RICA Workshop


The RICA Workshop prepares prospective teacher candidates to successfully complete the Reading Instruction Competency Assessment (RICA). There are three sections to this workshop, which are described below. This course is workshop based, which means you will “hear, see, and do” in all class sessions. Be prepared to immerse yourself in, not only passing the RICA, but improving your literacy skills, which will allow you to provide quality reading instruction to your students. All class sessions are held online via Zoom. Participants will receive 3 units of contract extension credit for each course.

According to the CCTC, reading instruction should prepare students to be proficient readers who understand and are familiar with a variety of texts. All teachers must  deliver reading instruction that:

  • relies on ongoing assessment
  • reflects knowledge of state and local literacy standards for different grade levels
  • represents a balanced, systematic reading curriculum
  • understands the needs of the learners (aka students)

RICA was developed by the CTCC to ensure that pre-service Multiple Subject and Education Specialist Credential candidates have the knowledge and skills to implement effective reading instruction to students.

This course is meant for individuals who have not passed one or more subtests of RICA. It is recommended that you register to take the related RICA subtest upon completion of each session.

The workshop will consist of four weekly sessions that include whole-group and small-group learning opportunities. Sessions are directly related to the domains and competencies that are assessed on the corresponding subtest, which are outlined in the text.


Session Descriptions

Session 1:

During this 4-week session, the focus will be on Subtest I that covers Domain 1: Word Analysis and Domain 2: Fluency. These two domains will cover competencies 3 through 9. Session 1 will prepare teacher candidates to complete both multiple choice questions and complete constructed responses that will mirror those encountered on the RICA. Session 1 will focus on making data-based decisions, identifying evidence-based interventions/strategies to support student literacy, and understanding the skills needed (i.e., phonological and phonemic awareness, reading with automaticity) to become proficient readers.

Session 2:

This 4-week session will focus on Subtest II, which assesses Domain 4: Vocabulary, Academic Language, and Background Knowledge and Domain 5: Comprehension. These two domains will focus on competencies 10 through 15. Session 2 will focus on vocabulary, including academic language, and increasing reading comprehension. Evidence-based literacy strategies will be reviewed, discussed, practiced, and assessed through individual, small-group, and whole group instruction and activities.

Session 3:

The last 4-week session focuses on Subtest III, which assesses Domain 1: Planning, Organizing, and Managing Reading Instruction Based on Ongoing Assessment Knowledge. This domain will focus on competencies 1 through 2. During this session, the focus will be on using assessment to plan reading instruction, creating targeted interventions based on data to improve students’ literacy skills, and developing a “tool bag” of reading assessments to use in the classroom. Assessments data are included on some of the constructed responses. It is expected that teacher candidates will be able to review the data provided (i.e., running records, reading inventories, writing samples) and provide cogent responses on how to improve the literacy skills of the student.

Note: There is a one-week break between each session that will provide 1:1 support on the same day/time as the regular session. Upon registering for the course, the instructor will provide a Zoom link for each session.

Be prepared to register and pay for the RICA. You may either complete a computer-based test or a video performance assessment. Each subtest costs $57.00. The time limit for Subtests I and II is 1 hour and 15 minutes. Subtest III has a time limit of 1 hour and 30 minutes.


About the Instructor

Dr. Karen Webster

Dr. Karen Webster is the Education Specialist Credential Program Coordinator and one of the literacy instructors in the credential program. Prior to her tenure at Stanislaus State, Dr. Webster taught reading intervention for over ten years in a K-12 setting. Dr. Webster also had a private practice providing individualized, multi-sensory reading instruction to children with dyslexia. In total, Dr. Webster has provided reading instruction for more than 20 years. She has conducted numerous workshops on providing reading instruction for non-proficient readers with a focus on providing curricular access to all students. Dr. Webster’s passion of supporting novice teachers is evidenced by her growth mindset (i.e., “can do!”) and an infusion of UDL principles throughout her teaching.