Nikki Clark

Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Yasha Becton


Reading skills comprise the following three categories: decoding, fluency, and comprehension. All three of these skills are necessary for students to become successful readers in and out of academic settings. Many students in special education read far below their grade level; difficulty reading is particularly challenging for such students because, in addition to limiting academic success, under-developed reading skills compromise students’ academic and functional independence. This study aimed to examine how a structured, individualized reading intervention may help high school students in special education – students who have been diagnosed with one specific disability or a combination of approved disabilities – improve their reading skills. Data collected included students’ Lexile levels, overall grade point averages, English grades, and overall attitudes about reading and themselves as readers. The students then received the reading intervention, System 44™, for 18 weeks. At the end of the intervention, students were re-evaluated using the same data collection instruments. The researcher determined the success of the intervention by examining positive changes in student Lexile levels, test results, as well as their attitudes about reading and themselves as readers.