Wilson Reading System® Certification Track Overview

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Millions of students in the U.S. struggle with their reading skills. As reading forms the foundation for further learning both in and out of the classroom, educators need to focus on literacy development, and the earlier, the better. The Wilson Reading System® (WRS) certification track of the online Master of Science in Education – Special Education shows teachers how to identify and address a variety of fluency and comprehension deficits exhibited by students who struggle with reading and writing whether due to a language-based learning disability or other factors.

One of the premier supplemental literacy development programs, the Wilson Reading System® program uses multi-sensory, structured language programs and strategies to teach reading and spelling successfully. The Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) found that this system can effectively “close the gap” in literacy skills for struggling readers1.

In addition to the credit hour tuition, there is an additional Wilson educational fee of $325 per course.

Wilson Reading System® Certification Curriculum

This certification track curriculum consists of four courses that cover the fundamentals of the WRS. Coursework begins with an intro to multisensory structured language instruction and then focuses on intensive instruction for the non-responsive reader. It prepares you to offer specialized instruction for students who are lagging behind their peers in reading comprehension and other literacy skills. Topics include:

  • Principles of language structure
  • Practical application of reading research
  • Accuracy and automaticity of word recognition
  • Syllable patterns and advanced word structure

Please Note: SPE 713 is a Wilson Reading Practicum and requires a minimum of 60 hours of work with a student with reading challenges. An appropriate student for this practicum must be approved by the Wilson Reading Practicum Instructor.

What Can I Do with This Certification?

Upon completion of this track, you will be eligible for WRS Level 1 certification. Teachers use the Wilson Reading System® in public and private schools, clinics, family literacy programs, tutoring programs, and home school environments across the country. You may use your skills in concert with other special education expertise in general or special education classrooms, or in reading-specific positions such as:

  • Reading Specialist
  • Early Intervention Literacy Specialist
  • Reading Therapist
  • Private Reading Coach

Adding WRS Level 1 certification to your special education knowledge can open up additional career opportunities and enable to you help students build a stronger base for future academic success.

Earn Two or More Certifications

You can choose to earn more than one certification as part of your work in the online master’s program. In addition to this certification, you can also add the Autism Endorsement and Special Education certification tracks to your MS in Special Education studies by completing additional credit hours and other requirements.

To learn more about the online Wilson Reading System® certification program from Saint Joseph’s University and what it can do for your career, call (610) 660-3400 to speak with a Program Manager or request more information.


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