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Orton Gillingham Reading program graduates are prepared to teach learners with reading/writing disabilities.
Orton Gillingham Reading (K-12)

Educators specializing in the Orton-Gillingham Reading Approach incorporate intensive phonics-based, instruction with specific teaching methodology. Educators learn to use the approach with school-age and adult learners who are nonreaders who have reading or writing language skill disabilities. This program aligns with the St. Thomas teaching license in learning disabilities.

As you complete your program in Special Education and Gifted Education at the University of St. Thomas you will:

  • Gain the knowledge and skills to have a positive impact on students in the K-12 classroom
  • Become part of a supportive network of fellow students, alumni and faculty that will inspire and sustain you throughout your career
  • Learn from expert faculty currently active in K-12 classrooms who are here to help you shape your path

What you can earn

  • Certificate



Where you'll learn

  • On-campus (St. Thomas)




When you can start

  • Spring semester begins: February 2, 2015

Questions about this program

Ea Porter is an Administrative Assistant for the Teacher Education program in the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling at the University of St. Thomas.

Ea Porter

Enrollment Advisor



Program Details

For the Certificate

Provides an overview of special education and the specific categories of exceptionality. Examines the history, theories, legal mandates, definitions and terminology related to special education. Identifies roles and responsibilities of general and special education professionals. Characteristics of individuals with exceptionalities are explored. These include but are not limited to: gifted and talented, learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, developmental disabilities, sensory disabilities, early childhood special education, autism spectrum disorders and speech and language disorders or differences.

Focuses on evidence-based foundations and skills for the instruction of students with mild-to-moderate disabilities in the basic skills. Emphasizes practical knowledge, databased decision making and application in information processing and the basic skills of reading, written expression, spelling and mathematics. This course is part of a sequence of courses leading to the UST Orton Gillingham Certificate of Completion

A practicum in an educational setting where students with learning disabilities are present. Involves observing, assessing and providing appropriate instruction and intervention for students in classrooms and/or community settings. Includes documentation of practical experiences gleaned from the student’s licensure program. Students successfully completing this course along with others designated in the program are eligible for the Orton Gillingham Reading Mastery Certificate.

SPED 645 Educational Assessment (3 Credits)
Examine principles of formal and informal educational assessment and learn to use data to inform decisions for service eligibility, Least Restrictive Environment, and best practices for culturally diverse learners. Synthesis of assessment data to develop evaluation summaries and IEP's based on data and best practices for students with mild to moderate disabilities are also addressed.  

SPED 716 Fundamentals for Students with Mild to Moderate Needs (1-3 Credits)
Provides an overview to the disabilities of autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities including developmental cognitive disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, specific learning disabilities and other health disorders. Definitions, eligibility criteria, characteristics, etiology and family and community supports and resources. Students will use this fundamental information and apply to IEP development, use of assistive technology and contemporary issues in the field.  1-3 credits depends upon whether this is a first time license or additional license.

SPED 788 Advanced Instructional Strategies: Learning Disabilities (3 Credits)
Increased understanding and knowledge of the academic, social, and preferred future planning needs of children who have been identified with specific learning disabilities. Focuses on current state-of-the-art learning strategies and scientifically research-based instruction and remedial approaches to address the needs of students with specific learning disabilities.  


TOTAL 12-17 Credits

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Seehwa Cho, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Teacher Education (651) 962-4434
MOH 312 | Opus Hall

Jan Frank, Ph.D., is the department chair of the Teacher Education program at the University of St. Thomas.

Jan Frank, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Teacher Education (651) 962-4446
MOH 306 | Opus Hall

Debbie Monson, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Teacher Education program at the University of St. Thomas.

Debbie Monson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor Teacher Education (651) 962-4443
MOH 304 | Opus Hall

Robert J. Nistler, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Teacher Education program at the University of St. Thomas.

Robert J. Nistler, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Teacher Education (651) 962-4426
MOH 307 | Opus Hall

Amy F. Smith, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Teacher Education program at the University of St. Thomas.

Amy F. Smith, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Teacher Education (651) 962-4445
MOH 313 | Opus Hall

Douglas F. Warring, Ph.D., is a professor in the Teacher Education program at the University of St. Thomas.

Douglas F. Warring, Ph.D.

Professor Teacher Education (651) 962-4877
MOH 314 | Opus Hall


Ongoing Professional Development

The Department of Special Education and Gifted Education offers a wide variety of professional development opportunities throughout the year. Whether networking with leaders in the field at the annual Education for Everyone Event series or simply catching up on the latest tools and techniques in gifted and talented education at the biennial Gifted Education Conference, the College of Education, Leadership & Counseling provides lifelong learning opportunities. Most events include a CEU component. In addition to annual events, the department offers specialized summer institutes in the area of Supervising Paraprofessionals, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Twice Exceptional Education.


Mentored Clinical Practice

The dedicated faculty in the Special Education and Gifted Education programs will work with you to ensure that your clinical practice experience (student teaching) will meet your needs and facilitate your growth, both personally and professionally. Throughout your time student teaching, regularly scheduled seminars with faculty and peers offer the opportunity to form a strong professional network as you prepare to enter the field and have a positive impact on K-12 students.


Community Partnerships

The College of Education, Leadership & Counseling takes pride in engaging in innovative partnerships with a variety of organizations. Students in the College of Education, Leadership & Counseling will find many opportunities for professional growth as a result of working with these organizations. Partnership examples include the Northwest Suburban Integration District, Center for Academics and Sports, FAIR School and the Collaborative Urban Educators program. 


The Value of a St. Thomas Degree

Calculating the cost of your degree can be challenging, as every institution approaches it a bit differently. At St. Thomas, we list our tuition cost as cost per credit:

  • Each course can be 1-3 semester credits, but the standard course is 3 credits.  
  • To view the total number of credits per program you can view the courses tab above.

It may be possible for you to receive some type of financial assistance. To learn more, please visit our Graduate Financial Aid page.

We offer our students much more than just a degree. We offer the chance to be a part of a personal and professional network like no other, which means your graduate education will enrich your life and career long into the future.


Education (M.A., Ed.S., Certificate, Licensure)

On-campus Tuition (per credit) $793.50
Books and materials
(estimate per course)
One-time application fee $50

1 | Meet the requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • A cumulative minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.0 (4.0 scale) or the successful completion of a graduate level program from another institution

If you do not meet the above requirement(s), you may be eligible for special admission, which requires:

  • A cumulative minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 2.75 (4.0 scale)
  • The completion of a standardized test, such as the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), GRE, GMAT or LSAT
  • A possible interview with an admissions person/committee

2 | Submit the following application materials:

  • Application form and one-time $50 application fee
  • Two positive letters of reference from non-related individuals
  • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work (unless that work was completed at the University of St. Thomas)
  • Personal statement

3 | Submit the supplementary materials:

  • Initial Licensure:  MTLE Basic Skills required by the end of an initial teacher licensure candidate's first semester of coursework.
  • International Applicants:  (1) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) required for any candidate whose primary language is not English. (2) Transcript Review: All international transcripts must be reviewed by an accredited evaluation service to determine U.S. equivalency of the degree awarded and the institution awarding the degree. Applications will not be reviewed for admissions until the official review is submitted.


Application Deadlines:

  • For Fall Term: June 1
  • For Spring Term: Rolling
  • For Summer Term: May 1

When you can start

  • Fall semester begins September 3, 2014

Looking for More?

Apply online

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1000 LaSalle Avenue · Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403 · USA
1-651-962-4550 · education@stthomas.edu