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How To Get Orton-Gillingham “OG” Certified

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Learn what Orton-Gillingham Certification (“OG Certified”) means, how to get certified, and the exciting career opportunities as a therapist that await you after certification! I’m sharing my experience and what I’ve learned on the path to becoming a Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist (C-SLDS) and Lexercise Dyslexia Teletherapist.

Blue graphic titled "How to get OG Certified" with graphic of teacher pointing to chalkboard.

This post was written in partnership with Lexercise. All opinions are my own.

What Does “OG Certified” Mean?

First, I’ll start by clarifying a few acronyms needed for understanding:

Graphic with the definitions of common Orton-Gillingham related acronyms.
What does “Orton-Gillinghan (OG) Certified” mean?

OG Certified means that an individual has completed extensive training, coursework, and a supervised practicum from an approved and IDA-accredited program. A passing score on the KPEERI test is also required.

OG certification ensures that candidates understand the theory, research, and methodology of structured literacy in a deep and informative way.

Candidates then demonstrate this knowledge through practical application, completing coursework, a supervised practicum, and a passing score on the KPEERI test.

What does “Orton-Gillingham (OG) Trained” mean?

OG Trained can vary significantly from person to person in terms of both quality and depth. For instance, someone may be considered “OG Trained” after participating in a brief one-day webinar, while another individual might undergo a comprehensive, year-long in-depth training program. The quality of the training also depends on the organization providing it, as some programs are more rigorous and thorough than others.

OG trainingย introduces the concepts of the OG approach to participants. Training usually provides an overview of the approach and includes the basic knowledge to implement best practices with students. OG training would be the first step to certification.

Want to know more? Read our post all about Orton-Gillingham Training Options.

What’s the difference between “OG trained” and “OG certified?”

“OG trained” is an informal designation given to individuals who have been trained in the approach, whereas “OG certified” means an individual has had training, an extensive supervised practicum experience, and passed the KPEERI exam.

An Orton-Gillingham Practicum and SLDS Certificate issued to Katelyn Rigg.

I currently hold the certification of C- SLDS, so I am a certified Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist. This means I am “OG certified.” I completed my coursework and practicum through the IDA AccreditedPLUS organization Lexercise.

It’s important to note that there is a strong connection between the terms “Orton-Gillingham” and “Structured Literacy.”

While they both hold to the same principles and strategies for research-based literacy instruction, Structured Literacy is the more current title that is becoming more widely used.

My Experience Getting Certified

There are many independent teacher training programs that can lead to OG certification.

After exploring the many options, I narrowed it down to two options. I applied and was accepted to both IMSE and Lexercise. Ultimately, I chose Lexercise, and I’m SO glad I did!

A smiling woman in a classroom holding up her certificate of completion from Lexercise.

Why I Chose Lexercise

๐Ÿ‘‰ Flexibility & Convenience: I liked that I would share my availability calendar with Lexercise, and they would work around my schedule. They assigned me three students to work with at the same time, scheduling our sessions around my busy schedule.

Since their platform is structured literacy teletherapy, I loved that I’d never had to leave home!

I appreciated the flexibility of starting the practicum at my convenience. Unlike many programs that require you to wait months or even up to a year for cohorts to begin, Lexercise allowed me to start as soon as I was ready.

๐Ÿ‘‰ IDA AccreditedPLUS: Lexercise has earned the highest level of accreditation from the IDA, proving that Lexercise is the best of the best! I wanted the best training available, and I also knew I’d earn the highest certification available through their coursework (C-SLDS).

๐Ÿ‘‰ Expedited Time Frame: I liked that I could complete the practicum in just over 4 months. I knew it would be a lot of work, but this was a much faster track compared to other practicum timeframes that can take 10-12 months or longer.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Set-Up: I loved the way the practicum was designed. Lexercise pairs children who are in need of quality structured literacy instruction with practicum students, which means you don’t have to find your own students.

Through the Natalie Wexler Scholarship, recipients get FREE therapy and access to Lexercise’s extensive resources, while practicum students get intensive practice working with students with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Immediate Job Opportunity: Upon completing the practicum, I had the option to immediately begin working for Lexercise as a Dyslexia Therapist. You can either begin your own group or work under one of the established groups.

When I started my practicum, I wasn’t thinking I’d pursue teletherapy in earnest (life is already so busy!), but I was so impressed with the progress my students had made because of the amazing platform that I didn’t want to stop! I chose to launch my own Dyslexia Therapy Group!

๐ŸŒŸ If you’re interested in learning more about the program I completed, visit Lexercise’s page Course 3: Practicum in Structured Literacy Therapy.

โ™ฅ What I Loved

Reflecting on my experience, there were SO many things I loved about the practicum experience and becoming OG Certified.

Measured Student Gains

I worked with three heterogeneous students, teaching various concepts and levels of instruction. And all three of my students, each diagnosed with dyslexia, advanced so much in such a short amount of time!

One student improved one level, another student improved two levels, and the third student improved three levels, just in the first eight weeks!

And it wasn’t just me who was impressed. By the end of my practicum, the parents were so impressed with their child’s progress and gained confidence that two of the three families decided to continue with therapy through Lexercise!

Guided & Individualized Support

The support system in place for practicum students at Lexercise is amazing! Just when I was scheduled to begin my practicum, a very difficult personal situation interrupted my plans, and Lexercise was able to hold my spot and give me the extra few weeks needed to handle things.

Once I got started, it was incredibly helpful to have a knowledgeable and accessible practicum supervisor. Our weekly meetings ensured that I was on track, learning, and could troubleshoot issues with her expert advice and insight. Anytime I had a question, she was just an email or text away!

I received all of my feedback the same day I submitted my lessons and assignments. The whole team ensured that this was a positive learning experience for me.

Platform

I loved having access to Lexercise’s entire platform, including assessments, curriculum, and a manual for continued support.

Going into the practicum, I felt like I had a good deal of knowledge about structured literacy, but through the experience of using their curriculum and other materials, I truly feel as though I became a skilled expert! I was challenged and changed in all the best ways.

Preparation

I passed the KPEERI test on the first try!

I felt confident and extremely well prepared going into the exam, because every aspect of my practicum was intentionally aligned with the CERI Knowledge and Practice Standards and the IDAโ€™s standards-based Educator Training Initiatives.

I had previously completed Lexercise’s Course 1, The Structure of Written English, which definitely helped prepare me too.

Job Opportunity

I am so proud to say that I am an official Lexercise Therapist. When I was nearing the end of my practicum, I made the decision to start my own sub-therapy group, Reading Solutions by Literacy Learn.

The same week my practicum ended, my practicum student just transferred right on over to my professional account, and I started getting paid the very next week! I also started getting leads for new clients immediately. It was truly a seamless transition!

Career Opportunities

You might be wondering how OG certification impacts your professional options. Many career opportunities can open up once you have Orton-Gillingham certification!

Lexercise Therapist

One of the BEST things about choosing Lexercise to complete your practicum is that when it’s completed, you are qualified to work as a Lexercise Therapist.

If you’re already OG certified, you can also work for Lexercise. You’d complete their test-out requirements for Course 1 & 2 and then take a course on mastering the technology for teletherapy.

Then, you’re ready to interview and join an established Therapy Group where students will be automatically added to your calendar based on your availability!

You can even create your own sub-therapy group like I did. Using Lexercise’s amazing platform, you can build a successful online practice and have other OG Certified therapists working for you! Get more information about being a Lexercise Therapist.

Public and Private Schools

Adding the OG certification can also provide you with more job opportunities, in both the public and private sector.

  • General Education Reading Teacher
    Teach grade-level reading. Since many grades are departmentalized, you can literally teach reading all day long!
  • Reading interventionist
    In this role, you can work with struggling or reluctant readers – catching them up using research-based methods.
  • Special Education Dyslexia Specialist
    Work directly with kids who have been diagnosed with dyslexia and other learning differences.
  • District-Wide Dyslexia Advisor
    Most states require at least one dyslexia advisor per district. As a district advisor, you can answer questions, share best practices, and line up quality professional development opportunities for teachers.

Many public schools will be looking for candidates with a state teaching license, but since we are currently facing a national teacher shortage, being OG Certified is a big selling point and may be just what you need to get hired! It also costs a lot less than a Master’s degree.

Private Tutoring

Whether you’re looking to leave the classroom or just supplement your teaching income, private tutoring is one of the best options out there for teachers. You can explore different options based on your goals.

  • Virtual Tutoring: Provides tons of flexibility and convenience. It can be super effective if you have the curriculum, technology, and materials needed.
  • In-Person Tutoring: Tutoring 1-1 with students is an awesome opportunity to build relationships locally and help students make measurable gains.

For both options above, you’ll need to consider whether you want to work for an established practice or build up your own. Both will take quite a bit of networking.

If you are thinking you’d like to start private therapy, but may have trouble finding students, you will want to consider working for Lexercise!

Many parents, particularly ones who have students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities, look specifically for tutors who are OG Certified and have SLDI or SLDS certifications.

Conclusion

I hope this post provided clarity on how to get OG certified and inspired you to pursue certification yourself. If I can achieve it, so can you!

This certification will undoubtedly open many doors and help you become the most effective reading teacher you can be.

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2 Comments

  1. What a huge accomplishment! Congratulations! Iโ€™m so proud to know you as friend, former coworker, and dedicated teacher. Youโ€™re going to use this knowledge and experience to positively impact the lives of many more families, and I look forward to learning from you. ๐Ÿ‘๐ŸŽ‰

    1. Hi Sandy,
      Thank you so much! I miss the Title 1 team and especially you ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you for your kind comment and support.
      Kate ๐Ÿ™‚

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