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U. of Nebraska offers dyslexia certification for teachers

July, 2023, U. of Nebraska, Omaha: New Dyslexia Specialist Certificate Equips Educators with Tools to Better Support Students

According to researchers, around 20% of students in the U.S. have dyslexia*, a learning disability that causes people to struggle with language skills including writing, spelling, pronouncing words, and reading. Early diagnosis and intervention are critical, and the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders (SECD) is working to help fill a gap in educator training.

The department’s new Dyslexia Specialist Certificate, a one-year, 100% online graduate program, enables educators to expand their knowledge about dyslexia in order to best serve students in the classroom. The certificate program can support students as they prepare for national certification, if they choose….

Through a collaboration between SECD and the Teacher Education Department, graduate students can customize their experience and gain content knowledge in dyslexia and the Science of Reading by adding dyslexia certificate coursework to a Master of Science in Special Education or a Master of Science in Literacy.

Assistant Professor Amanda Kern, Ph.D., conceptualized the certificate program in 2021, and the department welcomed the first cohort of educators this fall….

"I recommend the program as a supercharged boost to ayone wanting the skills to teach reading to all students," said Bean. "Throughout the program, I have not only received unwavering support from dedicated professors but also had the opportunity to immerse myself in current research."

In the future, due to new legislation LB 298, Nebraska will begin to collect and report information regarding dyslexia to state officials. Dr. Kern believes that additional data could significantly improve the way schools assist students with dyslexia.

"Data will give [schools and districts] power and they’ll be able to really show change and make informed choices in planning and in resource allocation," explained Dr. Kern.

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