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The Rosa DealSchool of Arts

Reading Specialist Program (SMILA)


Become a licensed reading specialist and help students, parents, and teachers develop and improve lifetime reading skills in their students. In conjunction with the Simultaneous Multi-Sensory Institute of Language Arts (SMILA) Summer Institute, CBU offers an 18-hr additional endorsement for the Reading Specialist PreK-12 license.

This 18-hour licensure program will prepare you to:

  • Provide reading services at all grade levels
  • Provide information reading instruction and assessment to classroom teachers, special educators, other professionals, and parents
  • Diagnose and evaluate the reading strengths and needs of students
  • Provide leadership in developing the literacy program and curriculum
  • Implement a simultaneous multi-sensory approach to teaching language arts

Program Requirements


  • Foundations of Literacy (SMILA Summer I)
  • Reading Assessment Strategies
  • The Reading/Writing Connection
  • Integration of Literacy (SMILA Summer II)

SMILA Summer Institutes cannot be taken simultaneously (i.e., only one may be taken each summer). See SMILA's website for more information on meeting dates and SMILA fees.

Reading Specialist Licensure Requirements

  1. Successfully complete the required courses.
  2. Pass the Praxis II test for Reading Specialist.
  3. Complete the application for licensure and request all transcripts which show the above courses and your graduate degree.

Admission Requirements

  1. You should already hold an Apprentice or Professional (not Transitional) Tennessee Teaching License. We offer Reading Specialist as an add-on endorsement.
  2. You should hold a graduate degree. If you do not, please learn more about our graduate education degrees. The Reading Specialist endorsement can be obtained simultaneously with a graduate degree. Contact Dr. Richard Potts at for more information.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the SMILA / Reading Specialist Application and send the $35 application fee.
  2. Request official transcripts from all colleges or universities you've attended.
  3. Send all items to:
    Graduate Education
    650 East Parkway South
    Memphis, TN 38104

For more information or questions, please contact Dr. Richard Potts at or (901) 321-3020.