Peirce Center

The Bob and Joan Peirce Center for Structured Reading Teacher Training prepares teachers to work with children with dyslexia, both in the classroom and as tutors.

The Peirce Center aims to supply a steady stream of teachers and tutors in structured reading approaches, including methods of reading instruction for students with dyslexia and other reading differences. 

The Peirce Center also provides outreach services to parents, professional development for teachers, and support for dyslexia-focused programs across the Pittsburgh area. 

The Peirces’ $2 million founding pledge is behind the center’s creation. “Dyslexia is a significant challenge for our schools. Demand is so high for specialized reading tutors that many children have to be put on waiting lists,” President Chris Howard said at the ribbon cutting event in May of 2017. “The new Bob and Joan Peirce Center is this university’s response to the challenge.

"Dr. Bernadowski,

Thank you for EVERYTHING!! This program has been heaven sent! We can't believe how much our child has advanced, and we are forever grateful for this program!"

- Shannon and Don Kumpfmiller


In August of 2019, both the Reading Specialist and Structured Literacy certificates at Robert Morris University were accredited through the International Dyslexia Association. These programs can lead to certificates through the national Center for Effective Reading Instruction both at the Structured Literacy Classroom Teacher and Structured Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist levels. 

For more information regarding the Peirce Center, contact Amy Jackson at or 412-397-6022.

Tutoring for Students

The Peirce Center provides tutoring in structured reading methods utilizing evidence-based strategies. Tutoring takes place at the RMU Peirce Center after school and during the summer. For more information, please fill out the Tutoring Request Form

Scholarships for Teachers

Tuition scholarships are available for both the Structured Literacy program and the Reading Specialist program. 

Structured Literacy – The Structured Literacy Program is two 3-credit eight-week courses and two semesters of practicum during the school year (on or off campus). Apply for the standalone course and/or the practicum. To apply for the scholarship, please complete the Structured Literacy program application.

Reading Specialist - The Reading Specialist program is a one-year certification program that meets the needs of working adults. Classes are offered in the evenings in eight-week sessions with an on-campus practicum. Students can pursue a Master’s in Literacy with an additional nine credits. To apply for the scholarship, please complete the Reading Specialist program application. For more information on the program, contact Dr. Carianne Bernadowski, Reading Specialist Program Coordinator, at or 412-397-5463. To apply for these programs, contact Graduate Admissions.

Professional Development for Schools

The Peirce Center can provide in-service trainings on dyslexia and structured literacy methods. Please complete the Professional Development Request Form.

For more information please contact Amy Jackson, Dyslexia Outreach Support Specialist, at or 412-397-6022.

Resources for Parents

The Peirce Center will host the Dyslexia Parents Connection WEST meetings on campus during the 2019-2020 school year:

  • November 13th 9:30-11:00 AM, Franklin Hall, Room 204
  • February 12th, TBD
  • March 11th, TBD

Dyslexia Parents Connection holds meetings north, south, and east of Pittsburgh. To add your contact information to the DPC email list, please email