Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Terri Erbacher, Ph.D. , Chairperson

Second Advisor

Carrie L. Yurica, Psy.D.

Third Advisor

Noreen M. Yoder, Ed.D.


The Kindergarten Peer-Assisted Literacy Strategies (K-PALS) program is a supplemental, collaborative intervention designed to complement the current curriculum within schools (Mathes, Clancy-Menchetti, & Torgesen, 2001). The K-PALS program has been cited as a "best practice" by the National Reading Panel (National Reading Panel, 2000). This study utilized a supplemental cooperative learning intervention with 48 Kindergarten students and answered the following questions: (1) Did students make gains in basic reading skills?; (2) Did the K-PALS ESL students make more gains than the Control group ESL students?; (3) Did the K-PALS non-ESL students make more gains than the Control group non-ESL students?; (4) Did the students in the K-PALS group show greater growth in LNF than in NWF? and (5) Will females in the K-PALS group show greater gains than males in the K-PALS condition? Findings from this study suggest that students showed growth across all skills. However, students in the K-PALS condition did not evidence significantly stronger skills than the Control group students on the DIBELS measures. Numerous limitations are discussed and future directions are addressed in the body of this paper.