Dyslexia Interventionist Certificate

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Overview

A child’s ability to read proficiently by the end of third grade serves as an indicator of their future educational, social-emotional, socio-economic, and personal development. Students who leave third grade without having met key benchmark reading proficiencies are at risk for a growing number of negative consequences.

The Online Dyslexia Interventionist Certificate is designed to prepare professionals to remediate the deficient reading and spelling profiles of students in grades 4-12, including students with identifications of dyslexia – a specific type of learning disability that accounts for the largest population of school-aged students with disabilities.

This 10-credit, fully online certificate program may be completed as a stand-alone certificate or as part of a candidate’s training in Remedial Reading and Remedial Language Arts (all tracks) and in Special Education (sixth-year track). This certificate program is in compliance with national accreditation standards for reading, and all coursework has been aligned with the standards of both the International Literacy Association (ILA) and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).

Through this online certificate program, candidates learn how to implement a multisensory structured language reading program, the Wilson Reading System® (WRS), for the purpose of remediating the word level (accuracy and fluency) reading and spelling deficits of students. This certificate program is pending NECHE approval.

About Wilson Reading System®

Wilson Reading System (WRS) is the most widely used remedial reading intervention program employed across the nation. This program targets the remediation of reading and spelling accuracy and oral reading fluency deficits of students in grades 4 – 12 who exhibit characteristic or identifications of dyslexia.

The demand for professionals trained in WRS across Connecticut is substantial, with a far-reaching range of suburban and urban priority districts utilizing WRS on a site-by-site basis.

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More than three dozen towns in Connecticut promote district-wide use of WRS for remedial reading purposes:

Fairfield County
Bridgeport
Darien
Fairfield
New Canaan
Norwalk
Stamford
Stratford
Trumbull
Westport

Hartford County
East Hartford
New Britain
Newington
Wethersfield

Middlesex County
Chester
Clinton
Deep River
Essex
Killingworth
Middletown
Old Saybrook
Westbrook

New Haven County
Ansonia
Bethany
East Haven
Madison
Meriden
New Haven
North Branford
Oxford
Prospect
Waterbury

New London County
Colchester
East Lyme
Ledyard
Lyme
Norwich
Old Lyme
Waterford

Tolland County
Tolland

Windham County
Windham

Program Description

Candidates complete a 10-credit planned certificate program of study over the course of one year. The program begins during the summer with a one-credit online introductory course that examines reading research and the five essential components of reading in relation to students in grades 3+ with persistent phonological coding deficits.

The program also introduces candidates to the principles and practices of Structured Literacy which serve as the foundation for the reading practicum experience. During this time, candidates are advised regarding selection criteria for a practicum student.

In the fall and spring, candidates complete a 3-credit course through the Online WRS Academy that:

  1. Emphasizes phonological awareness, phonics, and spelling at the beginning levels of decoding and encoding
  2. Introduces specific procedures to teach the following syllable types: closed, vowel- consonant-e, open, and consonant-le
  3. Includes additional topics on diagnostic teaching and differentiating instruction, program pacing, high frequency word instruction, vocabulary instruction, fluency instruction, dyslexia, listening and reading comprehension strategies, use of differentiated texts, and handwriting
  4. Explores items 1–3 in relation to steps 1–6 of the Wilson Reading System.

Also in the fall and spring, simultaneous to coursework, candidates engage a 1.5-credit, remotely-supervised clinical practicum experience. This experience requires candidates to work with a single student across the 10-month period and is supervised by a Wilson credentialed trainer through the Hoot Education platform, a remote coaching platform currently in use by the Reading and Language Development Program.

This platform permits real-time observation and feedback via blue tooth technology, and permits candidates to record and automatically upload lesson film for later viewing and conferencing. During this time, candidates implement the WRS curriculum, with an approved student, under the supervision and mentoring of an instructor holding WRS Trainer credentials.

Learning Objectives

This Online Dyslexia Interventionist Certificate program educates candidates in the following key areas:

  • Research base for multisensory structured language teaching
  • Principles of instruction used to teach students with a language-based learning disability
  • The nature of dyslexia
  • The instruction and importance of literacy and transcription skills
  • Word structure including phonemes and associated graphemes syllables, syllabication rules, morphemes, schwa, and more
  • Variances in children's vocabulary acquisition as well as learning expectations
  • The importance of core and academic (general and domain specific) vocabulary and understanding of research-based instructional methods for all students, including Engligh Language Learners (ELLs)
  • How to appropriately select and teach vocabulary within an Multisensory Structured Lesson (MSL) lesson
  • The importance of fluency as well as contributing factors to its development
  • How to differentiate fluency instruction for students with significant deficits
  • Graphic organizers for varied types of informational texts (description, compare-contrast)
  • The importance of oral language comprehension and how to differentiate instruction with individuals as indicated by their cognitive profile

Upon completing the certificate program, candidates will desmonstrate an undestanding of the following:

  • Instructional implications associated with different cognitive skill deficits
  • Language concepts through WRS Substep 6.4 and the specific procedures used to teach these concepts
  • WRS principles of instruction including explicit, sequential, cumulative, and multisensory instruction
  • The WRS Lesson Plan and the 10 parts of a WRS lesson
  • The nature and causes of dyslexia and dysgraphia
  • Multisensory strategies used to teach sight words, vocabulary and comprehension

Admission Requirements and Procedures

Those seeking admission must complete the following procedures:

  1. Apply online and complete the formal application.
  2. Pay a non-refundable $60 application fee.
  3. Submit an official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Candidates must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 from an accredited institution of higher education. Candidates who do not meet this criteria may complete a GPA waiver application.
  4. Submit a professional resume or CV that includes education and employment history.
  5. Submit two letters of recommendation from an employer or supervisor that addresses the following:
    1. What personal and professional qualities does this candidate possess that would allow them to establish and maintain positive, productive, impactful relationships with students, families, and colleagues?
    2. What concerns, if any, do you have about the candidate’s intention to pursue and implement this certificate/certification in the service of off-track readers and/or readers with dyslexia?
  6. Submit a 1.5 – 2 page personal statement that answers the following questions:
    1. Why are you interested in pursuing this certificate/certification?
    2. How do you intend to utilize this certification in the service of off-track readers and/or readers with dyslexia?

Registration Process

  1. The Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions will issue a decision letter via email within three weeks of applying. Admitted applicants must click on the designated link to accept the offer of admission. Doing so will activate access to a planned program, registration permission, and Blackboard access for course registration.
  2. Candidates may browse and register for courses here.
  3. Once registered, candidates will have access to course-aligned Blackboard learning sites. Here, candidates will find course syllabi, instructor information, and course-specific materials and resources. The WRS credentialed trainer will communicate with candidates through Blackboard, email, video streaming, and discussion groups.

Advising

Candidates enrolled in the Online Dyslexia Interventionist Certificate program are not required to engage with an advisor each semester, as required of candidates in degree-granting programs. Instead, candidates in the certificate program will follow the prescribed planned program and engage with their assigned Wilson credentialed trainer who is available to offer support, guidance, and feedback.

Any questions or concerns that arise should be addressed with the Program Director for Reading and Language Development, Jule McCombes-Tolis, PhD.

Required Materials

Candidates are encouraged to visit the Wilson Language Training store to learn more about available supplemental resources.

Courses

RLD/SE 575: Introduction to Multisensory Structured Language Instruction with WRS
1 Credit
Summer II
Prerequisite: None
Online via Wilson Academy

This course examines reading research and the five essential components of reading in relation to students in grade 3+ with persistent phonological coding deficits. Candidates will learn about the principles and practices of Structured Literacy and multisensory language instruction through study of WRS, including student identification and placement, key components and principles of intensive instruction, program implementation, progress monitoring, scheduling, creating a successful classroom environment, principles of language structure, and how to teach language with direct, multisensory methods.

 

RLD/SE 576 - Intensive Instruction I for the Non-Responsive Reader using WRS (Steps 1-3)
3 Credits
Fall
Prerequisite: RLD/SE 575
Online via Wilson Academy

This course presents in detail how the principles and practices of multisensory, structured language instruction are applied to support the remedial reading needs of students with word-level deficits in grades 3+ who have not adequately responded to intervention. This course features practical application of reading research, with particular emphasis on phonological awareness, phonics, and spelling at the beginning levels of decoding and encoding. It also provides specific procedures to teach the closed syllable type in single and multisyllabic words. The course includes additional topics on diagnostic teaching and differentiating instruction, program pacing, assessment and progression, high frequency word instruction, vocabulary instruction and fluency instruction. Candidates will explore the above in relation WRS (steps 1-3).

 

RLD/SE 577: Clinical Intensive Instruction I for the Non-Responsive Reader in Grades 4+ using WRS
1.5 Credits
Fall
Prerequisite: RLD/SE 575
Web-based Supervision by a Wilson Credentialed Trainer

This clinical practicum experience provides candidates with deeper content knowledge and skill enhancement while engaged in a supervised practicum implementing a research-based instructional strategy. Candidates engaging this clinical practicum are required to identify, assess, and secure approval of a practicum student in grades 4-12 to work with who has significant word-level deficits, indicating a profile of a student with dyslexia.

This clinical practicum student must be available for a minimum of 2-3 tutoring sessions per week until clinical practicum requirements are met (typically one school year). Each tutoring session requires 60- 90 minutes in length. The practicum entails successful delivery of a minimum of 65 WRS lessons and teaching mastery through WRS sub-step 4.2.

Clinical practicum must be completed within a 12-month enrollment period. This will require enrollment in course RLD/SE 579 with the same practicum student during the spring semester.

 

RLD/SE 578 - Intensive Instruction II for the Non-Responsive Reader using WRS (Steps 4-6)
3 Credits
Spring
Prerequisite: RLD/SE 575; RLD/SE 576; RLD/SE 577

Intensive Instruction II for the Non-Responsive Reader using WRS (steps 4-6). This course is a continuation of RLD/SE 576 and presents in detail how the principles and practices of multisensory, structured language instruction are applied to support the remedial reading needs of students with word-level deficits in grades 3+ who have not adequately responded to intervention.  This course features practical application of reading research, and expands upon the topics of phonological awareness, phonics, and spelling at the beginning levels of decoding and encoding. It also provides additional opportunities to refine procedural skill associated with teaching the following syllable types: closed, vowel-consonant-e, open, and final stable. The course includes additional topics on dyslexia, listening and reading comprehension strategies, use of differentiated texts, and transcription skills-spelling and handwriting.

 

RLD/SE 579 Clinical Intensive Instruction II for the Non-Responsive Reader in Grades 4+ using WRS
1.5 Credits
Spring
Prerequisite: RLD/SE 575; RLD/SE 576; RLD/SE 577
Web-based Supervision by a Wilson Credentialed Trainer

This clinical practicum experience provides candidates with deeper content knowledge and skill enhancement while engaged in a supervised clinical practicum implementing a research-based instructional strategy. Candidates engaging in this clinical practicum continue to work with their approved clinical practicum student for a minimum of 2-3 tutoring sessions per week until clinical practicum requirements are met (typically one school year). Each tutoring session requires 60- 90 minutes in length. The clinical practicum entails successful delivery of a minimum of 65 WRS lessons and teaching mastery through WRS sub-step 4.2. Clinical practicum must be completed within a 12-month enrollment period.

Sample Schedule

Summer

  • RLD/SE 575 (1 credit)

Fall

  • RLD/SE 576 (3 credits)
  • RLD/SE 577 (1.5 credits)

Spring

  • RLD/SE 578 (3 credits)
  • RLD/SE 579 (1.5 credits)

Tuition & Financial Aid

Additional Wilson fees for this certificate program are $141 per credit (e.g. $423 per 3 credit course).

Candidates are advised that certificate programs are not eligible for federal loans, however, candidates engaging in an master’s degree or sixth-year certificate program that includes the WRS certification are eligible for such loans.

Other types of financial aid are available to support candidates in certificate and degree granting programs as well.

Tuition Reimbursement for Educators

Many school districts offer educators varying degrees of tuition reimbursement benefits. To learn more about your district’s benefits, please visit the ConnCAN Teacher Contract Database.

Contact Us

For more information about the Online Dyslexia Interventionist Certificate please contact:

Office of Graduate Admission
Fairfield University
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 254-4184 or gradadmis@fairfield.edu

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