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Reading specialists earn endorsements

Reading specialists earn endorsements

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 2:51 pm

The Messenger 02.16.11

Reading is the foundation for learning every subject and educators know success in reading makes academic success easier to attain.
A University of Tennessee at Martin online reading specialist program offers a convenient alternative for educators who want to learn as much as possible about teaching reading.
Ashley Ragon, a ninth-grade English/Reading in the Content Area teacher at Liberty Technology Magnet High School in Jackson and also a tutor, jumped at the chance to learn more about reading.
And, as an alumna and former graduate teaching assistant in the UT Martin Reading Center, Ms. Ragon was very familiar with Dr. Beverly Hearn, online reading specialist program director.
“The biggest benefit of the program has been the knowledge of the reading process and skills and strategies that I use daily with my students,” Ms. Ragon said. “With the reading specialist endorsement, I plan to continue to teach English and reading in an intermediate, middle or high school setting. Having the endorsement will open my range of teaching possibilities from just secondary English.”
Ms. Ragon is among the first students who will receive the endorsement.
Dr. Hearn said some educators received their training before new reading techniques were developed and want to update their skills and others would like to work with their peers as a reading coach to help increase reading achievement and teacher satisfaction in their own schools. Still other experienced teachers are ready for a change and would like to work exclusively with struggling readers.
“Whichever goal you have in mind, it is true that when we help students gain strong skills and a love for reading, we can truly help them change their lives,” Dr. Hearn said.
The reading specialist program can be taken as a stand-alone endorsement or the reading block can be integrated into the master of science in education — interdisciplinary.
All of the classes are offered online for both the endorsement and the master’s degree.
There are 18 hours, or six classes, required for the additional endorsement in Reading Specialist, K-12. The courses include READ 700, Foundations of Reading; READ 710, Advanced Reading Diagnosis and Corrective Reading; READ 720, Research Based Techniques for Teaching Reading and Language Arts; READ 730, Reading as a Neurolinguistic Process; READ 740, Practicum in Reading; and LIBS 652, Books and NonPrint Materials for Adolescents and Adults. The coursework conforms to the most current International Reading Association Standards and is designed to address the Reading Specialist Praxis III test, which is required for the additional endorsement.
For more information about the reading program, contact Dr. Hearn at or (731) 881-7197.

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