Reading Endorsement Graduate Certificate

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long will it take me to complete the program?

Most students complete the program within two semesters.

How often are courses offered?

Courses are usually offered every semester including summers.

Can I enroll as a part-time student?


Are the courses synchronous or asynchronous?

The Literacy Studies faculty uses synchronous online sessions to increase instructor presence and to create a community of learners. We also use other social learning structures that support student learning such as small and whole group discussions, coaching, interactive presentations, guided web tours, document sharing and formative assessment through polling and other tools.

Although our courses are online, each course is assigned a particular day and time for synchronous sessions. Students receive advanced notification of the days and times of these required sessions during the registration process (via Oasis). Professors require full participation from each student in order to capitalize on multiple perspectives and to enhance the organic learning opportunities afforded through discussion of course-related ideas and themes. Specific details vary for each course and the instructor’s expectations are fully explained during the course orientation. 

Do I need to be a practicing teacher?

No, but most courses require students to interact with readers (preK-adult) for the purposes of developing expertise. It is helpful if students identify a population of participants with whom they can work in schools or outside of school settings.

What computer hardware do I need to be successful in the program?

We use current devices, apps, and digital resources to teach our courses. Therefore, students must have an updated computer with an operating system that is less than 2 years old. We strongly encourage the use of Mac computers. Students should also have access to an iPad or tablet.

Students must purchase Explain Everything: A Collaborative and Interactive Whiteboard App that will allow students to create explanation videos of teaching and enable students to teach and present to the class.

Students must also purchase a Chalk & Wire access code from the USF Bookstore. Chalk & Wire is an assessment system in which we monitor each student’s completion of specific course assignments. Per the instructor’s direction, student will upload assignments to Chalk & Wire to meet requirements for specific courses.

What basic computer competencies do I need to be successful in the program?

Students are required to create and upload video and images, participate in online discussions, post digital media, and navigate websites, apps, and Canvas tools. Students are expected to have access to and be able to work in word processing programs, presentation software, spreadsheets, and digital media creation and video editing. Additionally, students should be familiar with basic operations in the online environment as well as Canvas, the USF Course Management System. Throughout the program students will develop additional technical knowledge as it relates to the acquisition of media literacy skills.

Do any of these courses count towards a degree?

Up to 12 hours of Reading Endorsement course credits may be applied to a graduate degree pending departmental approval.

Will Reading Endorsement courses enable me to obtain a teaching certificate?

No. Only students who have current teaching certificates can add the reading endorsement. Taking the endorsement courses for other purposes will not provide you with an initial certificate.

Is there entire Reading Endorsement program really online?

Yes. The entire program is online. You do not have to travel to campus for courses, registration, or application.

How can I participate in synchronous courses if I'm located in another time zone?

Each instructor will provide accommodations for students who live in another time zone. For example, some faculty may record the course session and require alternative forms of participation. Others may ask you to submit comments and questions prior to the synchronous session.

Will I ever have to travel to any of USF's campuses to attend classes?

No, you will not have to travel to any of USF campuses for coursework. All coursework is offered completely online. 

I'm nervous about online classes, can I do this?

Yes. If you can search the Internet and upload photos and movies, you can be successful in this program. You need to be open to exploring technology, playing with media, and creating texts in different forms. Of course, your skills will advance over time, but we will guide you through the media as a tool for learning. Please visit the New Media Literacies website for specific information about characteristics for online learning.

Is this program primarily for Elementary teachers?

No. Prior to the 1980’s, the field of reading was focused on early literacy. Today, “literacy studies” are inclusive of all developmental levels across the lifespan. Job positions have also changed in that most high schools and community colleges have reading and writing programs that require expert teachers with advanced degrees in literacy education.