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For Immediate Release

Media contacts:
Jane Turnis
(719) 389-6138

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038



Very few colleges and universities offer such training for teachers

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – April 22, 2008 – Colorado College is adding a Reading Intervention Specialist program for teachers that will include instruction in how to work with dyslexic students. Only a handful of colleges and universities in the country offer such a program, and none of them are in the Rocky Mountain region.

The Reading Intervention Specialist Program is a graduate certification program designed to enhance teaching abilities and further education in the field of reading and reading disabilities.

The program, offered June 9-18, will provide a broad framework for understanding reading problems in the classroom. It will cover how children learn to read, why many students have reading difficulties and what teachers should know to help those who struggle. Based on solid, convergent evidence, teachers will gain an understanding of reading development, dyslexia and components of effective instruction for dyslexic students and those at-risk for reading failure.

The program will be taught by Lynne Fitzhugh, a Certified Academic Language Therapist and founding director of The Dyslexia Center at Penrose-St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs. Fitzhugh, whose area of specialty is dyslexia and related learning disabilities, received her master’s degree and Ph.D. in psychology from Southern Methodist University.

"It is very exciting to be offering this new program at Colorado College, one that will serve teachers throughout the state. Summer Session has offered courses for practicing teachers at Colorado College for many decades. Yet, we often feel we are a well-kept a secret, especially in that we offer terrific reduced tuition rates for teachers,” says Ann Van Horn, assistant dean of summer session at CC. “Along with this exciting new RIS program, we hope to see more teachers at Colorado College every summer, whether they are seeking to be a Reading Intervention Specialist, a better teacher of history, art, science, or even Latin. Our aim is to make teachers scholars and masters of what they do," she said.
In the summer of 2007, The Dyslexia Center at Penrose-St. Francis Hospital began the first training programs in the Rocky Mountain region aligned with national standards of the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council and the Academic Language Therapy Association. This summer, the RIS program will be offered at Colorado College. The Dyslexia Center will continue to offer the Dyslexia Specialist Program at the St. Francis Health Center.

Teachers will receive instruction in:

  • The psychology of reading and reading development, including the neurobiology of reading and information processing
  • Dyslexia and other causes of reading failure
  • The importance of direct instruction in phonological skills
  • Linguistics and structure of the English language
  • Multi-sensory instructional strategies for reading and spelling
  • Overview of reading intervention programs
  • School-based identification of dyslexia
  • New regulations and their implications for schools as related to dyslexia

Colorado College has long offered programs for established teachers and teachers seeking a Master of Arts in teaching degree. The RIS Program, which is limited to 25 students, will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Tutt Science Center on the Colorado College campus. The program is open to anyone holding a bachelor’s degree. Students receive two hours of graduate. Cost is $606 for contracted teachers, and $1,212 for others.

For more information, contact Ann Van Horn at avanhorn@ColoradoCollege.edu or (719-389-6656) or visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu/SummerPrograms/SummerSession.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,975 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu <http://www.ColoradoCollege.edu>