MSED - Reading Specialist - Dyslexia Emphasis

The Reading Specialist program at Newman University program is dedicated to redefining reading education for school-aged students in collaboration with administrators, reading specialists, and teachers. Our main objectives are to provide schools with the knowledge and tools to identify students with dyslexia and to educate teachers, resource room teachers, reading specialists, and administrators in the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy with appropriate curriculum.

MSED Application Process

The Newman MSED Reading Specialist - Dyslexia Emphasis program stands out from others by focusing not only on the "what" of reading education, but also on the practical application of the science of reading research to upskill teachers to better help the 1-in-5 students in their classroom that are dyslexic.

This graduate degree program (10 courses/30 hours) is designed to provide full-time working teachers with application skills and methods necessary to develop reading instructional strategies and interventions for all students and the leadership skills necessary to lead a PreK-12 school reading program. This program provides reading specialists with an explicit, sequential, systematic, prescriptive, diagnostic, and cumulative structure of instruction to teach students with dyslexia. Additionally, this program prepares students to successfully pass the KPEERI and ALTA exams for national licensure for dyslexia therapy and the Praxis exam for reading specialist licensure in the state of Kansas.

Unique Features

Our program is unique because of its focus on practical application. While other programs, like LETRS, provide teachers with knowledge of the science of reading research, our program goes a step further by teaching educators how to assess, identify, and instruct students who struggle with reading, especially those with dyslexia. Our program also utilizes materials that have been specifically developed by our experienced instructors and are not available elsewhere.

Practical Application

Newman’s MSED Reading Specialist - Dyslexia Emphasis program integrates theoretical learning with practical, hands-on experiences. For example, our Theory & Practice class, which takes place over two weeks in July, provides educators with instruction on the science of reading and then allows them to immediately apply these techniques by teaching colleagues the exact procedures they have learned. This hands-on approach ensures that our students are equipped to apply what they have learned in real-world settings.

Faculty Expertise

Our faculty members are highly qualified and experienced in the field of dyslexia education. Jane Hayes, one of our instructors, has more than 15 years of experience as a dyslexia therapist and holds a Masters of Science in Dyslexia Therapy degree. She is also a Certified Academic Language Therapist, a Qualified Instructor, and a Certified Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist. Amy Taylor, another instructor, has been providing dyslexia therapy services since 2017 and is a Certified Academic Language Therapist. Both instructors have extensive experience working with students with dyslexia and have made significant contributions to the field through their research and curriculum development.

Admissions and Requirements

To be admitted to the program, prospective students must have an undergraduate degree in education with a minimum GPA of 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale), a current teaching license, a writing sample on the Philosophy of Education, and two positive references. The program also prepares students for the Praxis exam for state licensure and the KPEERI or ALTA exams for dyslexia therapy.


Program Accessibility

Newman University’s  program offers both in-person and hybrid models of coursework. The first and third courses are two full-week courses offered in the summer, with in-person attendance encouraged but online options available. Not only do we discuss appropriate accommodations and modifications for students with dyslexia in all classwork, we also provide them to those enrolled in the coursework at Newman. Accommodations and modifications are unique to each individual. They are applied per the student’s unique needs.

The Future

The program is constantly evolving in response to new research and trends in dyslexia education. We are currently working towards obtaining the necessary approvals from the International Dyslexia Association to further enhance the program to ensure that Newman’s program remains at the forefront of dyslexia education.

MSED Dyslexia - FAQs

The program aims to provide schools with the knowledge and tools to identify and support students with reading difficulties, especially those with dyslexia. It focuses on the science of reading and structured literacy. The curriculum includes practical application and hands-on experiences.

This program goes beyond simply educating teachers on the research behind dyslexia. It focuses on the practical application of that research, equipping teachers to assess, identify, and instruct students with dyslexia. It offers unique materials and methods that are not available elsewhere.

The program uses materials created by the instructors, which are considered best practices for students who struggle with reading. These materials are exclusive to those enrolled in the program.

The program starts with a Theory & Practice class, where educators learn about the science of reading and immediately teach colleagues the procedures they have learned. This hands-on approach allows students to apply what they learn in real-world settings.

The faculty members have extensive experience in dyslexia education and intervention. They are Certified Academic Language Therapist and Certified Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialists. They have worked with students of all grade levels and have applied proven techniques in classrooms and small groups.

Prospective students need to have an undergraduate degree in education, a teaching license, a minimum GPA of 3.25, a writing sample on the Philosophy of Education, and two positive references, including one from a supervisor.

The order of dyslexia emphasized coursework is fixed, but students can enroll at any time throughout the year and start their degree work. The program offers in-person and hybrid models, and courses with heavy instructional loads are scheduled during the summer months.

The program discusses appropriate accommodations and modifications for students with dyslexia. These accommodations and modifications are provided to enrolled students based on their unique needs. The program is inclusive and understanding of dyslexic students.

The program helps students become experts in dyslexia education, equipping them with skills and knowledge that are in high demand. It supports their academic and professional development and encourages them to join professional organizations for networking opportunities.

The program measures success by the Reading Specialist candidate's ability to assess, analyze, evaluate, and instruct students with dyslexia. Candidates follow a school-aged student throughout their coursework, writing a case study that demonstrates their skills and knowledge and the student's growth. The program demonstrates success when the Reading Specialist candidates pass the Praxis exam as well as are independently working with students of all reading difficulties - especially those with dyslexia. 

Do you already have your MSED? 

Learn more about our Reading Specialist Licensure Program.