The College of Mount St. Joseph’s master’s in reading science program, which is offered on the campus of Mayerson Academy, has been named an International Dyslexia Association (IDA) recognized program. This is an IDA recognition which was only given to nine higher education programs this year. In addition, the Mount is the only college in Ohio to receive this recommendation.
The IDA’s goal in conducting reviews of higher education reading programs is to identify and recommend programs that provide high quality and consistent teacher training in reading. The Mount’s reading science program is offered in partnership with Mayerson Academy and has received many accolades for its use of faculty from both institutions to provide a wide range of expertise in education. The IDA sought out the Mount’s program and did an independent review of the College’s courses for alignment with the IDA knowledge and practice standards.
“We are very pleased to be a partner with the Mount in this exemplary professional development program,” said Kathleen Ware, president of Mayerson Academy. “All children can learn to read by third grade. The Science of Reading Partnership is critical in making this a reality.”
Dyslexia, a language-based learning disability, is now recognized as a disability by the State of Ohio, said Amy Murdoch, Ph.D., assistant professor of education at the Mount. Students with dyslexia usually experience difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading, but also with spelling, writing and pronouncing words.
“The Mount’s reading science master’s program includes the best approaches to teaching every aspect of literacy, including dyslexia,” said Murdoch, who also serves on the HB 96 Planning Committee for the Dyslexia Pilot Project.
With the IDA’s endorsement, the master of reading science degree will offer a dyslexia certificate beginning this summer to enable teachers to better serve students with reading disabilities. The certificate will involve taking seven of the current reading science courses.
“Studies show early intervention is necessary for young students with dyslexia to receive the level of the skilled reading instruction they need to learn to read,” said Richard Sparks, Ph.D., professor of education at the Mount and a renowned expert on language-based disabilities. “We want teachers to understand the science of reading, especially to have the tools to teach the students who have a reading disability. The dyslexia certificate enables teachers to be the best prepared to work with all students.”
“Receiving IDA’s endorsement of the reading science graduate program recognizes the Mount as the ‘Mercedes-Benz’ of research to practice literacy education,” said Cathie Arnold, the Cincinnati campus director of Children’s Dyslexia Centers of Cincinnati and a graduate of the reading sciences program. “While the endorsement in itself speak volumes for the quality of the Mount’s reading science program, offered in partnership with Mayerson Academy, the true winners in this well-deserved recognition are the children who receive top-quality, research-based literacy instruction from those who have completed the reading science program.”
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.
The master’s degree and the reading endorsement received this status unconditionally for a period of three years.