Saint Joseph's University Master's in Special Education Program Announces Partnership with Wilson Language Training

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Online Master's Program Now Offers Wilson Reading System® Certification

Wilson Reading Certification is ideal for teachers who seek to increase their marketability and respond more effectively to their students with reading challenges

In March 2009, Saint Joseph's University's Online Master's in Special Education: Response to Intervention program will be collaborating with a third party, the world-renowned Wilson Language Training Corporation. This partnership will allow students enrolled in the Saint Joseph's University's Online Special Education Graduate Program to become certified as Wilson Reading System® teachers. The Wilson Reading System® certification is a well-respected credential designed for teachers who instruct students with language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia.

Students of Saint Joseph's University will have two options to acquire the Wilson® certification; they may become Wilson Level 1 Certified by completing ten graduate credit hours for a stand-alone certificate, or integrate the Wilson® coursework as part of the Master's Degree in Special Education. The certification only option can be completed in 32 weeks, and includes five practicum observations by the instructor, a certified Wilson trainer. The observations may be conducted via a Web-cam, a breakthrough in online education. The Saint Joseph's Master in Special Education is pioneering the online program through which students can earn the Wilson Level 1 certification while also earning graduate credit.

"Wilson Reading Certification is ideal for teachers who seek to increase their marketability and respond more effectively to their students with reading challenges," explained Cheryl A. Koki, Licensure and Higher Education Program Administrator, Wilson Language Training. "It is a great opportunity for students to acquire this type of certification remotely via an online setting."

Since its launch in 1986, more than 10,000 educators have become certified in the Wilson Reading System®, designed to bolster training for teachers assisting students with reading challenges from grade two through adult. The integrated Web-cam practicum introduced through Saint Joseph's University allows teachers to have their lessons observed while receiving simultaneous feedback from a professor. This process ensures effective, individualized instruction and feedback.

"We have seen a significant increase in the number of students identified with reading disabilities in recent years," explained Cathleen G. Spinelli, Ph.D., of the Saint Joseph's Special Education Program. "Some students don't learn the way we typically teach. Many students with reading disorders, even non-readers, benefit from the systematic instructional approach provided by the Wilson Reading Systems®.

For additional information about the Wilson Reading Certification offered through Saint Joseph's University Online, please visit

About Wilson Language Training
According to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress report (NAEP), millions of students in middle and high schools across the nation struggle to read in school every day. The number of students scoring at or below basic level in overall reading skill is astounding. And while students from elementary school through college lack basic literacy skills, this problem does not just affect our children; some 27 million adults are functionally illiterate as well.

Whether caused by dyslexia or some other language-based learning difficulty, a late introduction to English or over-reliance on whole language programs, this deficit can be corrected by direct, multisensory, structured language teaching. Wilson's mission is to provide teachers with the skills and tools they need to help their students become fluent, independent readers. Wilson Language Training's mission is to prepare teachers to use multisensory, structured language principles and strategies to successfully teach reading and spelling.

About Saint Joseph's
Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University advances the professional and personal ambitions of men and women by providing a demanding, yet supportive, educational experience. One of only 142 schools with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and AACSB business school accreditation, Saint Joseph's is home to 4,150 full-time undergraduates and 2,700 graduate, part-time and doctoral students. Steeped in the 450-year Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, Saint Joseph's was recently named to the 2007 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for General Community Service. The University strives to be recognized as the preeminent Catholic comprehensive university in the Northeast.

Saint Joseph's offers online programs to accommodate the schedules of working adults around the nation and internationally. To learn more, go to or call 866-758-7670.


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Susan Schreiber
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