Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Dissertation Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Heather Schugar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kim Doan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stephen Magliano, Ed.D.


The majority of school-aged students with specific learning disabilities have disabilities in reading (National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities, 2011), and many of these students struggle to understand what they read. Several cognitive processes may affect reading comprehension in students with specific learning disabilities in reading comprehension, including working memory. In this investigation, I used a mixed methods case study to explore the experiences of three eighth-grade students with specific learning disabilities in reading comprehension and cognitive weaknesses in working memory as they engaged in reading comprehension through the Read 180 program, a direct instruction reading intervention curriculum that supports students with reading comprehension needs. I explored students’ experiences with Read 180 through three research questions. Three themes emerged from the data. Case study participants (a) engaged with the Read 180 teacher, (b) practiced strategies and skills, and (c) demonstrated learning. The findings indicated that the three case study participants made limited gains in reading comprehension over the course of the four-month study.