Dyslexia Specialist Endorsement

This program is designed to meet the growing need for skilled and knowledgeable educators who are prepared to work with students who have dyslexia or characteristics of dyslexia.

What is the Dyslexia Endorsement?

Dyslexia Endorsement will give you training in:

  • Characteristics of the neurobiological origin of dyslexia
  • Evaluating and adapting curriculum to best meet the needs of our most struggling readers
  • Formal assessments used for diagnosing dyslexia and diagnostic assessments to guide instruction
  • Collaborative instructional design that advocates for student needs 

Course work in  the program is available at the graduate level and applies toward our 33 credit Master of Education. 

Who Should Get a Dyslexia Endorsement?

The K-12 Dyslexia Specialist endorsement is designed for teachers with at least 3 years of teaching experience in a K-12 setting.

Admission and Application Requirements

Admission Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree earned from a regionally accredited institution, evidenced by a transcript.
  • Validated minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. (Students below 3.0 will be considered for provisional acceptance.)
  • A  current or pending license to teach in the United States.
  • Complete the application for admission.
  • Dyslexia Endorsement requires Experience Verification Form or other sufficient documentation of at least three years of teaching experience in a K-12 setting. Once you have submitted the application for admission, you will enter your administrator name and email address on the landing page of the application portal under the Experience Verification Form. Please contact Ginger Hermon if you need additional administrator(s) to complete the online Experience Verification Form.

Application to the Dyslexia Specialist Endorsement program should be completed by April 1 as the first round of admissions decisions will be made at that time. Additional admission will continue on a rolling basis. Any applications completed after the program is full will be placed on a waitlist until there is an opening in the class. The application process is open now. You will be notified within one week of your admission to the program once your completed application is received.

We may need to be selective in the program admission. Decisions may be based on academic history, rationale for pursuing the program, teaching experience, or additional factors such as practicum placement.

Course Descriptions and Program Format

The Dyslexia Specialist Endorsement and Science of Reading certificates will be offered so that learners can attend remotely from anywhere in the US. We will have synchronous online meeting times so students can attend from their chosen location.


  • Courses will be offered online with synchronous learning opportunities
  • Classes will meet via zoom Tuesday nights 5:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Two classes will have optional, in-person sessions on campus in Des Moines, Iowa:
  • Dyslexia Practicum 1: Advanced Assessment - In order for students to have hands-on training using the required assessments, they are encouraged to attend two Saturday sessions (9-4:30) in person. Remote students will have the option of attending via zoom.
  • Principles for Effective Structured Literacy Intervention: Routines and Protocols. This will be a 3-day in-person workshop. Remote students will have the option of attending via zoom.

View Program Course Descriptions

Students will be prepared throughout the courses to take the KPEERI Exam. They will be expected to take this assessment as a component of the final course in the sequence. This exam measures candidates' knowledge of structured literacy practices and is a component of CEERI certification, which is something our program plans to work towards. You can learn more about the test here: https://effectivereading.org/kpeeri-exam-disabled/

Not ready for the Endorsement? Start with a Science of Reading Certificate and apply the 10 credits upon completion to the Dyslexia Specialist Endorsement.

Science of Reading Certificate

The Science of Reading Certificate will provide an in-depth knowledge base for educators who want to enrich their literacy pedagogy with effective strategies.

The Science of Reading Certificate will give you training in:

  • The complex process of learning to read and write including phonological processing, phonics, orthography, morphology, syntax, and semantic
  • Causal relationship between instruction and student outcomes
  • Orton Gillingham approaches to structured literacy and evidence-based speech to print practices
  • The symptoms and characteristics of dyslexia and other language based learning disorders.

This 10-credit graduate certificate can later be applied to the Dyslexia Specialist Endorsement or the Master of Education. One of the courses requires three years teaching experience, but students are welcome to take all or part of the certificate requirements.



The Dyslexia Specialist Endorsement was newly released from the Iowa Department of Education in Iowa in 2021. This endorsement was created by a Dyslexia Task Force that was appointed by the Iowa Legislature to respond to needs and concerns voiced by parents across the state. One of the outcomes of the Dyslexia Task Force was to develop a Dyslexia Specialist Endorsement. This Endorsement will prepare educators to meet the unique needs of readers who exhibit characteristics of dyslexia.  Nearly 1 in 5 children has dyslexia (NIH, 2020), but educators are often underprepared to notice signs of dyslexia and to create learning environments that meet the needs of these learners.   

According to the International Dyslexia Association “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.” Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002.

Experts say up to 20% of the population has dyslexia (NIH, 2020). One study showed that the prison population is 80% illiterate and 48% have dyslexia (Moody et al., 2000).  Dyslexia is a neuro-biological condition that often runs in families. People with characteristics of dyslexia can learn to read and doing so depends on early identification of struggle and proper teaching techniques. Addressing the needs of people with dyslexia is a key human rights issue. 

There is a nation-wide movement to change instruction from the three cueing system, often referred to as Balanced Literacy, to a more structured approach with a solid basis of foundational phonemic and phonics instruction. This instruction follows a scientifically based, developmentally appropriate trajectory through phases of reading underpinned in research. This Structured Literacy approach  ensures that students advance along this path as they master skills incrementally. Throughout this process, instructors go to great lengths to eliminate unintended skill gaps with high levels of direct and explicit instruction paired with continuous progress monitoring. 

Educators who work tirelessly, often with disappointing student achievement results, are seeking more training in this pedagogy in an effort to to help children learn to read more efficiently with effective instructional repertoire. Grand View is a proud leader in the state of Iowa in the effort to provide this unique opportunity to gain cutting expertise in a program tailored to meet the needs of advanced practicing educators.   

Want to learn more about dyslexia?:  https://dyslexiaida.org/dyslexia-basics-2/

GV Program Alignment to BOEE Expectations

Program Instructors & Development Experts

Elizabeth Hoksbergen
Executive Director of Assessment & Learning
Jessica Kite
Literacy Specialist
About Elizabeth Hoksbergen

Elizabeth Hoksbergen, EdS, has over 25 years of experience serving individuals with dyslexia as a parent, teacher, curriculum director, administrator, presenter, evaluator, consultant, and learning center owner. She understands that dyslexia is a complex, vital issue and that educators need the knowledge and expertise to identify, remediate, and support students with dyslexia. Over the last two decades, Elizabeth has presented ready-to-apply, research-based information for conferences, K-12 public and parochial schools, and public seminars. She has also designed and taught multiple courses for educators concerning dyslexia and related learning disabilities. Elizabeth enjoys providing paradigm-shifting science to ignite the educational architect within every teacher.

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature from Franklin & Marshall College, completed her coursework as a secondary language arts teacher at Millersville University, and earned a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership (with emphasis in PreK-12 administration and special education supervision) from Drake University. She is a former middle school and high school language arts, drama, and math teacher as well as a K-8 grade principal. Elizabeth is a certified Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist and Wilson® Credentialed Trainer. For 22 years, she has served as the Executive Director of Assessment & Learning at Apples of Gold Center for Learning, a Wilson® Partner.

Elizabeth also holds a specialist degree in Educational Psychology from Regent University. Currently, as she works to complete her dissertation for her PhD in Educational Psychology, she is conducting a large-scale, multistate quantitative study, examining the “Effects of the Wilson Reading System on Cognitive-linguistic Abilities in Correlation with the Development of Basic Reading Skills”. Elizabeth is a former Board Member of Decoding Dyslexia Iowa and served as an appointed member of the Iowa Dyslexia Task Force wherein she was instrumental in the conceptualization of the Professional Learning Framework for Iowa educators and administrators.

About Jessica Kite

Jessica Kite currently teaches as a Literacy Specialist in Grinnell, Iowa. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a Reading Endorsement and Theater Arts Minor from Coe College in Cedar Rapids. Then she moved to Albany, New York and received her Masters in Literacy from State University of New York at Albany and taught 4th grade and was a literacy specialist in school districts in Upstate New York for six years before moving back to her native Iowa to raise a family. 

Since then, Jessica has taught 4th grade, 3rd grade, and Preschool. She earned an Early Childhood Teaching Endorsement through Buena Vista University. She achieved National Board Certification in Literacy and also earned a graduate certificate in Dyslexia and Language-Based Learning Disabilities from Southern New Hampshire University. 

In addition to her career, Jessica serves as Vice President for Read 2 Lead, a local not-for-profit community organization that provides literacy programming and funding to local families and public schools to purchase books and other materials to instill an enjoyment in reading early and throughout life. Her experiences with early learners and her own children has impassioned her to support students with dyslexia and any language-based learning disabilities to be the best readers and writers they can be and instill a love of learning.   She lives with her husband and two sons in Grinnell.

Program Development Experts


Stephanie Stollar
Founder, The Reading Science Academy 
Tracy Hastings
K-12 Instructional Coach & Dyslexia Specialist
Dr. Lindsay Grow
Dr. Lindsay Grow
Education Department Chair

About Stephanie Stollar

Dr. Stephanie Stollar is the founder of Stephanie Stollar Consulting LLC and the creator of The Reading Science Academy. Dr. Stollar is a part-time assistant professor in the online reading science program at Mount St. Joseph University, and a founding member of a national alliance for supporting reading science in higher education. As a board member for the Innovations in Education Consortium, she collaboratively plans the annual MTSS Innovations in Education Conference. Dr. Stollar has worked as a school psychologist, an educational consultant, and as Vice President for Professional Learning for Acadience Learning Inc. She has provided professional development, conducted research and published in the areas of assessment, early intervention, and collaborative problem solving. She is passionate about improving educator knowledge and aligning school systems to prevent reading failure. You can follow Stephanie Stollar Consulting and the Reading Science Academy on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and contact her at stephaniestollar@gmail.com

About Tracy Hastings

Tracy is a K-12 Instructional Coach & Dyslexia Specialist for Carmel Clay Schools in Carmel, Indiana. She holds two graduate degrees in instruction and curriculum, specializing in teaching reading. She received the School Speciality Robert G. and Eleanor T. Hall Outstanding Educators Scholarship Award for innovative instructional strategies used to help dyslexic students achieve at the highest levels. She is a past president and current advisory board member for the International Dyslexia Association, Indiana Branch.

Tracy is a National LETRS Trainer and an experienced public school professional with special education, general education, coaching, higher education, and administrative experience. The work of her 32-year career in education has centered around literacy for marginalized students as an Orton Gillingham and structured literacy trainer in public schools. Driven by the belief that all individuals are entitled to a literate life, her goals include networking with like-minded individuals to amplify our collective efforts toward literacy for all and disseminating current knowledge and practices to teachers, administrators, policymakers, and families. She is currently in a doctoral program for Reading Science at Mount Saint Joseph University in Cinncinatti, OH. 

Tracy is originally from Tennessee, and as a parent, she loves to spend time laughing and learning with her three teenagers, backpacking along the Appalachian Trail, and paddling her canoe down meandering rivers.


About Dr. Lindsay Grow

Dr. Lindsay Grow facilitated the organization of Grand View’s Dyslexia Specialist Endorsement. Two of her own children have dyslexia; thus, she is passionate about making sure educators are well-prepared to address the unique learning needs of children with dyslexia both in and out of the traditional classroom.  Dr. Grow received her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in literacy from the University of Kentucky.  With expertise in Elementary Education, she has the following Iowa Endorsements: Reading Specialist, Reading, English/Language Arts, and Music. 

Dr. Grow is currently serving as Education Department Chair and excels in program organization/development, facilitating accreditation processes, resource allocation, and bringing teams together. She has participated in several structured literacy trainings including a Wilson System Introductory Training and attended The Reading League Conference and affiliated summit for higher education.  Dr. Grow, along with a team of other teacher educators, started the IACTE (Iowa Association for Colleges of Teacher Education) Literacy Workgroup which prioritizes teacher educators collaborating together about best practices for literacy teacher preparation.