Reading Specialist Program Requirements


The Reading Specialist advanced program will allow you, through authentic, research-based activities, to gain the additional skills in instruction, assessment, strategies and programs need to make a positive impact on readers with and without exceptionalities (dyslexia included).


  1. Admission to the Graduate School as a non-degree bound Category A student
  2. Initial, valid license in teaching in the state of Kansas
  3. Complete and submit the Reading Specialist Attestation Form


To obtain a Reading Specialist endorsement, the Kansas Department of Education (KSDE) requires:

  1. 16 hours of reading specialist coursework, including a practicum, and
  2. a master's degree. In addition, the State of Kansas requires candidates who complete a reading specialist program and want this conditional endorsement to possess
  3. two years' teaching experience in an accredited P-12 school,
  4. a valid Kansas license, and
  5. passing scores on the reading content test required by the Kansas State Board of Education (KSBE).

Candidates who meet the above criteria must then apply for conditional endorsement as a reading specialist through the College of Applied Studies Advising Center Office by completing the appropriate form and paying the licensure fee. The KSBE requires a candidate receiving the conditional license as a reading specialist to complete a year-long internship as a reading specialist to receive the professional reading specialist license under the mentorship of a licensed Reading Specialist. The internship is housed within your employing school district.

Steps for Obtaining an Initial Reading Specialist License

  • Complete the approved Reading Specialist endorsement program.
  • Achieve a passing score of 165 on the ETS Content Assessment for Reading Specialist--test code 5302. Register for the exam at
  • Secure a position as a Reading Specialist
  • Apply for an "Initial School Specialist License" - this is KSDE Form 1. Upon submission, it will go to the College's Licensure Officer for final completion and submission to KSDE. Allow 4-6 weeks for processing the application.
  • Must hold valid Kansas Professional Teaching License which requires completion of two years of teaching/mentoring.

Steps for Obtaining a Professional Reading Specialist License

  • Complete the year-long district-administered mentoring program and then contact KSDE for a "Professional School Specialist License" application, Form 21.
    • Each applicant for an initial professional Reading Specialist license shall submit to the state board the following:
      • Verification of successful completion of the school specialist performance assessment prescribed by the state board while employed in a school accredited by the state board or by a national or regional accrediting agency recognized by the state board;
      • Verification of at least one year of recent accredited experience or at least eight semester hours of recent credit;
      • An application for professional Reading Specialist license; and
      • Licensure fee.
    • KSDE will mail the license directly to the candidate. Allow KSDE 4-6 weeks for processing the application.

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Program Checksheet

Course Title Credit Hours Semester
ISLE 615 Learning and Reading Strategies 3 Spring
ISLE 705 Science of Reading 2 Summer
ISLE 714 Reading instruction and assessment 3 Fall
ISLE 734 Interventions for Dyslexia & other Reading related disorders 3 Fall
ISLE 736 Dyslexia and the Brain 2 Summer
ISLE 821 Dyslexia and Literacy Practicum 3 Spring

Program Outline

Generally, candidates complete one reading specialist course per semester and two during the summer. Most will be able to complete coursework in two years. Candidates are strongly encouraged to consult the advisor for the program to develop a Plan of Study. Candidates who do not hold a master's degree will need three to four years to complete both the master's degree and the reading specialist program.