Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Mark Staszkiewicz, D.Ed.

Second Advisor

Joseph F. Kovaleski, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Lynanne Black, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Timothy J. Runge, Ph.D.


This program evaluation is a study of the effectiveness of a core reading program, Journeys, by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), on the early literacy skills and oral reading fluency (ORF) of kindergarten through second grade students in a rural elementary school. The scores of the students in the experimental group were compared to scores of students across the country represented by the AIMSweb 2012 national norms, serving as the control group. Additionally, an assessment of intervention integrity was completed using teacher self-report questionnaires, direct classroom observations, and lesson plan reviews. An indication of treatment integrity was then determined. Finally, a determination was then made as to the effect of the reading program on students’ early literacy skills and ORF. The results indicated that the experimental group who were instructed with the Journeys reading program outperformed the control group on most measures of early literacy skills and ORF. The hypotheses for both of these research questions were partially accepted. No sex differences were found. Students from low socioeconomic backgrounds scored significantly lower than students from average/high socioeconomic backgrounds only in first and second grades. No socioeconomic differences were found for kindergarten. v Limitations of the study included the use of a convenience sample, minor statistical assumption violations, unknown training of control group assessors, unknown administration procedures of the control group assessments, use of the Bonferroni method which decreased the alpha values, and unknown activities of the experimental group over the summer which could have influenced the results. The implications of these findings for school psychology are presented as well as recommendations for future research.