Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Virginia Burks Salzer, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

George McCloskey, PhD

Third Advisor

Elvira Zuazo-Legido, PsyD


School psychologists are asked to determine whether or not a student’s limited English proficiency affects his or her eligibly for special education services. Scores from language proficiency tests, such as the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs English Language Proficiency Test, are often the only data available that speak to a student’s language proficiency. There is little research that speaks to how scores on these tests relate to performance on diagnostic testing for special education, specifically achievement testing. In this sample of data drawn from a population of English language learners, who also qualify for special education services under the disability of specific learning disability (n=37) standardized achievement test scores and WIDA ACCESS for ELLs English Language Proficiency Test were correlated to determine if significant relationships were present. A Pearson correlation revealed that the higher reading and writing achievement subtest had the strongest relationship with reading and writing subtests on WIDA ACCESS for ELLs English Language Proficiency Test. Cross-tabulations and chi-square tests of significance were performed to identify how individuals performed on both assessments. Results suggest that an individual's low score on an achievement measure is not related to a low score on a language proficiency measure.