Master of Education in Dyslexia Therapy
(Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges)
William Carey University
M.Ed. in Dyslexia Therapy
The William Carey University Dyslexia Therapy Master’s Degree Program is a research-based program to train therapists to work with students with dyslexia and related disorders. The core of WCU’s dyslexia therapy methodology is Orton-Gillingham based and was designed specifically for students with dyslexia. The method originated from the work of Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham; therefore, instruction meets the standard set by law (MS Code Sec. 37-173-1) that defines appropriate dyslexia therapy training. The method evolved from Alphabetic Phonics, a scientific, universally successful, specific teaching approach that combines all three learning modalities auditory, visual, and kinesthetic.
(Dr. Cena Holifield, Director)
The WCU Masters Degree Program is accredited by the International Dyslexia Association and meets the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. The program is also strongly supported by members of the Mississippi Legislature, both the National and Mississippi Scottish Rite Masons, and the Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Association.
WCU works in partnership with the Nationally Certified Language Therapists, Qualified Instructors (CALT, QI) from Neuhaus Education Center, Bellaire, Texas. Neuhaus Education Center is nationally accredited at both the Therapy and Instructor of Therapy levels by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). All Qualified Instructors are certified in Orton-Gillingham based methodology.
The Cohort program is a two-year graduate level course of study and is structured to accommodate the schedule of working teachers. The program has been approved by the State Board of Education as a graduate degree meeting all requirements for an advanced degree by licensed teachers.
The AA license in Dyslexia Therapy may be added to an existing A License for both elementary and secondary level teachers. Upon completion of the program, the graduate is eligible to sit for the national Academic Language Therapy Association exam to earn the title of Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT).
Suzanne Carreker, PhD, CALT, QI
Elisa Barnes, MEd, CALT, QI
Rai Thompson, MEd, CALT, QI
Cena Holifield, PhD, CALT (Program Coordinator)
- To provide an educational experience which meets a state need and enables participants to become professional dyslexia therapists with knowledge and therapy skills based on the methodology that originated with the work of Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham
- To become a part of an effort to assist Mississippi students struggling with dyslexia by serving in private or public school settings
- To provide participants with information relevant to dyslexia theory and research, history, appropriate methodology, curricular knowledge, and applied techniques
Program Entry Requirements:
- Have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
- Must be admitted to the William Carey University Graduate School
- Hold an "A" teacher's license and have evidence of experience in teaching or working with students. A photocopy of the standard educator license is required
- Three letters of recommendation completed by head master or principal, an immediate supervisor or colleague, and a personal character reference.
All DYS courses were designed specifically for the Dyslexia Therapy Masters Degree program; therefore, only graduate students participating in the Dyslexia Therapy Masters Degree may enroll in the following courses. Practicum hours are based on a minimum of two-one hour sessions per day over two years. Some students may require additional time to acquire the minimum requirement of 720 practicum hours covering the entire scope of the curriculum.
DYS 670 – Introduction to Dyslexia Therapy and Multisensory Teaching – 3 hrs
DYS 671 – Dyslexia Therapy Theory and Practice – 3 hrs
DYS 672 – Dyslexia Therapy Internship I (15 hrs; 120 practicum hrs) – 3 hrs
Basic Language Skills Book 1A:
Multisensory Grammar/Written Expression Instruction
DYS 673 – Dyslexia Therapy Internship II (15 hrs; 120 practicum hrs) – 3 hrs
Basic Language Skills Book 1B
Reading Accuracy and Fluency
DYS 674 – Dyslexia Therapy Internship III (15 class hrs; 120 practicum hrs.)- 3hrs
Developing Meta-cognitive Skills
Diagnostics: Screening for Dyslexia
DYS 675 – Dyslexia Therapy Advanced – Planning and Application – 3hrs
DYS 676 – Dyslexia Therapy Advanced – Assessment and Evaluation- 3hrs
DYS 677 – Dyslexia Therapy – Internship IV – (15 class hrs; 120 practicum hrs.) – 3hrs
Developing Vocabulary and Reading Success
DYS 678 - Dyslexia Therapy – Internship V – (15 class hrs; 120 practicum hrs.) – 3hrs
Basic Language Skills Advanced Book 2
DYS 679 - Dyslexia Therapy – Internship VI – (15 class hrs; 120 practicum hrs.) – 3hrs
Basic Language Skills Advanced Book 3
TOTAL: 30 Hours/720 Supervised Clinical Hours
Mississippi Dyslexia Law: MS Code Sec. 37-173-1
"Dyslexia" is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin, characterized by difficulties with accurate and fluent word recognition and poor spelling and decoding abilities, which typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction, and secondary consequences which may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge (International Dyslexia Association, 2012).
"Dyslexia therapy" means an appropriate specialized dyslexia instructional program that is delivered by a Mississippi Department of Education licensed dyslexia therapist which is scientific, research-based, Orton-Gillingham based, and is offered in a small group (MS Code Sec. 37-173-1).
"Dyslexia therapist" means a professional who has completed training in a department approved Orton-Gillingham based dyslexia therapy training program attaining an AA license in dyslexia therapy or a professional participating in a state approved dyslexia therapy training program to attain a AA license in dyslexia therapy (MS Code Sec. 37-173-1).