Concordia University

Portland, Oregon


























Reading Specialist


Early Childhood / Elementary


Middle level / High School


Endorsement Proposal

Table of Contents



Section Description:                                                       TSPC Section:                           Page:

I.     Preface



II.   Title of Program



III.  Description of the Program:


A.      TSPC Standard for Reading Specialist Endorsement


B.      Proposed Reading Courses


C.      Structure of the Proposed Endorsement










IV.  Justification of Need



V.  Institution’s capability to support Basic

      Reading Specialist Endorsement


A.      Faculty preparation and experience


B.      Sufficient support staff


C.      Financial resources


D.      Appropriate facilities


E.      Institutional agreement and approval

















VI.  Goals of the Basic Reading Specialist  




VII. Development Committee



VIII. Organizational Structure



IX.  Steps Followed in the Formulation,

 Development, and Evaluation of the




X.   Projected Time Sequence



XI.  Recommendation from a Consortium    




XII. Objectives of the Proposed Reading

       Specialist Endorsement



XIII. Performance Objectives, Learning

       Activities, and Competency Criteria for

       Each Professional Course



XIV. Student Personnel Services



XV.  Field Activities and Practicum



XVI.  APPENDIX A:  Course Prospectuses

         APPENDIX B:  Minutes, Signature

                                  Approval Page

         APPENDIX C:  Checklists

         APPENDIX D:  Survey and Data


         APPENDIX E:  Vitae

         APPENDIX F:  NCATE Standards




I.                   PREFACE


Since its inception as a college in 1905, the training of qualified teachers has been a major element of the academic program at Concordia University.  Currently, 237 (32.5%) of the 727 full time undergraduate students at Concordia are enrolled in the College of Education, plus 100 MAT students and over 100 M.Ed. students.  Our mission statement says that today, as in the past, Concordia University is “preparing leaders for the transformation of society,” preparing men and women for lives of service to others in health care, business, theology, and education.


To that end, in an on-going effort to provide for the needs of both our students and the school districts that hire them, Concordia University has regularly enhanced its education program by adding appropriate endorsements.   The following chart shows our progress to date:



Concordia College opens


Concordia College granted four-year status


Oregon TSPC approves Basic Elementary Endorsement

May, 1991

Secondary Education program approved under Modified Division 15 rules for the following endorsements:  Biology, Language Arts, Physical Education, and Social Studies

Jan., 1992

TSPC approved Modified Division 15 four-year elementary, early Childhood Education and Chemistry endorsement

Spring, 1994

TSPC approved Basic Mathematics and Basic Advanced Mathematics endorsements


Concordia University authorized to offer graduate instruction leading to degrees in Masters of Education and Master of Arts in Teaching

Summer, 1996

Administrative licensure program approved


TSPC approves Concordia redesign of all exiting education programs

Fall, 1998

ESOL Endorsement approved

April, 1998

TSPC extended approval for all undergraduate programs until the 2002-2003 academic year.

Fall, 1999

Basic Health Endorsement approved

Fall, 2000

Business and Accounting Endorsements approved


Concordia University now seeks TSPC approval to add the Reading Specialist Endorsement (to become an addition to OAR 584-?-0170 in the near future) to its programs of teacher preparation.   This will not be an endorsement for teacher candidates seeking initial licensure.


The endorsement will appeal to four audiences:


1)      Masters of Education students who may select the reading endorsement as their specialty strand to complete their program.


2)      Initial Licensed Teachers who wish to use the Reading Specialist Endorsement as their path to Continuing Teacher Licensure (CTL).


3)      Teachers who already have their Masters degree but want extra training in the area of reading instruction.


4)      Teachers who need the endorsement to seek a reading specialist position.


II.  TITLE OF THE PROGRAM {584-038-0055 (2) (A)}



Reading Specialist Endorsement (OAR 584-017-0170):

Early Childhood/Elementary OR Middle level/High School.


III.               DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM {584-010-0055 (2) (b)}


A.     TSPC Standard for Reading Specialist Licensure

Although at present there is no reading specialist endorsement program requirement in the OAR’s, the Oregon Department of Education, working in conjunction with TSPC is recommending the addition of the words “Reading Endorsement” to OAR 584-017-0170, and the creation of a new section of Division 065 to be titled:  “Reading Specialist- Early Childhood/Elementary or Middle/High School.” This draft section for Division 065 was used as a guideline for developing Concordia’s proposed Reading Specialist Endorsement. 


Concordia University-Portland, Oregon, College of Education is proposing to implement a Reading Specialist Endorsement as soon TSPC grants approval.  The Basic Reading Specialist Endorsement will be added to Concordia’s approved Masters of Education graduate program.  M.Ed. candidates who desire a reading endorsement must satisfactorily complete the prescribed courses in the Masters of Education program, the required reading endorsement courses, the required practicum experiences, and must pass the Praxis exam.  

If the student chooses to use the Reading Endorsement program as a component of their Continuing Teacher Licensure, they will complete EDU 500: Professional Planning Seminar (1 semester credit), the five required Reading Endorsement courses with the three practicum experiences, EDU 697: Professional Assessment Seminar (1 semester credit), and must pass the Praxis exam.  If they simply want their Reading Endorsement, candidates will take the required five courses, complete the three practicum experiences, and pass the Praxis exam.

B. Current and Proposed Reading Specialist Education Courses


Students wanting their endorsement as a reading specialist would take a total of five courses @ three semester credits each (15 credits total), and complete 90 hours of supervised practicum in conjunction with three of the courses (EDU 581, 582, and 583).  The practicum can be completed in the school in which they teach, under the guidance and supervision of the district (or building) reading specialist. 


The proposal makes use of one existing course: EDU 586- “Literacy in the 21st Century,” to be renamed “Current Issues in Literacy.”  In addition, 4 new courses are proposed:


EDU 581:  Organization and Management of School Reading Programs


EDU 582:  Advanced Techniques for the Teaching of Literacy  (Pre-K-12)


EDU 583:  Diagnosis and Assessment in Reading


EDU 584:  Young Adult & Children’s Literature (Pre K- 12)




The “Organization and Management of a School Reading Program,” “Advanced Techniques,” and “Diagnosis and Assessment” courses will each have a 30-hour practicum requirement, to be completed under the supervision of a licensed
Reading Specialist.


C.  Structure of the Proposed Endorsement

Courses will be offered sequentially over five semesters (including a summer session).  Students may begin in any semester except the one offering “EDU 582: Advanced Techniques for the Teaching of Literacy, Levels 1-4,” which has “EDU 583: Diagnosis and Assessment” as a required pre-requisite. They could complete the program in two years if they attend each semester.
























EDU 586

Current Issues in Literacy










EDU 584

Young Adult & Children’s Lit.










EDU 583

Diagnosis and Assessment










EDU 582

Advanced Techniques for the Teaching of Literacy, Pre-K-12










EDU 581

Organization/Management of School Reading Programs










See Appendix C for program checklists.



IV.             JUSTIFICATION OF NEED  {583-010-0055(2)(c)}



As a result of recent media and political attention to the teaching of reading, and the close monitoring of reading test scores at grades 3, 5, 8, and 10 in Oregon, classroom teachers are seeking programs that will improve their teaching and assessment skills in the area of language arts.


Concordia’s own graduate and undergraduate students frequently inquire about reading endorsement programs.  They already know Concordia, and would like to earn the endorsement here.  Calls are also received from area school districts asking if Concordia can recommend reading specialist candidates to meet their staffing needs.


The International Reading Association advocates having specially trained reading teachers in all schools.  In their 2000 position paper, the IRA states: “Teaching all children to read requires that every child receive excellent reading instruction, and that children who are struggling with reading receive additional instruction from professionals specifically prepared to teach them.  The range of student achievement found in classrooms, with the inclusion of children who have various physical, emotional, and educational needs, requires that we move to different educational models from those of the past.  These new models present opportunities for teachers and reading specialists to work collaboratively to provide effective instruction for all students.”


The “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001 bill, recently signed into law by President Bush, mandates annual statewide reading testing in grades 3-8 by the 2005-2006 school year.  It also requires that “all teachers be highly qualified in the subjects they teach” by the 2005-2006 school year, heightening the need for elementary and secondary teachers who have expertise in reading instruction.


Finally, as of January 15, 1999, in Oregon, and August 30, 2000, in Washington, all teachers are required to continue their education to renew initial teaching licenses.  A reading endorsement should appeal to many seeking to enhance their classroom skills while, at the same time, earning the continuing license.






The five areas of support necessary to develop viable endorsements are:


A.      Faculty Preparation and Experience;


B.     Sufficient Support Staff;


C.     Financial Resources;


D.     Appropriate Facilities;


E.     Institutional Agreement and Approval.



The narrative below describes Concordia University’s ability to meet the needs in each of these areas:


A.  Faculty preparation and Experience



It is the intention of Concordia University that the administration and teaching faculty for the Reading Specialist Endorsement of the College of Education be drawn primarily from the existing, highly qualified faculty.  However, we consider the adjunct use of qualified, experienced reading specialists and professionals who are currently working in the field to be a strength in this program.   The courses will be taught by both full-time and adjunct faculty.



Dr. Charles Schlimpert – President, Concordia University

Dr. Mark Wahlers- Provost, Concordia University

Dr. Joe Mannion- Dean, College of Education, Concordia University

Dr. Jan Albrecht- Graduate Program Director, College of Education, Concordia University


Education Faculty in Language Arts and related areas:

Kathleen Dunbar- Associate Professor of Education, Reading

Sheryl Reinisch- Assistant Professor of Education, Early Childhood

Dr. Jan Albrecht- Professor of Secondary Education, Language Arts

Dr. Steve Steffens- Professor of Secondary Education, Psychology

Lynne Wolters- Assistant Professor of Education, Educational Technology

 Lynn Keyne-Michaels, Assistant Professor of Education, Director of Placement


Adjunct Faculty in Language Arts and related areas:

Jane Koivisto- Reading Specialist, Oregon Trail School District

See Appendix E for personnel vitae.


B.      Sufficient Support Staff



The College of Education currently has one full-time Assistant Director of Teacher Education, Mrs. Bev Peterson, who has served at Concordia since 1984.  In addition, there are 3 full-time administrative assistants (in the placement office, the graduate program office, and the education department office) who provide support to the Education Department.


The college also has a primary support person in the library who fills any requests for formal teaching of information literacy and who provides reference service.  She is available 8-4:30 M-F.  Outside of those hours, work-study students are available for assistance.


The university has established a Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) associated with the university help desk center and media services center.  This center provides computer stations with fully functioning multi-media, video editing, scanning, and digital graphics equipment and software.  Education students are encouraged to use this equipment, on a project or assignment basis, with assistance from CELT staff, including an instructional technologist.


Two new managers have been hired to supervise student workers in providing direct technology hardware and support services to faculty and students. Many resources, which grow weekly, have been placed online at the CELT web site .  The university Information Services office, responsible for network assets and infrastructure, also manages student network accounts.


The university intranet provides students with a current calendar of activities and events, network access via authenticated security, typical hardware and software issues support online. Many students also are served with an online course management system (WebCT) for 24/7 access to course information and materials.


Additionally, personnel support services are covered under XII: Student Personnel Services (page 15), and the description of our facilities (page 10) lists hardware and research capabilities available to students.


C.     Financial Resources


This program will be supported by the University as any other education program or endorsement.  The University is committed to success in this program and will give its full support.



D.  Appropriate Facilities



Concordia University occupies an attractive ten-acre campus with adjacent land for expansion.  The Hagen Center Library, the Fine Arts Building, and the Luther Hall with science labs, highlight the campus structures.


Concordia maintains three state-of-the-art video-conferencing classrooms, which are used for two-way audio video classes, meetings, and interviews.


The school’s other facilities include the administration building, classrooms and laboratories, a chapel, new and renovated residence halls, student lounges, recreation areas, faculty offices, and athletic fields.


The Sylwester Library, completed in 1981, includes over 50,000 volumes of books in open stacks, and makes research periodicals available in both print and microfilm, all carefully selected to complement the curriculum.  Access to the Internet and several on-line subscription databases is an integral part of library service.  A-V resources are also available.  Through special arrangement, Concordia faculty and students have access (directly and through interlibrary loan) to almost all the academic libraries in the area.  The library is a member of the OPALL consortium of eight academic libraries in the region with a common on-line public access catalog.


Concordia University provides two state-of-the-art computer labs for student use.  Each lab is equipped with 24 Pentium class student workstations loaded with Windows 95 and Microsoft Office.  Matriculating students have available an account with e-mail and access to the World Wide Web.  If the student lives off-campus, dial-up accounts are available.



D.     Institutional Agreement and Approval


The Reading Specialist Endorsement was reviewed and approved by the College of Education, the College of Education Consortium, the Provost, the Vice President of Administration, The Academic Policies Committee, and the Concordia University faculty.  These steps are further outlined and explained in section IX (page 13) of this document.


See Appendix B for Approval signatures and copies of minutes.







Our goal for the program is to train knowledgeable and experienced professionals who can fulfill the role of “Reading Specialist” in a school building/district.


The role of the reading specialist is threefold:


1) Instruction- 


The reading specialist’s role should support, supplement, and extend excellent classroom teaching.  The specialist and the classroom teacher must work collaboratively to implement a quality reading program that is research-based and meets the needs of the students.  Instruction must be aligned with district and state goals, so that the teaching is congruent and of high quality.


Communication must be ongoing among the specialist, teacher, parents, and other specialized personnel, about instruction.  In order to promote congruency, collaboration, and communication, the instruction provided by the reading specialist serves two purposes:  to instruct children and to provide a model of teaching for the classroom teacher.


2) Assessment-  


The reading specialist will assess the reading strengths and needs of students and provide that information to classroom teachers, parents, and specialized personnel, as needed.  This may include observing the child in the classroom, discussing results of various classroom assessment measures with the teacher or parent, or working with the child to determine how he or she responds to various literacy tasks.  The specialist will collaborate with the classroom teacher to link assessment to instruction.


3) Leadership- 


The reading specialist should be a resource to other educators, parents, and the community.  To support individual teachers – especially new teachers- to become more knowledgeable about the teaching of reading, the reading specialist will lead professional development workshops or arrange such workshops, model strategies or techniques for teachers, and conduct demonstration or collaborative lessons.  Instructional guidance will be provided for instructional assistants, volunteers, and parents.  The reading specialist will need to be involved in ongoing personal professional development, to achieve this goal.


The reading specialist should be key in providing leadership for curriculum development and selection, and for becoming aware of funding sources as they become available. 



VII.   DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE  {584-010-0055(2)(f)}


The proposal was developed by Kathleen Dunbar, Associate Professor of Education at Concordia University, and by Jane Koivisto, adjunct reading professor for Concordia University and Reading Specialist for the Oregon Trail School District.  Both professors are licensed, have reading endorsements in the state of Oregon, and have been working closely with both TSPC and ODE in the development of the new Reading Endorsement specifications. 












The following procedures were used in the creation of this proposal:


1.      The development team obtained and reviewed the program requirements for current reading endorsements at all the colleges and universities in Oregon  (George Fox University, Eastern Oregon University, Western Oregon University, Portland State University, Pacific University, and the University of Portland).


2.      The team also sent a survey to reading specialists, Title I teachers, and administrators working within the area of reading, in order to get their input.

See Appendix D for Survey and data summary.


3.      Members of the development team attended the ODE Reading Pre-Summit (April 12, 2001), ODE Summits (April 13, 2001; April 19, 2002), the ODE/TSPC Reading Licensure Review Committee Meeting (Sept. 21, 2001), the Oregon Reading Association Conference (Feb. 22-23, 2002), and the International Reading Conference in San Francisco, Ca. (April 28-May 2, 2002).


4.      Team members reviewed current (copyright 1996-2002) texts, research books, and literature on the teaching of reading.


5.      Members compared the NCATE program standards for advanced preparation of Teachers of Reading (Oct. 1998), the action plan “Every Child Reading’ Written by Learning First Alliance (June, 1998), and the IRA program standards (1998). 


6.      Since the NCATE standards are written in behavioral format and are directly based on the IRA program standards, the development team elected to articulate these into all five courses. 


7.      The development team reviewed each standard, determining which course would best address it, and created the behavioral objective lists for the 5 courses.  The course outlines were established based on achieving those objectives.


8.      The development team presented to and sought approval from the appropriate Concordia University departments/committees/personnel.  (Approval dates are listed under the “Projected Time Sequence”, page 14)


9.      Members of the College of Education will present the reading endorsement proposal to TSPC at the July 31st Commission meeting.



X.   PROJECTED TIME SEQUENCE  {584-010-0055(2)(i)}


May 2001: Initial review of the reading endorsement by the College of Education

Oct. 2001: Reading endorsement introduced to and reviewed by the Consortium

Feb. 5, 2002:  reviewed and approved by Consortium

Feb. 6, 2002:  final review and approval by College of Education

March 12, 2002:  approved by Provost and Vice President of Administration

March 13th and 20th , 2002:     reviewed and approved by Academic Policies Committee

April 1, 2002:  reviewed and approved by Concordia University Faculty

July 31, 2002:  present to TSPC for approval

See Appendix B for Approval signatures and copies of minutes.






See Appendix B for consortium meeting minutes.





ENDORSEMENT  {584-010-0055(2)(k)}



Since the NCATE standards are written in behavioral format and are directly based on the IRA program standards, Concordia chose to weave these into all five-course offerings.  Therefore, the objectives of the courses and of the endorsement program center on knowledge and beliefs about reading, instruction and assessment, and organizing and enhancing a reading program.


See Appendix A for course prospectuses, and Appendix F for NCATE Standards.




COURSE  {584-010-0055(2)(l)}


See Appendix A for course prospectuses.


XIV.   STUDENT PERSONNEL SERVICES  {584-010-0055(2)(m)}



After candidates have completed the admissions process, they are assigned to the Graduate Program Director for advising.  During the initial meeting students review program requirements and schedule classes.  Since Concordia uses a carousel schedule, students have the opportunity to take courses in a time frame that can be personalized to match their needs.


Forecasting is done and questions are addressed at this time.  Start dates are established, and if a student is ready, he or she is registered for courses.  Once this initial contact is made, students have four options for registration: they may register in person, call and leave a voice message, register online, or email their request.


The students are free to make appointments or have conversations at any time during their program.  There exists an open door policy at Concordia, and students feel comfortable with stopping by, or asking questions.  The Assessment feedback informs the college that students are pleased with the current process, and find it very easy to access.  New schedules are mailed out to candidates every semester to assist students with planning.


Student progress is monitored, and communication is consistent.  There is a very smooth coordination among the Graduate Office, the Admission’s Office, and the Registrar’s Office.


XV.   FIELD ACTIVITIES AND PRACTICUM  {584-010-0055(2)(n)}



There is a 30 hour practicum tied into 3 of the 5 required courses, for a total of 90 hours:


            EDU 583- Diagnosis and Assessment

            EDU 582- Advanced Techniques for the Teaching of Literacy, Pre-K-12

            EDU 581- Organization/Management of School Reading Programs


The practicum can be completed in the school in which they regularly teach, under the guidance and supervision of the district (or building) reading specialist.  If they are not currently teaching, or, if there is no reading specialist in their district, Concordia will place them in an approved site.


Practicum experiences will be assigned by the course instructors, and could include observation of classroom practices, application of techniques and/or assessments modeled in courses, and evaluative reflections completed in conjunction with supervising reading specialists.


Hence, students must pass each of the five required courses at A or B level, successfully complete three course-related practicum, and pass the Praxis exam, in order to apply for the addition of the Reading Specialist Endorsement to their licensure.


See Appendix A for course prospectuses.