Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Special Education and Rehabilitation

Committee Chair(s)

Julie Landeen


Julie Landeen


Dan Morgan


Michael DeBloois


Nick Eastmond


This investigation focused on the examination of the effectiveness and costs of instructional delivery in using programmed tutorial materials by trained high school paraprofessionals to instruct learners attending the elementary self-contained and resource rooms. Forty tutees, divided equally into experimental and control groups, were administered two pre and posttest measures, the E-B Beginning Reading Placement Test and the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test (WRMT) . Tutees in experimental groups received tutorial instruction from the paraprofessional tutors 25 minutes daily over the ten-week treatment period. An analysis of covariance was computed on the two measures to compare the academic performance between the experimental and control groups. Though no statistical differences were found between the groups on WRMT, statistical differences were indicated on the E-B Beginning Reading Placement Test for both School Districts A and B, favoring the groups receiving treatment. Significant increases in both Subtest A scores, one subtest of the E-B Placement Test, and the total reading scores of this measure were evidenced in the groups receiving treatment. Results also indicated that the percent of mastery for both School Districts A and B tutees that received treatment mastered at least 84% of all the skills taught by the high school paraprofessional tutors. These tutors mastered 77% of the instructional procedures used in the first part of the tutorial session and 47% in the second part of the session.

The investigation of costs indicated that total cost expenditures in the Maximum Cost Model were $2,418.69, a per learner cost of $60.46, and continuing costs per learner of $13.72. Total purchases using the Moderate Cost Model were $1,298.69, a per learner cost of $32.46, and a continuing cost per learner of $13.72. The Minimum Cost Model indicated total expenditures of $163.69, a per learner cost of $4.09, and continuing costs per learner of $1.35. These cost models provided evidence that the costs of using high school paraprofessional tutors with programmed tutorial materials to instruct handicapped learners can be minimal in return for academic gains in beginning reading skills.