The Zeist Foundation granted a $200,000 gift to the University of Georgia to help educators receive the training and support they need to better serve children with dyslexia. The gift will aid two cohorts of teachers as they pursue the UGA College of Education’s online Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia.
The certificate program launched in 2016, thanks to a $25,000 The Zeist Foundation provided. The certificate has since moved online to serve a larger population of working educators, clinicians and specialists. Providing the program online accommodates the schedules of working educators and ensures candidates receive hands-on training as well.
The Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia provides specific knowledge related to reading and language development, assessment, instruction and remediation of reading disability. In addition to these skills, the program helps online students provide timely and effective interventions for children with dyslexia. Dyslexia is a neurobiological, language-based learning disorder characterized by difficulties with accurate and or fluent word reading, poor spelling and decoding abilities.
The Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia is a two-year program co-directed by associate professors Jennifer Lindstrom and Kristin Sayeski. The program is aligned with the International Dyslexia Association’s Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachings of Reading. No other institution of higher education in Georgia offers focused training in dyslexia as part of their graduate degree programs or as a stand-alone graduate certificate program.
Funding from The Zeist Foundation not only offered tuition assistance, but also provided mentorship and professional training from the Schenk School and the Dyslexia Resource Trust. Both of these institutions specialize in supporting students with dyslexia and have been instrumental in expanding access to this program to educators in Atlanta.
This article originally appeared in UGA Today.