Fairfield University Partners with Wilson Language Training to Launch Online Dyslexia Interventionist Certificate

Fairfield University Partners with Wilson Language Training to Launch Online Dyslexia Interventionist Certificate

The Wilson Reading System Level I Certification is an online, one year, 10-credit certificate program that prepares candidates to teach students with dyslexia effectively.

Media Contact: Susan Cipollaro, scipollaro@fairfield.edu, 203-254-4000 x2726

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (July 31, 2019) — Fairfield University’s Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions is launching a new online graduate certificate program in multisensory structured literacy instruction in partnership with Wilson Language Training. The WRS Dyslexia Interventionist Certificate program includes Level I Certification in The Wilson Reading System® (WRS), which is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction and accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).  In addition, candidates who successfully complete the program are eligible for certification as a Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Interventionist with the International Dyslexia Association’s subsidiary, the Center for Effective Reading Instruction.

As states continue to enact new dyslexia laws, this online 10-credit graduate certificate program expands opportunities for educators to effectively help students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities become fluent, independent readers. Widely used in schools and districts across the U.S. as a Tier 3 intervention, the Wilson Reading System is designed for students who require the most intensive level of reading instruction.

Jule McCombes-Tolis, PhD, director of  Fairfield’s Reading and Language Development Program, will oversee the new program. An experienced classroom educator certified in special education and remedial reading, Dr. McCombes-Tolis has served as chief academic officer for educator training initiatives for the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). She has recently been appointed by the State of Connecticut’s House of Representatives, to serve as co-chair of the Task Force to Analyze the Implementation of Laws Governing Dyslexia Instruction and Training.

Dr. McCombes-Tolis shared, “Fairfield is so pleased to offer our graduate candidates the unique opportunity to earn a Level I Wilson Reading System certification as part of their MA and Sixth-Year degrees and we are thrilled to welcome educators, paraeducators and private tutors into the Dyslexia Interventionist Certificate program so they can also develop the specialized skills necessary to help advance off-track readers, including those identified with dyslexia.” 

The first cohort of the Online Dyslexia Interventionist Certificate program has launched, and Fairfield University is now accepting applications for the fall 2019 and spring 2020 cohorts.

The program is pending final approval by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). For more information, graduate students and educators who are interested in applying may visit: https://www.fairfield.edu/wilson-reading-system.

“By taking a proactive approach to reading instruction and professional teacher development, we can equip teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to successfully provide explicit, research-based reading instruction to students who struggle the most,” said Barbara A. Wilson, president and co-founder of Wilson Language Training. “Fairfield University’s longstanding reputation as an exceptional academic institution, coupled with the flexible online format of the program, provides an ideal opportunity for educators.”

Since 1988, Wilson Language Training (WLT) has provided comprehensive, multisensory structured literacy instruction and ongoing professional support to schools and districts throughout the U.S. Its explicit programs, The Wilson Reading System®, Fundations® and Just Words®, are aligned with Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and Response to Intervention (RTI) frameworks. More than 260,000 educators have participated in Wilson’s courses and workshops, and more than 25,000 have completed Level I Certification training in the Wilson Reading System, which is based on Orton-Gillingham principles and accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). For more information, please visitwww.wilsonlanguage.com.

Posted On: August 2, 2019

Volume: 52 Number: 2

Fairfield University is a modern, Jesuit Catholic 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 pursuing degrees in the University’s five schools. Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values. The University is located on a stunning 200-acre campus on the scenic Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.