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Becoming a Certified Tutor

Degreed professionals may apply to become a certified tutor in the Orton-Gillingham based program accredited by the International Multisensory Leaning Educational Council. Initial Level Tutors may be certified after completion of coursework and practical experience over a period of one year.

Apply to Become a Tutor!


Initial Level Trainees must have at least a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning and be approved by the Center Director at least fifteen days before training begins.


Trainees must complete a minimum of forty-five clock hours of coursework that meets specified instructional standards.

Trainees must successfully complete quizzes and a final exam.

Trainees must submit written book reports of four required readings, demonstrating that the material has been read and understood.


All trainees must complete a practicum that includes guided practice of the program

The Practicum will consist of a minimum of 100 fifty-minute lessons distributed over a minimum of eight months.


After successful completion of all requirements, the Center Director will certify the Trainee at the Initial Level.

What Approach Leads to Success?

Initial and Advanced Level Principles of Instruction

The Compass Reading Center follows the Orton-Gillingham approach in accordance with the following Training Standards and Guidelines. All lesson plans and instruction shall adhere to the following multisensory specific principles of instruction.


Simultaneous, Multisensory (VAKT) Techniques

Multisensory uses all learning pathways in the brain simultaneously to enhance memory and learning: integrating Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic and Tactile activities.


Systematic Language Instruction

Systematic (sequential and cumulative) language instruction requires that the organization of lesson material follows the logical order of language.  The tutor will:

  • Categorize and sequence the skills to be taught according to their level of difficulty, always teaching the easiest first.

  • Review previously introduced material, never assuming that the student has learned merely because a skill has been presented.

  • Introduce new material as a continuation of the previous lesson.


Direct Instruction

Specific skills are taught explicitly until mastered to the level where they become automatic. Inferential learning of any concept cannot be taken for granted.  The tutor should never assume that the child already knows or has mastered any skill. The tutor will:

  • Break a task into its component parts.

  • Teach each part interactively.


Diagnostic Teaching

Diagnostic teaching is based on careful and continuous assessment of the child's needs. The tutor will be adept at prescriptive and individualized teaching. The content presented must be measured to the level where it becomes automatic. The tutor will:

  • Analyze and address child errors

  • Teach and review skills until the child demonstrates independent application of the skill, before presenting the next skill in the chosen sequence.


Synthetic and Analytic Instruction

Synthetic instruction presents the parts of the language and then teaches how the parts work together to form a whole. Analytic instruction presents the whole and teaches how this can be broken down into its component parts.

Training Course Content Areas

Phonology and Phonological Awareness

  • Segment real words and detached syllables into sound units.

  • Identify each sound in single and multi-syllable words.

  • Blend sounds into syllables.

Sound-Symbol/Symbol-Sound Association (Alphabetic Principle)

  • Sequence the alphabet orally and in print.

  • Accurately pronounce a phoneme represented by a given grapheme.

  • Write the grapheme that represents a given phoneme.

  • Form individual letter, connect if in cursive.

Syllable Instruction

  • Read words with various syllable types.

  • Spell dictated words with various syllable types.

  • Identify the number of syllables in spoken words of one to five syllables.

  • Identify the number of syllables in written words of one to five syllables.

  • Divide printed words into syllables and identify the syllable type.

  • Identify the unaccented vowel sounds in spoken and written words.


  • Identify morphemes (prefixes, suffixes, and roots) in written and spoken words.

  • Identify uses of prefixes and suffixes to determine word meaning and usage.

  • Spell dictated morphemes.

  • Spell dictated words demonstrating application of suffix rules.


  • Introduce multi-sensory structured language strategies for teaching syntax.

Semantics (Comprehension)

  • Demonstrate procedures for vocabulary acquisition.

  • Identify the main idea in a paragraph.

  • Identify supporting details in a paragraph.

  • Use graphic organizers to teach narrative, expository and poetic text.

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