IDA Accredits Nine Universities

Teachers who are Better Prepared Help Students Reach Full Potential

Nine university programs in the U.S. have received accreditation from the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and its affiliate, the Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI), for having met the standards outlined in IDA’s Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. This was the third round of university reviews by IDA, which conducts the process every two years.

The IDA Standards provide a framework for course content in university and other 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, other struggling readers or the general student population.

The programs IDA has accredited in 2016 are as follows:

Clarion University, Pennsylvania

M.S. Special Education with Reading Concentration

Columbia University, New York

M.A. Reading Specialist

Drexel University, Pennsylvania

M.S. Special Education with Multisensory Reading Concentration

Fairfield University, Connecticut

Certificate of Advanced Study (6th year), Reading and Language Development

Ohio State University, Ohio

Dyslexia Certificate Track

Southern Connecticut State University, Connecticut

M.S. in Reading

6th Year Professional Certificate in Reading

University of Central Arkansas, Arkansas

B.S.E. Elementary Education, M.S.E. Reading

University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi

Ed. in Dyslexia Therapy

West Liberty University, West Virginia

            M.A. in Education, Reading Endorsement

“We are delighted to see this third group of teacher preparation programs meet the rigorous requirements for IDA accreditation, as well as to see increasing numbers of programs demonstrating an interest in seeking IDA accreditation,” said Louise Spear-Swerling, Ph.D., Vice President of the CERI Board of Directors and Area Coordinator for the Graduate Program in Learning Disabilities at Southern Connecticut State University. “Effective teachers can make an enormous difference in children’s literacy outcomes.”

“Effective teachers can make an enormous difference in children’s literacy outcomes.”

“These programs are providing the kind of thorough, evidence-based preparation that is needed for educators to teach reading and writing very successfully to diverse groups of students, including those with dyslexia and other reading difficulties,” said Spear-Swerling.

IDA began reviewing university reading programs in 2012, resulting in the accreditation of nine programs that year, followed by eight more in 2014. A complete list of accredited programs can be found on IDA’s website at

For the 2016 group, three independent reviewers were assigned to each university to evaluate their programs and alignment with IDA Standards. The review included a thorough look at course syllabi and other course materials and requirements, interviews with program directors, and a site visit to the school.

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.

The long-term goal of the 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.

IDA’s Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI) also offers individual certification for teachers based on the IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. These include Structured Literacy Teacher and Structured Literacy Interventionist certifications.

“Our goal is to make sure teachers are better prepared to teach reading in our schools so that all students acquire the highest levels of literacy and thrive,” said Liz Liptak

Executive Director of CERI. “We believe that everyone can reach their full potential when they receive the right instruction and support.”

About the International Dyslexia Association

The International Dyslexia Association is a non-profit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to the study and treatment of dyslexia as well as 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 please visit

About The Center for Effective Reading Instruction

The Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI) seeks to further evidence-based approaches to reading and learning so that all students acquire the highest levels of literacy and thrive. CERI fulfills its mission by offering certification to teachers and reading interventionists that affirms their knowledge and skills in teaching literacy using a structured approach to language. CERI also accredits university and independent training programs that provide teacher preparation in structured literacy and language. CERI operates as an independent subsidiary of the International Dyslexia Association. For additional information please visit

For media inquiries, please contact Lisa Harlow of Clapp Communications at (410) 561-8886 or at

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