At Carlow, we believe in systematic and explicit multisensory-based structured literacy as a means of universal design in early childhood reading instruction. The four courses within our Graduate Certificate in Dyslexia Teaching will provide a strong foundation in those elements while providing a comprehensive look at the brain research in the field of dyslexia. All courses are aligned to the International Dyslexia Association Standards for educators/teachers of reading. Parents, community members or non-formal educators interested in more academic and practical information relative to dyslexia instruction are welcome.


  • August and January Start Dates
  • No GRE required
  • $4995 tuition* (employer reimbursement encouraged)

Courses are offered in a hybrid or online format throughout the school year and in the summer. 
To enroll or get answers to your questions, please contact Admissions at 412.578.6059 or by email at

*note: additional fees may apply 

Course Information

SPED 772 Positive Behavior Supports PK-8 or 774, 7-12
This course is intended to provide teachers with an understanding of the etiology and conditions of student behavior and equip them with strategies so that many manage classroom behavior effectively. The techniques of Applied Behavioral Analysis will be introduced. Identification of students at risk including children with emotional, social and behavioral disorders and the development of effective intervention strategies will be covered. A variety of methods for data collection and the analysis of the information generated by these methods are included in the course. Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) and the development of the Behavior Improvement Plan (BIP) will be explored so that a beginning teacher is prepared with numerous options to use when dealing with problem behavior in a positive and proactive manner. 

SPED 760 Communication and Technologies in Special Education
This course focuses on language development from birth to adult in individuals with disabilities, the range of communication needs often displayed and alternative technologies to support those needs. An area of particular emphasis is the teachers role in supporting language and communication development in the classroom and contributing member of the transdisciplinary team. Collaborative models and communication strategies for developing effective working relationships with team members will be examined. In addition, students will study the role of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and assistive technologies; their selection, function, and application for promoting independence for learning and living. Opportunities for hands-on exploration of a variety of devices, both low and high tech including switches, augmentative communication devices, alternative keyboards, specialized computer software, adaptive equipment and other items available in Carlow's Assistive Technology Library will be utilized. 

SPED 778 Autism Spectrum Disorders
This course is designed to prepare teachers to work in a variety of environments serving children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) including the general education classroom, inclusive settings and specialized settings. Evidence-based practice, philosophical approaches, and specific intervention techniques are examined. These practices are considered within the continuum of services and collaborative models utilized in designing effective instructional environments for students with ASD. Attention is given to current and evolving research related to etiology, brain function, and early intervention as well as Applied Behavior Analysis, PECS and TEACHH practices. 

SPED 788 Applied Issues in ASD
This course is designed to provide professionals working in a variety of environments serving children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) including the general education classroom, inclusive settings and specialized settings, with opportunities to develop essential skills for effective collaboration with families and service providers. Examination of professional ethics and approaches for effective communication and support for individuals and their families define the foundation for decisions regarding appropriate educational practices for children and youth with ASD. These include determinations for medication, related services, generalization and long range planning.