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ReadOregon - FAQs

General questions

1. 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.

2. 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

3. 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).

4. 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.

Course, schedule, and registration questions

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 in order to earn your reading endorsement and have us recommend you to TSPC. 

5. 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.

6. How long do I have to complete the program? Typically, students do the coursework and practicum within 2 years of applying to the program. You have seven years to complete the coursework and practicum

Practicum questions

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

2. What is involved in doing the ReadOregon practicum? 
You will be expected to complete 90 hours of university literacy fieldwork in K-12 grades. You need at least 12 credits of ReadOregon courses in the four required thematic areas before you can take the 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.

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.

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.