Become a reading specialist with training in dyslexia through our Indiana Department of Education approved program and help support K-12 students with significant reading difficulties. The program consists of 50 hours of professional development, including 40 hours of face-to-face training and 10 hours of online training. Participants will complete training over the course of the summer and into the fall academic year:
- Part 1- Reading Problems Boot Camp. Three full sequential and intense days of group face-to-face training on the Hammond campus will provide a solid foundation in the reading process; understanding reading difficulties, including their relationship to learning disabilities; the history and origins of dyslexia; identifying reading problems and underlying causes; assessing and monitoring progress; an overview of tiered support strategies, and more.
Scheduled for June 10, 11, & 12, 2019.
- Part 2- Case Studies and Diagnostic Plans. Five instructional hours of asynchronous online activities and assignments completed with instructor support. Using the research literature on evidence-based practice in reading intervention as a base, participants will analyze case studies featuring diverse students to gain expertise in developing practical reading intervention plans.
Scheduled over the month of July at participant’s own pace.
- Part 3- More Evidence-based Instructional Practice. Following the summer readings and activities, two full sequential and intense days of group face-to-face training will expand on choosing and implementing reading methodologies for students with learning problems. Participants will exit the summer training with a tool box of reading interventions to be applied in their schools.
Scheduled for August 5 & 6, 2019.
- Part 4- Supervised Field Work and Wrap-Up. The last part of the training program consists of supervised implementation of reading interventions. Participants will develop reading intervention plans for at least two students or small groups with support from instructors and then videotape themselves for feedback on fidelity of implementation. The field work will culminate in a one-day group face-to-face session to examine results, plan for the future, and discuss the provision of training and support to colleagues.
Field work will take place over the month of September at participant’s own pace. The final wrap-up session will be scheduled in early October.
The program cost per person is $1600 with a $300 discount for five or more teachers from a single district.
Dr. Rita Brusca-Vega, Associate Professor of Special Education and Graduate Special Education Program Coordinator, is a former teacher of students with learning disabilities in the Chicago metropolitan area and has over 30 years of experience as a special education teacher educator in Illinois and Indiana. Dr. Brusca-Vega holds degrees from Northeastern Illinois University and Northern Illinois University. She has taught methodology courses in learning disabilities and supervised numerous teachers of students with and at-risk of dyslexia. Her current work is focused on serving English learners with disabilities, including reading disabilities, and she is currently interim chair of the Illinois State Board of Education’s Committee on Bilingual Special Education. She has intimate knowledge of dyslexia, multi-tiered systems of support and specialized reading interventions.
Ms. Shannon O’Brien, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Dual Elementary/Special Education Program, has a Master’s Degree from Purdue University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Ball State University. She has researched and provided reading interventions for students at the elementary and middle school levels. Her courses have included early reading and intervention courses. As an elementary principal, she delivered support and training in a wide variety of reading interventions. She systematically developed district-wide Response to Instruction reading supports for struggling readers as Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Assessment data was consulted in all of these scenarios to best serve students at-risk for significant reading difficulties. Ms. O’Brien is engaged in ongoing work with teachers and teacher candidates on reading and literacy issues in Hammond, Hobart, Gary, Lake Central, and other districts in Northwest Indiana.
Dr. Denise Frazier holds a Ph.D. in reading from Ball State University and is Assistant Professor in Literacy Education. She is responsible for teaching reading interventions (formerly called corrective reading) and supervising teacher candidates who tutor children with reading difficulties. She also has responsibility for educating teacher candidates about English learners in a specialized course. Prior to her experience at the university, Dr. Frazier taught sixth grade for eight years in a public school where she co-taught collaborative reading with a special education teacher and led RTI reading groups for children with reading difficulties. She has published and presented on issues of technology and literacy.