Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Special Education

Committee Member

Gilbert Stiefel, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Jackie McGinnis, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lynne Rocklage, Ph.D.


Reading is one of the most important skills needed throughout life. Recent national studies combined with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Law and the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act have heightened the educational community’s awareness of the broken link between research-based instructional strategies and actual implementation. This study sought to determine to what extent research-based instructional strategies were integrated into the teaching of students with reading difficulties, and to what extent sustainability factors were evidenced in service delivery models. From the original 46 survey participants, a subset of thirteen special education teachers participated in a follow-up survey. The findings of this study showed that many teachers did not use research-based instructional strategies, and when they did, sustainability factors present within their schools were limited. These findings are only of demonstrative value due to the small number of participants.


Additional committee member: Patricia Williams-Boyd, Ph.D.