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School of Education - George Mason University

Certificate in Specialized Reading Instruction for Students with Specific Learning Disabilities with MEd Option

Upcoming Event

Launching in Fall 2023, this 15-credit, non-licensure graduate certificate (with an option to complete a master's in special education in parallel) will enable educators to develop a deep level of knowledge in literacy development, assessment, and science-based instruction for students with difficulties in reading and writing.

According to the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), literacy instruction for students who experience severe difficulties requires considerable teacher knowledge and skill. The coursework and practica in reading, vocabulary, and writing assessment and instruction offered in the certificate follows the professional standards of the IDA for dyslexia specialists.

The certificate content has been scaffolded to prepare teachers to meet the unique needs of students who experience severe deficits in reading, vocabulary, and written language from K to grade 12. It fosters a deep level of knowledge in literacy development, assessment, and science-based instruction for students who require intensive instruction typically considered to be Tier II, Tier III, or special education instruction.

Coursework culminates in a practicum that provides a rich hands-on learning experience for candidates. 

Students who wish to attain the master's in special education in conjunction with this certificate program complete an additional 15 credits of coursework. See the Courses tab below for detailed requirements. Students wishing to pursue the master's option should apply to the master's program and contact an advisor to add the certificate once enrolled.

Program Format

  • Study part-time, or as part of a full-time load in parallel with another program.
  • Start in fall or spring semesters.
  • Courses are offered mostly online, with a final practicum completed on location, usually in the Northern Virginia area.

Tuition Assistance and Grant Funding

  • Virginia Educator Discount: A 15% discount off the university’s approved tuition rate is available for qualifying in-state graduate students who are educators in Virginia.
  • Graduate Research Assistantships: Part-time positions are available for students interested in providing research support to faculty.
  • Mason LIFE: The Learning Into Future Environments (LIFE) Program is an innovative post-secondary program at Mason. Students focusing on special education have an opportunity to work as instructors, resident advisors and mentors in the LIFE program which provides them with field experience in a supportive, supervised setting.

Additional Information

  • Students wishing to pursue the master's option should apply to the master's program and contact an advisor to add the certificate once enrolled.
  • This program does not lead to teacher licensure.