Frequently Asked Questions

First, watch this informational video on the MAT-DS

Q: What is the Master of Arts in Teaching - Dyslexia Specialist (MAT-DS)?

A: The Colorado College MAT Dyslexia Specialist is a graduate program administered by the CC Department of Education to prepare literacy specialists. Our program is designed for individuals seeking to learn the most effective, evidence-based strategies for reading instruction, and consists of two years of intensive coursework and supervised practicum. Nationally recognized and academically rigorous, the program prepares its graduates to teach learners who struggle with reading, including those with dyslexia and related disorders.

Q: What is dyslexia?

A: "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 International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors and the National Institutes of Health, Nov. 12, 2002.

Q: What are some facts about dyslexia?


  • Approximately 10-20 percent of students are dyslexic.
  • 80 percent of students who receive special education services are identified because of reading problems
  • 70 percent of students nationwide never attain reading proficiency
  • 36 percent of students with learning disabilities drop out of high school

Q: Do I need to be a teacher to apply to the program?

A: No, you do not need to be a teacher. Our graduate students come from varied backgrounds. Some never want to work in a public school system and are in private practice. You do need to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institute of higher learning to apply.

Q: Who accredits the program?IDA Logo


  • The International Dyslexia Association
  • International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) in partnership with Colorado Literacy & Learning Center
  • Colorado College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • The CC Education Department is accredited by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE)
  • The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has approved our program for  Reading Specialist Endorsement

Q: What sets us apart?

A: The Master of Arts/Dyslexia Specialist is the only teacher preparation program in Colorado with a focus on dyslexia. It is one of the few in the country where graduate students can earn a Master's degree while becoming certified in multisensory, structured language education. It focuses on structural linguistics and Orton-Gillingham principles. Most instruction takes place in the summer to accommodate working teachers.

Q: How do I apply?

A: Read all the information about the Dyslexia Specialist on our website, fill out the application and submit the following items to complete your file: letter of interest, resume, official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions, and three letters of recommendation.

Q: What happens after I submit my application?

A: The admissions committee will begin review of early applications in December. Early applications will receive notice of the committee's decision by January 1. Regular applications will be reviewed by the admission's committee in February. Decisions will be mailed by March 15th and students are expected to commit by April 15th. 

Q: May I transfer any credits?

A: No. Classes in the Dyslexia Specialist MAT build upon each other. They need to be taken in order beginning with ED540: The Science of Literacy and Linguistics.

Q: What can I do with my degree?

A: Recent graduates use their credentials to work in private practice, as classroom teachers, as school building or school district reading interventionists, and as learning specialists in hospitals.

Q: What credentials will I earn?

A: After Year One, you are eligible to earn the IMSLEC Practitioner Level Certificate of Completion, Certified Academic Language Practitioner (CALP)

After Year Two, you are eligible to earn the IMSLEC Therapy Level Certificate of Completion, Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT), CDE Reading Specialist Endorsement (for licensed Colorado Teachers only), and the degree Master of Arts in Teaching: Dyslexia Specialist

Q: When do classes take place?Sound Building

A: The majority of classes take place in the summer. A new cohort begins each July. Check the course grid for specific dates. The seminar classes occur three to four days each semester on campus. Year One seminars are on Fridays and Year Two seminars are on Saturdays. Principals have been willing to work with teachers in this program to allow them to attend since the knowledge our students gain benefits their school populations.

Q: Can I take classes online?

A: We believe the best way to teach someone with a reading disability is in person. We model that belief with our classes wherein summer coursework is in-person only. However, academic year seminars are offered in a hybrid model.



Q: How do I apply for scholarships?

A: Students wishing to be considered for a grant need to fill out the FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) by February 15 to be considered for scholarships. Please see the Financial Aid Office's website for more information.


Q: How much is tuition?

A: Tuition for the 2023-4 cohort is $1100 per semester hour or $4700 per Colorado College (CC) unit. Students must complete all required coursework. One CC unit is equivalent to four semester hours. Graduate Tuition

Q: What are the academic expectations?

A: All courses applied to the MAT degree must be taken from Colorado College for a grade. In all courses students must receive a B- or better and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Q: Do I need to take the GRE?

A: No, the GRE is not required for admission to the program.


MAT – Dyslexia Specialist Online Application Form First-time users will need to create a new account. Regular decision deadline is March 15, 2024.

Report an issue - Last updated: 10/10/2023