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ReadOregon - FAQs

General questions

1. What is the 24-credit Reading Endorsement?
It is a specialty area endorsement added to a preK-12 teaching license that provides evidence of teaching proficiency in reading and writing. It is also referred to as a Reading Specialist Endorsement. PSU’s reading endorsement programs are designed specifically for those planning careers as Title 1 teachers, reading specialists, literacy coaches, consultants, and district-level reading and language arts coordinators. A reading endorsement is also useful for classroom teachers wanting more knowledge about literacy and teaching students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. You must be formally enrolled at PSU to earn the Reading Specialist Endorsement.

2. What is the 12-credit Certificate of Literacy?
The 12-credit graduate-level Certificate of Literacy is comprised of three credits of coursework in two thematic areas (Literacy for Diverse Learners and Literacy Strategies and Methods) plus six credit hours of electives. The Certificate will not qualify a teacher for the Endorsement but teachers may use the Certificate as a stepping stone to the Reading Specialist Endorsement You do not have to be formally admitted to Portland State University to earn the Certificate of Literacy.

3. I have taken some literacy-related courses or courses similar to the ones in the ReadOregon online catalog at another university. Do I have to take all the courses? 
That depends. Because so much variance exists in how institutions structure their programs and courses, you may submit a substitution form to PSU’s ReadOregon advisor (Dr. Susan Lenski). Attach a syllabus or detailed course description with the waiver. The course must have been taken at the graduate level from an accredited university within the last seven years from date of admission. The waiver needs to be approved by both PSU’s ReadOregon advisor and the chair of PSU’s Curriculum and Instruction Department.

4. How is ReadOregon organized? 

Students must take a course from each of six thematic areas, complete two electives, and do a supervised practicum. You may take courses at any of the three cooperating universities.

5. What are the requirements for earning a reading endorsement at PSU?

  • Admission to the program (both PSU and Graduate School of Education). 
  • Completion of the required 24-credits in each of the six thematic areas and the final practicum 
  • Passing the Reading Specialist Praxis test 
  • Following steps for program completion for the endorsement to be added to your teaching license

6. What if I have a Basic or Standard teaching license? 
Program requirements and admission procedures vary from Initial license holders if you have a Standard or Basic License. Currently, TSPC allows teachers with a Basic or Standard license to pass the PRAXIS Reading Specialist test and complete a Practicum. However, PSU’s ReadOregon Program requires that in order for you to be permitted to complete a Practicum, at least 12 literacy credit hours of the program must be PSU courses and/or courses from the ReadOregon online catalog. The Practicum Application lists the required courses. After passing your test and completing the 12 credits plus Practicum, you apply directly to TSPC for the reading endorsement. Because you are applying directly to TSPC for your endorsement, formal admission to PSU is not required. Please note that TSPC grants an endorsement with a Practicum and completion of the Reading Specialist Praxis test; however some districts and other states hire based on the completion of a full Program (total of 24 credits for ReadOregon).

7. What are the admission procedures if I have an Initial Teaching License? 

Check the ReadOregon admissions page for instructions. You do not need to be formally admitted to earn the 12-credit Literacy Certificate of Completion

8. Does this program qualify for financial aid? 
Taking courses in this program could allow you to qualify for financial aid if you are in a PSU master’s program. Contact Portland State’s Office of Financial Aid for more information at 503-725-3461.

9. How much does the program cost? 
Program admission and completion fees are approximately $250-300. Books and materials average about $75-100 per course (a few courses do not require a specific textbook, but instead require a range of various readings).

10. Can courses be taken for undergraduate credit? 
No, all courses must be taken at the graduate-level to count towards the Reading Endorsement.

Course, schedule, and registration questions

1. How do I register for ReadOregon program courses? 
You must take Reading Endorsement courses at the graduate-level in order for them to apply to a Reading Endorsement. Click here for registration instructions and also for information about how to create your student account. Because our courses are fully online, we send out course information via your email address. You can go in to your mail settings and have your email forwarded to a preferred address.

2. When are your courses held? 
All ReadOregon courses are online, using a web-based course management system called D2L. You will need a PSU ID number to access your online course.

3. Should the courses be taken in a certain order? 
There is no requirement that courses be taken in a certain order. However, we strongly recommend that you take all 21 credits before doing the final practicum.

4. How quickly can I complete the Reading Endorsement program at Portland State? 
That depends on your schedule. Each term you will have many classes to choose from since all three cooperating universities in ReadOregon have agreed to accept each others’ courses. You can access the ReadOregon online catalog to locate courses at Eastern and Southern Oregon universities.

5. Can I get my endorsement at the same time as my Initial Teaching License? 
No, because the endorsement must be added to an existing teaching license. If you are a student in Portland State’s GTEP program or another college/university program leading to initial licensure, you can begin taking Reading Endorsement courses concurrently. We strongly recommend that you first complete at least two terms of GTEP (or your basic teaching methods courses if you are at another institution) before starting endorsement program courses. You cannot do your final Reading Endorsement practicum until after meeting all requirements for initial licensure.

6. I looked for Portland State's ReadOregon courses in the Portland State Bulletin/Schedule of Classes, but I can't find them. Where and how do I find out when they are offered? 
You can search the PSU Class Schedule for ReadOregon courses. Some are located in Curriculum and Instruction, some in ReadOregon and some in Library in the pull down menu.

7. I'm not yet admitted to Portland State and the Graduate School of Education. Can I still take courses? 
Yes. You do not have to be formally admitted to take courses however you will have to be formally admitted, both to the Graduate School of Education and to Portland State University, in order to earn your reading endorsement and have us recommend you to TSPC. 

8. Do all six credits of Theme 6 (Literature) need to be literature courses? 
PSU highly recommends that you take at least 3 credits of literature for Theme 6. However, if you have had a lot of graduate level literature courses in your previous programs of study, then you may use courses from Thematic Areas 1-5 for the six required Elective credits in Theme 6.

9) How long do I have to complete the program? Typically, students do the coursework and practicum within 2 years of applying to the program. If you need to take a leave of absence you must let the faculty advisor and program manager know. You will be automatically withdrawn from the program if you don’t do any coursework within 10 years of your first class and will need to reapply to the program.

Practicum questions

1. I have some K-12 reading-related teaching experience. Do I have to take the practicum? 
Yes. The practicum is supervised by a mentor teacher. PSU’s ReadOregon advisor will work with you and your mentor supervisor to make sure you meet the competencies of a reading specialist.

2. What is involved in doing the ReadOregon practicum? 
You must be admitted to PSU and the Graduate School of Education. You need at least 12 credits of ReadOregon courses in the four required thematic areas before you can take the Practicum. (Note: if you have an initial teaching license, it is strongly recommended that you complete 21 credits of ReadOregon courses before taking the practicum.) PSU’s field placement coordinator will place you with a cooperating teacher; a reading coach, or literacy coordinator in your school or district with a reading endorsement. You will be expected to complete 90 hours of university literacy fieldwork in K-12 grades.

3. How and when do I let you know I want to do my practicum?
Request a practicum by completing the ReadOregon Practicum Sign-Up form. Do this one term in advance of when you plan to do your practicum in order to allow time to arrange for a University supervisor, and for a placement, if needed. Practicum application deadlines are:

May 15

For fall term practicum beginning late-September 

October 15

For winter term practicum beginning early January 

January 15

For spring term practicum beginning late-March/early April

In addition, please email an electronic copy of your resume to Indicate "ReadOregon program" in the subject line. If you have any questions about your practicum placement, please contact Penny Jasso.

Please note that the practicum is offered during the Academic Year only and will require you to register and pay, just like any other ReadOregon course.

4. Can I do my practicum during the summer? 
No. Summer school programs typically do not provide enough student contact hours to meet practicum requirements.

5. I'm a full-time teacher. Will I have to take time off to do my practicum? Am I going to be able to do the practicum for the Reading Endorsement in my own school? Who will supervise my practicum?
Most full-time teachers either have enough students in their own classroom(s) or are able to make arrangements to work cooperatively with teaching colleagues who do, so that practicum requirements can be met while working. Practicum assignments in the ReadOregon Reading Endorsement Program are designed to be school-based so that you will be able to work directly with students and faculty in your school. Your ReadOregon advisor may ask you to design school-wide or other class interventions in order to practice the many roles of a reading specialist. Your principal or a district reading specialist may be asked to verify the work that you do.

8. I only have one class left to take and I want to do my practicum as soon as possible. Can I take my final class and do my practicum at the same time? 
Yes, but the 12 credits of prerequisite work must be completed before registering for the practicum.

9. Where will I do my practicum? You may do your practicum in your own classroom as long as there is someone in the building who has their reading endorsement who can be your cooperating teacher. If you are not working at the moment, we can find a placement for you. You must do your practicum at the level at which you are authorized to teach.

Praxis test questions

1. Which Praxis test do I have to pass for this endorsement? 
As required by TSPC, you must pass the Reading Specialist Praxis test. This is a standardized test administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). We recommend that you take the Praxis test near or just after completion of your endorsement program coursework. When you take the test, be sure to request that score results be sent to you, TSPC, and Portland State.

Program completion questions

1. I have finished all the program requirements. What do I need to do to get the endorsement added to my license? 
Follow instructions for Program Completion.

2. How long does it take to get the endorsement added to my license once I turn in all the required materials to Portland State?
It may take up to 3-4 weeks for Portland State to review your file and complete all required steps before we can recommend you to TSPC.  TSPC also takes a little longer to process applications in April and mid-June through September.  They will send you your updated license showing that the endorsement has been added. If you need evidence of the endorsement prior to that time, for your school district or for hiring purposes, please check the educator license inquiry at the TSPC website