Gordon in the News: last updated 06/26/2014

Master of Education Program Receives International Dyslexia Association Accreditation

For Immediate Release
June 20, 2014

Media Contact
Cyndi McMahon

Wenham, MA—The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) recently announced eight college/university programs in the United States have received accredition for their quality educational programs and the training of teachers in reading. The Gordon College Graduate Education programMaster of Education: Reading Specialistwas one of only three accredited programs in the country in the "Master of Education" category.

"Gordon's Graduate Education is delighted to earn the IDA accreditation," said Janet Arndt, director of Graduate Education. "This endorsement represents all the hard work of those who developed our program and teach in it. We are grateful for our dedicated colleagues." The IDA Standards provide a framework for course content in university teacher preparation programs, offering the most thorough, research-supported documentation of what every teacher ought to know and be able to demonstrate, whether they are teaching dyslexic students, struggling readers or the general student population. IDA is the only accrediting body of U.S. standards for teaching of reading in dyslexia.

In addition to Gordon College, IDA announced accredition to seven other schools. Gordon College was the only college or university program in the New England region to receive accredition in this round. [Reviews take place every two years.] To date, only 18 programs in the United States have received accredition and are aligned with the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards.

“In this round, we had another group of strong schools—a mix of major universities and dyslexia therapy programs,” said IDA's Elisabeth Liptak, director of professional development. “A number of schools are eager to be accredited by IDA as it gives their program a competitive advantage when recruiting students and teachers in local markets.”

IDA's requirements for accredition includes highly qualified, independent reviewers assigned to each college and university for reviews of programs and course syllabi, course materials and graduation requirements. Interviews are conducted with program directors and a site visit to the school is required. The IDA Standards emphasize the need for teachers to be more deeply prepared 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.

“It is really encouraging to see that more and more schools are interested in building their programs and working towards accreditation. It takes a lot of effort, but in the end, the results are certainly worth it,” said Dr. Suzanne Carreker, chair of IDA’s professional development committee and secretary of IDA’s board. “If teachers are better prepared to teach our students to read, the impact of reading difficulties, including dyslexia, will be lessened. IDA believes that all students deserve appropriate instruction and support so that they can reach their full potential.”

The long-term goal of IDA 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.

Gordon's Master of Education program in reading offers a comprehensive course schedule with research-based reading strategies, assessment, differentiation, remediation of reading/language difficulties, and integration of technology. The faculty provide meaningful opportunities in the field for research, reflection, assessment, and instruction, while providing the training and the tools for students to provide quality, individualized literacy instruction. In addition to the high quality assurance that accrediting bodies like IDA provide, Gordon's Master of Education program also provides rolling admission; affordable tuition rates; Federal Stafford and private loans; and Friday night/Saturday courses [as well as once-a-week night courses]. The program observes Massachusetts public school vacations to fit the busy schedules of adult students and teachers.

The International Dyslexia Association is a non-profit scientific and educational organization dedicated to the study and treatment of dyslexia and related language-based learning differences. The IDA operates 43 branches throughout the United States and Canada and has global partners in 20 countries, including Australia, Brazil, England, Germany, Ireland and Japan.

For additional information, visit the IDA website or contact Dr. Janet Arndt, director of graduate education, at 978.867.4814. Detailed program information for admissions inquiries are provided on the Gordon College Graduate Education webpages.


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