ISBE Certification

Reading Specialist Certification/Reading Teacher Endorsement

K-12 reading specialist certification is designed for teachers who wish to gain additional competencies which will enable them to work effectively with learners, teachers, and K-12 school-community personnel in improving reading instruction in the schools. The reading teacher endorsement is a 24-semester-hour requirement for reading teachers whose major teaching assignment is reading in other than a self-contained classroom. This is a teaching qualification on an existing certificate or an endorsement on a new certificate.

Transcript Evaluation for Type 10 K-12 Reading Specialist Certificate

Students who wish to be evaluated for certification as a K-12 reading specialist should review the procedure For Transcript Evaluation for Type 10 K-12 Reading Specialist Certificate. NIU graduates from before 2002 or from other institutions must complete the form: Request for Transcript Evaluation for Type 10 K-12 Reading Specialist.

Individuals who graduated from the NIU master’s program in Literacy Education with the focus on reading from 2002 to the present can access the application materials using the links below to apply for the Type 10. K-12 Reading Specialized Certificate through the NIU entitlement program.

Applying for the Type 10 K-12 Reading Specialist Certificate

To apply for the Type 10 K-12 Reading Specialist Certificate, please follow the instructions and fill out the forms provided below.

Applying for the Reading Teacher Endorsement

The Reading Teacher Endorsement is designed for teachers who teach reading in a setting other than a self-contained classroom.  This endorsement can be obtained on an early childhood, elementary, secondary, or special certificate. 

An individual may have his or her official college transcripts evaluated for the Reading Teacher  Endorsement by completing the necessary paperwork at the local Regional of Education, which will send the packet to the ISBE for review. After a period of up to two months you will receive a notification from the ISBE notifying you of which competency areas have yet to be met.  The ISBE requires 24 credits of courses that demonstrate competencies in the following areas: Foundations of Reading, Content Area Reading, Assessment and Diagnosis of Reading Problems, Developmental and Remedial Reading Instruction and Support, Developmental and Remedial Materials and Resources, and Literature Appropriate to Students Across the Grade Levels.

After a candidate has completed the required courses for the Reading Teacher Endorsement (24 credit hours), he/she will follow the steps to apply for the endorsement.

  1. Take and pass the Reading Teacher Test (177).  Check the ISBE website at for test information.
  2. Submit ISBE form 73-52 (Application for Endorsement), official transcripts of all pertinent coursework, and a $30 application fee to your Regional Office of Education.

Note: To be official, the ISBE requires that transcripts must be submitted in the sealed envelope from the college or university or be sent directly by the institution. Transcripts received that are not in a sealed envelope from the university or sent directly from the university will be considered unofficial and cannot be used for evaluation purposes.

ESL and Bilingual Education Teaching Approval/Endorsement

Approval to teach English as a second language and bilingual education can be earned through a program of 18 semester hours of combined courses in the Departments of Literacy Education, English, and Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations. These approvals must be attached to a Type 03 (elementary) or Type 04 (early childhood) or Type 09 (secondary) teacher certificate. For more information about classes offered at NIU toward either or both the ESL and/or the bilingual teacher approval, open this document (see attachment).