Manhattanville College and The Windward School Announce Online Certificate Program in Dyslexia Education

April 10, 2023
Manhattanville campus in spring
View of Manhattanville's Reid Castle from quad in spring

Believed to be the first such certificate in New York State, and one of only a handful in the nation; giving teachers strategies to teach children with the most common language-based learning disability, dyslexia

Purchase, N.Y. (April 2023) The Rose Institute at Manhattanville College and The Windward School, a leading independent day school for children with language-based learning disabilities, have announced their collaboration to offer a new 16-credit online certificate program for teachers. The Dyslexia and Science of Reading Advanced Certificate will give these educators an in-depth understanding of the research and evidence supporting the Science of Reading.

The Dyslexia and Science of Reading certificate program is an innovative step to address a national problem. It is estimated that 20% of children may present with dyslexia or other language-based learning disabilities. For these students to learn efficient literacy skills, teachers today need to be skilled in the use of evidence-based, explicit, systematic methods of teaching foundational reading skills. Many teachers have not had the opportunity to gain these skills in teacher preparation programs.

The certificate will equip participating educators with the skills to recognize early signs of reading difficulty and address children’s dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities using the most recent evidence and effective practices. The program, developed by Renee O'Rourke, managing director for the Rose Institute at Manhattanville College School of Education and Sandra Schwarz, director of The Windward Teacher Training Program, is approved by the New York State Department of Education. Manhattanville College will begin taking applications this month for its launch in the fall 2023 semester. The five-semester program can be completed in two academic years and one summer session. The last academic year of the program involves a year-long mentored practicum.

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.” The Science of Reading refers to the pedagogy and practices proven by extensive research to effectively teach children to read.

“This collaboration allows the School of Education to work directly with teachers to help them use specific methodologies to develop readers and writers,” said Manhattanville College School of Education Dean Shelley Wepner, Ed.D. “The Windward School is highly regarded as among the best at educating students with dyslexia or other language-based learning disabilities and we are very excited to partner with them.”

Head of The Windward School Jamie Williamson, Ed.S., said, “At Windward, we see the incredible, positive impact on students with language-based learning disabilities of evidence-based, systematic, explicit instruction. We are honored to collaborate with Manhattanville College in developing this program, which will empower more educators to implement practices grounded in the Science of Reading.”

The program marks a significant collaboration between two of the leading Westchester County educational institutions. The Windward School, which has two campuses in White Plains, NY, and one on the Upper East Side of New York City, prepares its students for a return to a mainstream school environment. The School of Education at Manhattanville, established more than 50 years ago, offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs that prepare PreK-12 teachers and administrators and higher education and community leaders.

Teachers interested in applying can visit:

About The Windward School: Windward is a coeducational, independent day school with three campuses, in White Plains, N.Y., and New York City, dedicated to providing a proven instructional program for children with language-based learning disabilities. Windward is committed to helping students achieve their full potential in preparation for a successful return to a mainstream educational environment. To meet these goals, the school provides ongoing training to its faculty, based on the most current research, and shares its expertise with the parent body, other educators, and the broader community. For more information, go to, FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

About Manhattanville College
Manhattanville College is a small, private liberal arts institution dedicated to academic excellence, purposeful education, and social justice. U.S. News and World Report ranks Manhattanville the number one private, non-profit institution in New York among Top Performers of Social Mobility in Regional Universities North 2022 and 2023. Located 30 miles from New York City on a 100-acre suburban campus in the heart of bustling Westchester County, Manhattanville enables easy access to robust entertainment offerings, educational resources, and business opportunities for its primarily residential and diverse student body. The College serves close to 1,500 undergraduate students and nearly 1,000 graduate students from more than 44 countries and 33 states. Founded in 1841, the College offers more than 75 undergraduate and graduate areas of study in the arts and sciences, education, business, and creative writing, as well as continuing and executive education programs. Graduate students can choose from more than 70 graduate and certificate programs. Extracurricular offerings include more than 70 clubs and organizations and 23 NCAA Division III teams. To learn more, visit


Media Contacts:

The Windward School

John Bifone

(914) 949-6968 ext. 2295


Manhattanville College
Cara Cea
(914) 323-1278 or (914) 906-9680