International Dyslexia Association Recognizes Nine Universities for Meeting Teacher Training Standards in Reading

CONTACT NAME: Lisa Harlow                                                                                                                            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHONE: 410-561-8886

International Dyslexia Association Recognizes Nine Universities
for Meeting Teacher Training Standards in Reading

Teachers who are Better Prepared Lessen the Impact of Reading Difficulties

BALTIMORE, May 2, 2012 – The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) announced today that nine university programs in the U.S. have met the standards outlined in the IDA’s Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. The IDA Standards provide the most thorough, research-supported documentation of what every teacher ought to know and be able to demonstrate, whether they are teaching dyslexic students, other struggling readers or the general student population.

The universities recognized by the IDA are: College of Mount Saint Joseph; Colorado College; Fairleigh Dickinson; MGH Institute of Health Professions; Saint Joseph’s; Simmons College; Southeastern University; Southern Methodist University; and University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. A complete listing of the schools’ programs is below.

From January through March 2012, IDA conducted independent and objective reviews of university-based teacher preparation programs in reading, and evaluated their alignment with the IDA Standards. Three highly qualified, independent reviewers were assigned to each university. The review entailed a thorough look at course syllabi and other course materials and requirements, along with a site visit to the school.

“Learning to teach reading, language and writing is a complex undertaking. The competence and expertise of teachers can be nourished with training that emphasizes the study of reading development, language and individual differences,” said Dr. Louisa Moats, Chair of IDA’s Standards and Practices Committee. “If teachers are better prepared, the impact of reading difficulties, including dyslexia, will be lessened, and many more students will receive the instruction and support they require to reach their potential.”

The IDA Standards emphasize the need for teachers to be trained more deeply in the structure of language, including the speech sound system, the writing system, the structure of sentences, the meaningful parts of words, meaning relationships among words and their referents, and the organization of spoken and written discourse.

“One of the goals in publishing the IDA Standards was to provide a framework for course content in university and other teacher training programs,” said Elisabeth Liptak, IDA’s Director of Professional Services. “By recognizing these programs, we are raising awareness so that other universities will take their lead.”

The long-term goal of the Standards initiative is to promote consistent and high-quality teacher preparation that will improve the educational outcomes for all students, especially those who struggle with written language. The IDA plans to offer certification based on the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading in the future.

About the International Dyslexia Association

The International Dyslexia Association is a non-profit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to the study and treatment of dyslexia as well as related language-based learning differences. The IDA operates 45 branches throughout the United States and Canada and has global partners in eighteen countries, including Australia, Brazil, England, Germany, Ireland, and Japan.

For additional information please contact Lisa Harlow of Clapp Communications at (410) 561-8886 or via email at

University Programs Recognized by IDA

(aligned with the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards)

College of Mount Saint Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Reading Endorsement
Master of Arts in Reading Science

Colorado College (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Master of Arts in Teaching: Literacy Intervention Specialist Program

Fairleigh Dickinson (Teaneck, New Jersey)
Orton Gillingham Teacher Certificate

MGH Institute of Health Professions (Boston, Massachusetts)
Certificate of Advanced Study in Reading
Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology: Reading Concentration

Saint Joseph’s (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Master of Science in Special Education

Simmons College (Boston, Massachusetts)
Master of Science in Special Education: Language and Literacy

Southeastern University (Lakeland, Florida)
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with Reading and ESOL Endorsements
Bachelor of Science/Master of Education in Exceptional Student Education with Reading and ESOL Endorsements

Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas)
Master of Education in Reading and Writing

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Bachelor of Arts in Special Education
Master of Arts in Special Education
Dyslexia Specialist Certificate