standard and Core Values
    • Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PEL)
    • Wisconsin Model Academic Standards for English Language Arts
    • National Standards for the English Language Arts
    • Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) Standards
    • Common Core Teaching Standards