Become a Reading Teacher

Reading Teacher Certification (316)

Advance your teaching career and earn graduate credits via online courses to meet your professional development goals or renew a license.


How much will it cost?

2015-2016 - $415 per semester hour graduate credit ($1245 per course)

Each reading course is 3 graduate credits.

Tuition is the same for Wisconsin residents, out-of-state and international students.

Tuition Due Dates

Will I need to drive to campus on weekends or summers?

No travel to campus is required for weekend, summer or night classes. Totally online.

All classes are 100% online. Each student chooses the hour of the day (or night) to "attend class" that works best with family responsibilities and busy schedules. 

However, the courses are not self-paced. Specific assignments are due each week.

Reading Courses

  1. RDGED 701 Developmental Reading K-12

  2. RDGED 702 Reading in the Content Areas K-12

  3. Choose one literature course:
    RDGED 703 Children's Literature in the Reading Program
    RDGED 704 Young Adult Literature in the Reading Program

  4. RDGED 706 Assessment & Evaluation of Reading and Language Development

  5. RDGED 705 Instructional Techniques For Assisting Students with Reading Difficulties

  6. RDGED 707 Practicum in Reading Difficulties 
    Field-based teaching experience in your school/community.
    Requires successful completion with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in each of the five prerequisite reading courses: RDGED 701, 702, 703 or 704, 705, 706 to register for the Practicum and Consent of Instructor. 

May I enroll in one of the reading courses without taking the entire course sequence and without getting a Masters degree?

Yes, you may register for individual courses for continuing education, to complete a certification or renew a teaching license, to transfer credits to another university or another state's licensure program, or for personal professional development. 

When can I begin?

Each course is offered three times during the year. You may enroll in September, January or June.

How long will it take to complete the six courses?

If you enroll in one course per term, you may complete the certification in six semesters (two years). If you are teaching/working full-time, enrolling in one course per term is the recommendation of the reading faculty.
Recommended Course Sequence

Will the reading course credits apply to a Master's degree?

You may combine the reading teacher certification courses to fulfill the electives requirement in our online Master of Science in Education graduate degree.

Can I transfer previous reading credits into this program?

Review the transfer credit policy for the reading teacher certification program regarding previous graduate level literacy or reading coursework.

Who is eligible for a 316 reading teacher license in Wisconsin?

The reading teacher (WI #316) license is a supplemental/add-on teaching license, which requires at least two years of teaching experience and or eligibility of another teaching license. 

Library media specialists and speech-language pathologists may apply for add-on reading teacher licensure because they hold another teaching license.

School counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers (i.e. pupil services) may not apply for add-on reading teacher licensure unless they hold another type of teaching license.

The years of teaching experience do not have to be completed in Wisconsin. A long-term substitute teaching assignment, in Wisconsin or out-of-state for the minimum time of an entire semester, may count towards the total number of years in teaching experience for the reading teacher certification.

If you have questions about your current Wisconsin teaching license, obtaining a Wisconsin reading teaching license, or the verification of your teaching experience, please contact the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction at (608) 266-0452.


No application is required if you are enrolling in a single course for license renewal, transfer to another university, or professional development  (not the entire six-course sequence for certification). 

Complete the Online Registration Form. There is no registration fee to reserve a class.

When is the registration deadline?

The courses are very popular and fill early before each term begins.

 Register online early to reserve a spot.

Apply Now

Where is the application form if I plan to enroll in all six courses for Wisconsin certification?

Download the
Reading Teacher Certification Program Application Form

Email the form to Emily Hines at

Reading Program Admission Requirements

Applicants may apply for the Wisconsin 316 reading teacher license upon successful completion of the six courses and after taking and passing the Foundations of Reading Test. The reading courses provide numerous opportunities for students to become familiar with the item types that will appear on the assessment.

According to the Wisconsin State Statute ACT 166:
SECTION 21. 118.19 (14) (a) any person applying for a teacher license “…to teach in grades kindergarten to 5 or in special education, an initial license as a reading teacher, or an initial license as a reading specialist…” is required to take and pass the Foundations of Reading Test.

It is recommended that students wait to register for the test until the RDGED 707 Practicum has been completed. 

Information about the test fee, test dates, a list of the Pearson Test Centers located in Wisconsin, and how to register for the test.


Find Reading Teacher Jobs

Reading teacher certification (Wisconsin 316) is required for the following teaching assignments:

  1. A reading assignment for more than one class per day
  2. A reading assignment in a Title I program identified as a reading program
  3. A reading assignment in a reading recovery program, if not part of a self-contained classroom

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a reading specialist certification online program available?

Yes, check out the reading specialist certification program.

Do I need to apply for admission to the university's graduate program?

No, you do not need to apply for graduate admission to the university unless you are beginning the Masters of Science in Education degree program at University of Wisconsin-Stout. We welcome non-master's degree students. The prerequisite for enrolling is completion of an undergraduate bachelor's degree and a teaching license.

Answers to additional Frequently Asked Questions


  • No travel to campus is required during the week, on weekends or summers
  • Complete your Wisconsin reading teacher certification in 6 semesters
  • All online courses are offered three times each year
  • Expert facilitation by experienced K-12 reading educators
  • Small, highly interactive online classes
  • Professional quality projects for an e-portfolio to aid in job searches
  • Highly competitive tuition
  • Credits may also apply as electives in the Master of Science in Education graduate degree program
  • Field-based teaching experiences in your own school/community for early integration of meaningful fieldwork with your courses
  • Individual courses may be taken to meet professional development goals or to renew a teaching license or to transfer credit to another university
  • Accreditation

Request Info

If you have specific questions or need more information about the application and registration process, request information online. One of our program advisers will be in touch with you shortly or you may phone (715) 642-0209.

Register Now button

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Our Students Say...


I know the rigor of the UW- Stout program was key to my success in being offered a reading specialist and literacy coaching position with the DeForest Area School District. 

The interview team was clearly impressed when I presented items from my portfolio. I feel well prepared to take on this new and exciting challenge.”
~ Kathy Williams
DeForest, Wisconsin


"In addition to Reading Practicum RDGED 707, I also successfully completed 701 Developmental Reading K-12 and 706 Assessment and Evaluation. At the completion of the practicum, I will be awarded Reading Specialist certification through the state of Maryland.

Each of the UW-Stout reading courses has been extremely thorough and well-organized. I have gained invaluable insight into struggling readers and practiced a multitude of strategies in real-life context.

I know, without a doubt, that I will return to the course textbooks and print resources to guide me as I work with meeting the individual needs of my students. I have thoroughly enjoyed the classes and would recommend them to any of my colleagues interested in certification."

~ Patricia Muller
Reading Specialist - Centreville Middle School
Centreville, Maryland



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