Course details

F 14, W 15, Sp 15, F 15, W 16, Sp 16, F 16, W 17, Sp 17, F 17, W 18, Sp 18, F 18
Course number
READ 509
Course title
Literacy Practicum (PSU home only)
Course description

The practicum is carried out in schools and/or districts and consists of reading endorsement candidates working directly with students, other faculty, administrators, and the school community to fulfill various roles of the reading specialist. Among the roles to be demonstrated during the practicum are: 1) teaching reading; 2) literacy testing; 3) developing curriculum for various groups of readers including ELL, struggling readers, average and/or gifted readers; 4) assessing and making recommendations for a school’s reading program; and 5) developing literacy-focused professional development sessions for faculty, administrators, instructional assistances, and parents.

Rebecca Olien
Instructor bio

 Rebecca Olien, MET, taught kindergarten and fourth grade in the classroom for over 20 years and is currently an education specialist and instructional designer. She is the author of over 50 books for children and teachers, including the design of interactive eBooks with National Science Teachers Association.  She designs curriculum and instructional materials for a variety of publishers, as well as  teaches online courses for several universities. She earned her BS at Michigan State, her MA at the University of Wisconsin. and her MET at Boise State.


The practicum may not be taken until a candidate has completed a minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework, specifically, 3 hours from the Literacy Strategies/Methods thematic area, 3 hours from the Literacy Assessment thematic area, 3 hours from the Literacy Leadership thematic area and 3 hours of electives. Typically, the practicum is the final capstone course of the reading endorsement course of study.


1.3 Candidates understand the role of professional judgment and practical knowledge for improving all students’ reading development and achievement.
2.1 Candidates use foundational knowledge to design or implement an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum.
2.2 Candidates use appropriate and varied instructional approaches, including those that develop word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading-writing connections.
2.3 Candidates use a wide range of texts (e.g., narrative, expository, and poetry) from traditional print, digital, and online resources.
3.1 Candidates understand types of assessments and their purposes, strengths, and limitations.
3.2 Candidates select, develop, administer, and interpret assessments, both traditional print and electronic, for specific purposes.
3.3 Candidates use assessment information to plan and evaluate instruction.
3.4 Candidates communicate assessment results and implications to a variety of audiences.
4.1 Candidates recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write.
4.2 Candidates use a literacy curriculum and engage in instructional practices that positively impact students’ knowledge, beliefs, and engagement with the features of diversity.
5.2 Candidates design a social environment that is low risk and includes choice, motivation, and scaffolded support to optimize students’ opportunities for learning to read and write.
5.3 Candidates use routines to support reading and writing instruction (e.g., time allocation, transitions from one activity to another, discussions, and peer feedback).
6.1 Candidates demonstrate foundational knowledge of adult learning theories and related research about organizational change, professional development, and school culture.
6.2 Candidates display positive dispositions related to their own reading and writing and the teaching of reading and writing, and pursue the development of individual professional knowledge and behaviors.
6.3 Candidates participate in, design, facilitate, lead, and evaluate effective and differentiated professional development programs.

Practical applications

Reading Endorsement students upon completion of the practicum will demonstrate:
Expertise in assessing and instructing readers, particularly struggling readers
Professional development/leadership experience in working with fellow teachers, instructional assistants, administrators, and parents
Fulfillment of a variety of reading specialist roles, e.g., designing/assessing/implementing literacy programs, working with parents/community members, evaluating literacy materials, mentoring, action research, etc.
Candidates will:
Complete a diagnosis of the reading proficiencies and difficulties of the student population being served
Develop a literacy instructional plan to meet the needs determined by this diagnosis
Plan and implement specific literacy work with struggling readers
Develop and implement specific plans to communicate with the concerned community: parents, caregivers, colleagues, administrators

Time commitment

90 hours of university-approved literacy fieldwork.


A textbook is required for this course. Please check with PSU’s ReadOregon program.

Historical offerings

This course is offered fall, winter, and spring terms as necessary.