Child Reading Book

Graduate Programs


The graduate Reading Program at UW-River Falls prepares educators to meet the needs of all readers in their classrooms. Students gain knowledge and skills in effective literacy classroom methods with a focus on using assessment data to guide differentiated instruction. The small cohort of graduate students begin their program of study in the fall and become a close-knit community, sharing insights and teaching experiences while working with practiced instructors and teachers.

Students may complete a certificate for Wisconsin reading teacher license or a master of science in education degree and Wisconsin reading specialist license. Both options meet the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requirements for licensure. Course curriculum follows the standards of the International Literacy Association.

Who Should Apply

  • Educators with at least two years of experience in elementary, middle, and secondary classrooms who want to strengthen their skills in developing literacy.

  • Educators seeking to become reading teachers or reading specialists.

Program Features

  • Convenient schedule of classes with online coursework and face-to-face instruction on one Saturday per month and during the summer.

  • Small cohort of peers, learning practical teaching strategies through in depth discussions with each other and expert faculty.

  • Curriculum reflects the needs of educators who want to implement effective literacy practices into their classrooms.

  • Complete the reading teacher certification within one year or continue on to earn master's degree and reading specialist license.

Program Curriculum

For Minnesota Teachers

This program is designed to prepare teachers for Minnesota certification in reading; however, it is the student's responsibility to ensure state licensing requirements are met. Minnesota residents may qualify for tuition reciprocity and can find more information and apply here.

Admission Process

In addition to the General Admission Process for graduate study at UWRF, applicants will also show that they are certified teachers with two years of regular classroom teaching experience.

NOTE: A criminal background check is not required as part of the application, but will be required for all accepted students prior to formal admission. Accepted students will receive an email from the College of Education and Professional Studies Associate Dean about this process. Indications of any criminal history on the background check are not considered in the application review process but may require a meeting with the college Associate Dean. Additionally, the program cannot guarantee any graduate an educational license nor job opportunities. Some licensing agencies and some school districts may choose not to consider applicants with criminal histories. 

"I loved the monthly in-person meetings; it's what sets River Falls apart. The ability to share questions and concerns with one another built a support system I came to rely on."

"The program was well designed to accommodate our full-time careers and families."

Ashley Zierl
Elmwood School District, Wisconsin 

For More Information

Hiawatha Smith

Dr. Hiawatha Smith
College of Education, Business and Allied Health

Pamela Bowen
Program Manager

Contact Us

Admissions Office
M-F 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
103 David Rodli Hall