Program Requirements — Master of Arts in Reading Instruction

The Master of Arts in Reading Instruction (MARI) program is designed to prepare classroom teachers to become Reading Specialists.  The courses will develop candidates' skills in assessment and tutoring with individual students, writing reports based on assessment and observation, and working collaboratively with other school personnel.  The MARI program is intended for practicing certified teachers who seek to prepare themselves for positions and responsibilities as Reading Specialists or Literacy Coaches. 

Candidates can choose to complete the degree option leading to certification as a Reading Specialist or the reading endorsement option, leading to an endorsement as a Reading Teacher. Courses and requirements for both degree and endorsement candidates are aligned with the Reading Specialist Standards (2003) of the IRA.

Reading Specialist (36 semester hours)

Full-time coursework leading to the degree consists of 6 semester hours per term for a total of 18 semester hours per year and 36 semester hours for the M.A.R.I. degree. Of the 36 semester hours, 6 involve a supervised clinical practicum in assessment and instruction with struggling readers. The program also involves candidates in various field experiences in which they apply course content to their classroom instruction, to individual work with a struggling reader, or to developing coaching and collaboration skills.  The candidate must pass the Reading Specialist content test (176).

  • 30 semester hours in content classes related to literacy, an action research project, and supervision and administration for reading specialists ‡
  • 6 semester hours of a supervised clinical practicum involving assessment and tutoring with struggling readers

Reading Endorsement (24 semester hours)
Coursework leading to the endorsement consists of 24 semester hours spread out over the course of six terms. Due to the fact that the endorsement candidates do not take all courses, there may be terms when they are not enrolled for the full 6 semester hours.
Endorsement candidates complete 6 semester hours of a supervised clinical practicum involving assessment and instruction with struggling readers. The program also involves them in various field experiences in which they apply course content to their classroom instruction, to individual work with a struggling reader, or to developing coaching and collaboration skills.  The candidate must pass the Reading Teacher content test (177).

  • 18 semester hours in content classes related to literacy
  • 6 semester hours of a supervised clinical practicum involving assessment and tutoring with struggling readers

The following areas are required by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE):

  1. Foundations of reading
  2. Content-area reading
  3. Assessment and diagnosis of reading problems
  4. Developmental and remedial reading instruction and support
  5. Developmental and remedial materials and resources
  6. Literature appropriate to students in all grade levels

Admission Requirements for the M.A.R.I. Program
In addition to the general University “Graduate Admission Requirements and Procedures,” the following are required for entrance into the M.A.R.I. Program:

  1. Current teaching certificate
  2. Two years of teaching experience prior to beginning of graduate studies for the M.A.R.I.
  3. One letter of recommendation from the candidate’s immediate supervisor

Transfer Credit
The College of Education Graduate Faculty Com
mittee may accept a maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate credit from regionally accredited institutions of higher learning for application toward elective degree requirements. Transfer credit must be accepted prior to enrollment in the first M.A.R.I. course. Graduate faculty reserve the right to decide on the applicability of any and all transfer credit.

Candidates requesting transfer credits must submit a “Request for Transfer Credit” form with their admission application. All courses must be less than five years old at the time of admission and must be completed with a grade of “B” or better. An official transcript must be provided. It is University policy that no more than 6 semester hours taken as a “Student-at-Large” may be applied toward a graduate degree program.


Attendance Policy: All Graduate Education Programs
Attendance is mandatory at all class sessions. If a candidate is to be absent for any reason, he/she must discuss the expected absence with the course instructor before it occurs.


Academic Standards and Evaluation in Graduate Education Programs
Upon completion of each course, a letter grade is assigned to each candidate. At the graduate level, a “C” grade indicates less than complete mastery of the content and methods of the course. Only two grades of “C” are accepted at the graduate level in the M.A.R.I. program and they must be balanced by two course grades of “A”. If a “C” is received within the first three courses, the candidate may be removed from the program by action of the program faculty.

 


Courses in the MARI program--for cohorts starting fall 2008 and later

Content area classes (semester hours)

  • EDU6310 Effective Word Study Instruction (3)
  • EDU6320 Effective Comprehensive Instruction (3)
  • EDU6330 Literacy in the Content Areas (3)
  • EDU6340 Assessment of Literacy Learning (3)
  • EDU6350 Teaching Reading to Diverse Learners (3)
  • EDU6370 Texts for Children (3)

Practicum class

  • EDU6410 Practicum in Reading (6)

Additional classes for degree candidates

  • EDU6300 Professional Research in Literacy Learning I (3)
  • EDU6400 Professional Research in Literacy Learning II (3)
  • EDU6380 Supervision and Administration in Literacy I (3)
  • EDU6390 Supervision and Administration in Literacy II (3)