ReadOregon - FAQs
- What is the 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 wishing for more knowledge about literacy as well as teaching students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
- How is the Portland State program organized?
Teachers who want a reading endorsement have two choices at Portland State University. You can take on-campus coursework through the Literacy Education Program or you can take classes online through ReadOregon. Both state-approved programs consist of coursework, practicum, and up-to-date applications of theories that are aligned with the Teachers Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) requirements and based on the International Reading Associations (IRA) Standards for Reading Professionals.
The Graduate School of Education offers an on-campus (face-to-face) 27-credit reading endorsement that currently has an elementary and secondary track. Please view this site for details: www.pdx.edu/ci/reading-endorsement-program.
Contacts for the Graduate School of Education endorsements:
- Secondary track: Dr. Susan Lenski, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elementary track: Dr. Jason Ranker, email@example.com
In addition, Portland State University is part of a collaboration of five universities that together offer a 24-credit reading endorsement, ReadOregon, through fully online courses.
If you are interested in taking ReadOregon courses, please first submit an easy online application at: www.readoregon.org/application.htm.
All ReadOregon information is online: www.readoregon.org/rdgspecialist.htm
- What is the 12-credit Certificate of Completion?
The 12-credit graduate-level Certificate of Literacy is comprised of three credits of coursework in each of the core areas of Literacy for Diverse Learners and Literacy Strategies and Methods plus six credit hours of electives. Required core courses are integral to the Reading Endorsement program; teachers can use the Certificate as a stepping stone to the Reading Specialist Endorsement. The Certificate will not qualify a teacher for the Endorsement.
If you are interested in the Certificate of Literacy, you may apply to PSU as a post-baccalaureate student or take up to eight credits per term without formal admission to the Graduate School of Education or Office of Admissions at PSU.
A certificate of completion in literacy education is granted to the student once 12-credits from literacy education courses are completed. See Program Completion.
- What are the basic requirements for earning an online Reading Endorsement through Portland State University's ReadOregon distance learning program?
- Admission to the program (both PSU and Graduate School of Education).
- Completion of the required credits for program courses in each of the six thematic areas and the final practicum—a total of 24 credits
- Passing the Reading Specialist Praxis test
- Following steps for program completion for the endorsement to be added to your teaching license
- 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 courses needed. 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).
- What are the admission procedures if I have an Initial Teaching License?
If you are interested in taking ReadOregon courses, please first submit an easy online application here. Students interested in earning their reading endorsement (24 credits) through ReadOregon must be admitted through one of five universities as their "home" institution. Admissions information for Portland State University information is below. Admissions information for the other four institutions can be found at their respective websites: The other four institutions are:
- Eastern Oregon University
- Oregon State University
- Southern Oregon University
- Western Oregon University
All students interested in earning the 24-credit Reading Specialist Endorsement through Portland State University must be formally admitted to the University and to the Graduate School of Education prior to the practicum. For PSU ReadOregon transfer credit guidelines, please see general info.
You do not need to be formally admitted to earn the Literacy Education Course of Study (12 credits).
Step 1: Apply for graduate admission to Portland State University
Apply for graduate admissions to Portland State University using the paper application.
- All applicants wishing to earn their reading endorsements through ReadOregon must fill out the university application and pay the corresponding $50 fee unless you are currently enrolled in a Portland State University Master’s or Doctorate program *
- Enter EDCI for degree and READ for major.
- Be sure to indicate the term you intend to take a course as your admission term. You must take a course the term you are admitted to the program or your admission will be automatically cancelled by the university Office of Admissions.**
- If you are considering pursuing a MS/MA at PSU Graduate School of Education, there is a limit of 15 transfer credits, including Portland State University credits, taken before formal admission to the master’s program. You may want to consider officially applying for the endorsement and masters at the same time. Please visitwww.pdx.edu/ci for complete information on the MA/MS in Curriculum and Instruction.
- Masters degrees must be completed within seven years. This seven year period begins with the earliest course being counted towards the master’s degree and ends with the quarter in which the student applies for graduation, i.e. if a student completes all courses in seven years but does not apply for graduation by the end of the seven year period, additional courses may need to be taken. Students completing the program must also take a class during their term of graduation.
Step 2: Apply online for admission to the ReadOregon program in the Graduate School of Education
- Use this link to access our online program application. Create a free account, or log in if you’ve already created one. Be sure to write down the user name and password that you receive so that you can return to the site and track the progress of your application as it is reviewed.
- Click the Create New Application button
- Select ReadOregon (fall/winter/spring/summer)
- Fully complete all pages of the online application. You can save and return to your application before it is completed but you must click the Submit Application Now button when it is complete.
- You will find instructions for submitting your references, transcripts, teaching license and resume on page 1 of the application.
Faculty will review your applications only after all materials have been received. After the application review is complete, departmental decisions will be mailed to you and are subject to final approval by the university Office of Admissions. You will be notified of your official admission status via a second letter from the Office of Admissions
*If you are currently enrolled in a graduate program (MA/MS, Ed.D) at Portland State, please submit a completed GO-19 Form with your application packet to the Graduate School of Education. You do not need to reapply to PSU. This form takes the place of the Graduate Admissions form and corresponding $50 fee.
**It is a University requirement that students register and pay for at least one credit in the term they are admitted. Failure to do so will result in automatic cancellation of your admission. If you need to change the term for which you intend to begin classes after you have submitted your application, please contact the ReadOregon coordinator at 503-725-9786 to discuss your options.
Literacy Education Course of Study (12 credits)
Students pursuing the Literacy Education Course of Study may apply to Portland State University as a postbaccalaureate student or take up to eight credits per term without formal admission to the Graduate School of Education or Office of Admissions at PSU. A certificate of completion in literacy education is granted to the student once 12 credits from literacy education courses are completed. See Program Completion.
- 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 or www.pdx.edu/finaid.
- How much does the program cost?
Currently, all ReadOregon participating universities have agreed to charge no more than $359/credit. While costs are likely to increase over time, currently a three-credit graduate course costs $1,077. If you have applied to be part of the ReadOregon program (www.readoregon.org/application.htm), and if you paid more than $1,077 for a course that can be used in the ReadOregon program (e.g., literature courses used as electives), you will be refunded the extra amount you paid after you successfully complete the course.
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).
- Can courses be taken for undergraduate credit?
No, all courses must be taken at the graduate-level to count towards the Reading Endorsement.
- I'm not yet admitted to Portland State and the Graduate School of Education. Can I still take courses?
Yes, however we would like to make sure you receive critical updates about ReadOregon and its courses, so please complete the quick online application at the ReadOregon website: www.readoregon.org/application.htm
Because our courses are fully online, we send out course information via email. If you are registering for a PSU course before completing the online application at ReadOregon’s website, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and preferred email address. This will ensure that you receive course instructions in a timely manner. If we do not have your preferred email address, we will use your Odin (pdx.edu) email address.
- When are your courses held?
All ReadOregon courses are online, currently using a web-based course management system called D2L. For more information, visit www.pdx.edu/psuonline.
- How quickly can I complete the Reading Endorsement program at Portland State?
That depends on how many courses you are willing or able to fit in your schedule and around other life activities. ReadOregon is a collaborative of five universities who have agreed to accept each others’ courses, so each term, you will have a wide array of classes to choose from. Go to www1.ous.edu/ousweb/plsql/owrf_course_show_theme for ReadOregon’s online catalog. On the left, you will see the designations for the grade levels that the course addresses:
ECE = Early Childhood Education
EL = Elementary
MID = Middle School
HIGH = High School
On the right, an “x” will tell you which term the course is offered. Clicking on the course title will take you to a full course description. You will also be directed to the appropriate university’s website for course registration if you want to take the course (you must register at the university offering the course).
- 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.
- Should the courses be taken in a certain order?
There is no requirement that courses be taken in a certain order. Although you may take the Practicum after you have completed 12 credits of ReadOregon courses in the four required thematic areas (see Practicum Sign-up form), we strongly recommend that you take all 21 credits before doing the final practicum.
- 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?
PSU’s ReadOregon courses are offered through Continuing Education (CEED) in the Graduate School of Education and can be accessed through the Continuing Education Course Catalog found HERE. You can also search the PSU Class Schedule for ReadOregon courses.
- 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.
- Is your program available online?
Yes, all of our courses are fully online. You will never need to travel to our campus for a class (although you are always welcome to visit whenever you are in the area).
- 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 waiver 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- What is involved in doing the ReadOregon practicum?
If you are doing the full 24-credit ReadOregon program, 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 Reading-endorsed cooperating teacher. You will be expected to complete 90 hours of university literacy fieldwork in K-12 grades. If you are already teaching, you need to arrange for a Reading-endorsed colleague: a teacher with a reading endorsement, a reading coach, or literacy coordinator in your school or district to serve in this role for you.
- 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:
June 30 For fall term practicum beginning late-September October 1 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 email@example.com. 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. You must do your practicum at your "home" institution.
- Can I do my practicum during the summer?
No. Summer school programs typically do not provide enough student contact hours to meet practicum requirements.
- I just finished my teacher licensure program and want to do my practicum as soon as possible, but I don’t know when I will get a teaching job. What should I do?
Submit your practicum application as described above and indicate that you want a placement. Then, if you are hired for a teaching position, inform the Field Placement coordinator as soon as possible. We work with you to determine if you are able to complete practicum requirements in your own classroom.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Note: Score requirements are listed on the TSPC website.
Some study suggestions you might want to pursue include:
- Review notes and assignments from your endorsement courses
- Review the sample test questions available at the ETS website
- Check out test preparation study guides that can be purchased at bookstores or online
- Form your own study group with friends and classmates
- Seek guidance from a Reading-endorsed teacher who has passed the test
- 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.
- 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.