MGH Institute of Health Professions Undergraduate and Graduate Reading Programs

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August 2013

By Charley Haynes, Ed.D., CCC-SLP & Richard Santeusanio, Ed.D.

MGH LogoQ: Why did you participate in the IDA review process? 

A: We believe our programs are of very high quality and their robust foundation in spoken-written language relationships is unlike any of the reading licensure programs in Massachusetts.  We wanted our two, unique and high quality programs to be recognized by a prestigious organization; IDA has been a leader in supporting professionals understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of children with dyslexia and related language learning difficulties.  It is a privilege for us to be able to tell prospective students that we meet the International Dyslexia Association’s (IDA’s) high standards.

Q: How was the experience of preparing for and participating in the review?

A: It was a rewarding experience. IDA’s staff members were courteous and professional, and our site visitor could not have been more gracious and respectful. As we went through the process, it helped us to identify areas that we need to strengthen as well as affirmed the excellent curriculum and placements we have in place to develop our graduate students’ knowledge and skills.

MGH PhotoQ: What does IDA Recognition mean to your university? 

A: While our umbrella Communication Sciences and Disorders Program ranks in the top ten percent of programs nationwide, our two reading programs are small and comparatively new.  IDA recognition is helping us to “spread the word” about what we have to offer.  We are proud to tell prospective students that our reading programs meet IDA’s high standards for knowledge and skills.

Q: Describe some of the innovative ideas you have implemented to give students a richer practicum experience. 

A: We have developed an outstanding multisensory course and practicum site at the Institute as well as a complementary multisensory school-based practicum.  In addition, we were awarded a competitive grant from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association to develop an innovative online Bilingual Literacy Module. This interactive module, completed just this last year, provides cutting edge information about the nature, assessment, and intervention for literacy difficulties in bi- and multilingual students.  These opportunities are not available at other Boston area colleges.

Q: How has your program leveraged outside partnerships to increase students’ learning experience?

A: We have informal partnerships with Carroll and Landmark Schools and we helped to found the HILL for Literacy, a professional literacy development group that operates nationally and focuses on whole-school change in the complementary areas of language and literacy.  In addition, our students have access to bilingual language and literacy placements at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Chelsea and Revere Health Centers, which provides them with rich opportunities to understand and learn to meet the reading needs of English Language Learners.

Richard Santeusanio, Ed.D. is Director of the Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) Program in Reading in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. A former school superintendent, Richard coordinates the CAS Program and co-teaches a course on school-based literacy practices.

Charles Haynes, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, is a Professor and Clinical Supervisor in the Department.  Charley and colleague, Dr. Pamela Hook, co-founded the Department’s reading concentration. Charley currently conducts research and teaches theoretical and applied courses on both spoken-written language relationships and bilingual literacy to the Master of Science and CAS students.

For information about the reading degree programs at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, link to:

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