Student reading to other students

Prepare for Your K–12 Reading Teacher License

Are you looking to help students who are stuck in one place with their literacy skills? This program will help you improve students foundational literacy skills even while teaching content courses. 

Licensure Preparation

If you are a licensed educator, you can enroll in our 17 credit (seven courses) Graduate Certificate in K–12 Reading Teacher program to prepare for the K–12 Reading license in Minnesota or the 316 Reading Teacher license in Wisconsin. 

Once you have finished the licensure preparation as a K–12 Reading Teacher, you may continue on to complete 17 additional credits (seven courses) to earn the Master of Arts in Literacy Education. If you direct or coordinate reading programs, you will benefit from completing this degree. Minnesota candidates become Reading Leaders, and Wisconsin candidates become Reading Specialists, once portfolio and other licensure requirements are met.

What You'll Gain

Consistent with the mission of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota and the Board of Teaching requirements for licensure as a reading specialist, the M.A. in Literacy Education/K–12 Reading Teacher expects its graduates to be able to do the following:

  • Understand the reading process and the process of learning to read, and design developmentally appropriate instruction that advances students' reading proficiency and encourages them to read
  • Understand how to assess the reading development of individual students and groups of students, how to use assessment data to design appropriate reading curriculum and instruction based on the assessment data, and how to communicate this information to relevant audiences
  • Know how to integrate knowledge of reading with the teacher's understanding of pedagogy, students, learning, classroom management, and professional and instructional development and leadership

After six of Tantanka's teachers finished coursework at Saint Mary's in Literacy Education, they can now use the same terminology and strategies to help readers improve from one grade to the next.

Program graduates and their students talk about the changes they saw in the year following the completion of the program.

Gainful Employment Information

Effective July 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education requires institutions with nondegree programs defined as “Gainful Employment programs” to disclose certain information about these programs. Read the report.

From Start to Finish

  • Prepare for your K–12 Reading Teacher license in as little as 18 months.
  • Finish the K-12 Reading Teacher licensure preparation in only 4 semesters! Courses conveniently offered one Saturday a month for 3 semesters and one weekend per month for 1 semester.
  • Complete the M.A. in Literacy Education plus the K–12 Reading Teacher license preparation in two and a half years.

Apply Now

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  2. An official transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits.(An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated by a university accepted evaluation source, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).
  3. A reflective essay which includes the following:
    • brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
    • statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and his or her reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
    • description of the areas the applicant considers to be his or her strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
    • personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Two letters of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  6. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities campus.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55404

Degree Requirements

Requirements for K-12 Reading Teacher Graduate Certificate


Preparation for the K–12 Reading Teacher license is offered at our Twin Cities location and regional cohorts in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Upon completion of the licensure preparation you may continue on to finish the M.A. in Literacy Education at the Twin Cities Campus.

Connect With Us

Michelle Dougherty, M.A.

SGPP Admission - Assistant Director of Admission

LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH112

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5122


Katie Hubbard, M.A.

MA in Literacy Program - Program Director

Griffin Hall, GR219

Campus Box: # 23

(507) 457-8731

Katie Hubbard M.A.
Cindy Kronebusch

GSOE - Assistant Program Director, M.A. in Literacy

Griffin Hall, GR221

Campus Box: # 23

(507) 457-6637

Lisa Thorsell

K-12 Reading and M.A. in Literacy - Program Coordinator

Griffin Hall, GR218

Campus Box: # 23

(507) 457-6611

Lisa Thorsell
Jane Anderson, Ph.D.

Lasallian Scholar in Residence, Director, i.t.a. Literacy Project; Director, Remick Fellowship Program; Adjunct Professor

Campus Box: # 23

Jane Anderson Ph.D.
Kari Donze, M.A.

MA in Literacy Education - Adjunct Instructor

(507) 534-2835

Jaimie Howe, M.A.

MA in K-12 Reading - Adjunct Instructor

Jody Koci, M.A.

EDRD K-12 Reading Program - Adjunct Instructor

(952) 496-5861

Teresa Milligan, M.A.

K-12 Reading/MA in Literacy Ed - Adjunct Instructor

Cynthia Mueller, M.A.

MA Literacy Education - Adjunct Instructor

Shane O'Reilly, M.A.

MA in Literacy Education Program - Adjunct Instructor

Joan Sax, Ed.D.

MA in Literacy Education - Adjunct Associate Professor

Margaret Westlund, M.A.

Reading Licensure Program - Adjunct Instructor

Professor smiling with students

Tuition & Financial Aid

Learn about tuition and financial aid options to reach your educational goals.

Woman meeting man

Information Sessions

Meet with Saint Mary’s faculty and staff and get your questions answered at an upcoming information session.

Students smiling in class

Request More Info

Learn more about the convenient doctoral and master’s programs that Saint Mary’s offers to help advance you in your career.