Thomas More launches Dyslexia Institute, first of several education initiatives

Thomas More University has launched the Dyslexia Institute in its School of Education, planning to improve instruction and intervention for children and adults who experience the learning disability.

The institute is part of a broader series of initiatives its plans to introduce in its School of Education over the next few years.

Thomas More education graduates will be trained in identifying characteristics of dyslexia and developing targeted interventions to help students succeed. They will also gain real-world experience by participating in the Dyslexia Institute’s programming.

The Dyslexia Institute collaborates with Kentucky schools and educators, and students and teachers will apply what they’ve learned to evaluate and develop early interventions and strategies for dyslexic students.

It’s estimated that as many as 15% to 20% of the general population has some of the symptoms of dyslexia, including slow or inaccurate reading, poor spelling, poor writing, or mixing up similar words, according to the International Dyslexia Association. Dyslexia can make it difficult for students to succeed academically in typical instructional environments.

The Thomas More institute is led by Kayla Steltenkamp, an assistant professor in the School of Education and an expert in the field of literacy and dyslexia. “Thomas More is the first university in the commonwealth to have a dyslexia-specific resource for our students and our community,” she says.

The institute will train teachers, disseminate research, share resources with the community, conduct assessments, and provide support to families.

The Dyslexia Institute is part of several initiatives in its School of Education that the university plans to introduce over the next four to five years. They include new classroom technology, an honors program, professional development programs, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics institute in partnership with the Thomas More University Biology Field Station, advanced graduate degrees, and more scholarship opportunities for upperclassmen.

Thomas More has a history as a teaching college. It was founded in 1921 as Villa Madonna College to train Catholic school teachers. 

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David Holthaus is an award-winning journalist and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading, or watching classic movies.