Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Lynanne Black, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Edward M. Levinson, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

William F. Barker, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Becky A. Knickelbein, Ed.D.


This research focused on the effectiveness of transitional first grade programs as an intervention to improve the academic success of students through third grade. This study investigated two groups of students, students who attended a transitional first grade program and students who were regularly promoted. Several limitations were present in this study that may have influenced the validity of the results. The results of this research indicated age, and not academic readiness scores, was the only significant predictor of participation in transitional first grade. This suggests that the targeted school may not be referring the appropriate students to positively affect the district’s annual yearly progress towards state standards. Since academically at-risk students were not the target of the investigated program, the results were inconclusive regarding the effectiveness of the transitional first grade program as an academic intervention. The final significant finding of this study was that second grade oral reading fluency scores successfully predicted students’ scores on the third grade reading and math subtests of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessments.