New Remedial Reading and Remedial Language Arts Certification Program at Fairfield University Approved by State Board of Ed

Media Contact: Susan Cipollaro,, 203-254-4000, ext. 2726

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (August 8, 2017)—Fairfield University’s new Remedial Reading and Remedial Language Arts certification program for teachers working with students with dyslexia and other reading differences, recently received unanimous approval by the Connecticut State Board of Education. Fairfield will be able to award the certification as a stand-alone endorsement and in the context of both a master’s degree and a sixth year certificate. Fairfield’s Director of Reading and Language Development, Jule McCombes-Tolis, PhD, made the presentation to the Board.

The Remedial Reading and Remedial Language Arts certification program, also known as the 102 certification, is the only International Dyslexia Association (IDA) accredited program in Fairfield County and the only program in the County to offer the 102 certification in the context of a master’s degree.

The program will be housed within Fairfield University’s Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, and will feature dedicated training and supervision in assessment and intervention practices designed to serve the needs of students with dyslexia. Coursework will be aligned with standards of both the International Literacy Association (ILA) and the IDA. An endowed fellowship component of $4 million will provide tuition scholarships and job-embedded literacy coaching supports to select candidates nominated by urban and priority partner districts.

Dr. McCombes-Tolis, who is taking on additional responsibilities with her recent appointment as the IDA’s new chief academic officer, has been an advocate for student literacy throughout her career as a professor of special education and remedial reading. She has served families and school districts across the state of Connecticut as an independent educational evaluator specializing in the identification and remediation of reading disorders, and in her work on state policy panels, legislative initiatives and innovative university-district partnerships.

For more information about the Remedial Reading and Remedial Language Arts Certification program at Fairfield University please contact Dr. Jule McCombes-Tolis at or the Office of Graduate Admission at or (203) 254–4184.

Vol.# 50, No. 15

Fairfield University is a modern Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and across the globe are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.

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Posted on August 8, 2017

Vol. 50, No. 15

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