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Sources: Lotta Larson, 785-532-5135, ell444@k-state.edu;
and Laurie Curtis, 785-532-7623, ljcurtis@k-state.edu
Website: http://www.dce.k-state.edu/education/reading
News release prepared by: Jared Betts, 785-532-5888, betts290@k-state.edu

Thursday, July 15, 2010

K-STATE OFFERING ONLINE READING SPECIALIST ENDORSEMENT PROGRAM FOR KANSAS TEACHERS

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's College of Education and the Division of Continuing Education are offering an online reading specialist endorsement program for K-12 educators interested in building experience in teaching reading, and in providing support and intervention for struggling readers in Kansas.

The 18-credit-hour endorsement program, which begins this fall, is approved and accredited by the Kansas State Department of Education and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Educators.

By completing the program, teachers who already hold a valid professional teaching license in Kansas can qualify for an endorsement in the reading specialist area from the state Department of Education.

Lotta Larson, assistant professor of elementary education at K-State, says reading specialists help enhance reading performance amidst the challenges of diverse cultural, linguistic, academic and social backgrounds of their students.

"They particularly support those students who struggle," Larson said. "Demands for reading specialists who provide expert instruction and literacy leadership increase as schools strive to meet accountability goals and perform well on high-stakes tests."

Licensed reading specialists also can provide ongoing professional development as literacy leaders within their schools, fostering cost-effective teacher development during tough economic times in Kansas school districts.

"Schools are expected to meet the needs of students of all abilities, and having teachers knowledgeable in reading development is critical," said Laurie Curtis, assistant professor of elementary education at K-State. "It is essential that teachers have a strong understanding of how to support the reading development of students of all ages. Learning to read unlocks all other academic content."

The endorsement program requires completion of the following courses: Approaches to Reading Instruction, Theoretical Models of Reading, Literacy Assessment, Supporting Struggling Readers, Leadership in Literacy and Clinical Practicum in Reading.

More information about the online reading specialist endorsement program and application information are available at http://www.dce.k-state.edu/education/reading.

A complete listing of available distance education programs is online at http://www.dce.k-state.edu or by contacting 1-800-622-2578 or informationdce@k-state.edu.