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McDaniel Graduate program offers online dyslexia certification

The Patch

June 17, 2020


McDaniel College's Reading Specialist: Literacy Leadership master's degree program has partnered with Wilson Language Training to offer a new dyslexia specialization, which includes Level I Certification in the Wilson Reading System® (WRS). This 10-credit online course sequence, including a supervised practicum, is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction and is accredited by the International Dyslexia Association.

McDaniel is the first higher education institution in Maryland to partner with Wilson to offer this online certification. The Wilson Reading System is an intensive reading program for students in grades 2-12 and adults with a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia. The explicit, multisensory structured literacy program teaches the structure of the English language to systematically build strong literacy skills in struggling readers.

McDaniel is currently accepting applications for its first cohort, which is scheduled to begin in August.

"Within this new certificate program, candidates develop an understanding of the characteristics of dyslexia and its impact on literacy acquisition, as well as learn techniques for multisensory structured language instruction," said Lisa Buckler, coordinator of the Reading Specialist program at McDaniel.

She added, "Researchers estimate one in five children have language-based learning difficulties. Recent legislation in Maryland requires schools to screen and provide supplemental reading instruction for students determined to be at risk for reading disorders. This partnership with Wilson sets McDaniel apart in preparing literacy leaders to meet the needs of all students, as the Wilson Reading System is widely used in schools across the United States to help students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities become fluent, independent readers."

According to Barbara A. Wilson, president and co-founder of Wilson Language Training, "McDaniel College's longstanding Reading Specialist graduate program is known for creating literacy leaders in classrooms. We are excited to partner with this program to deliver our mission of providing professional learning that equips educators with the skills and tools they need to successfully teach individuals with language-based learning disabilities, including dyslexia."