Community College Students Make Big Reading Gains in Six Weeks

Not too late: Higher ed reading interventions can still transform lives.

November 12, 2018, Tucson, AZ—–MindPlay online reading and literacy publisher announces the results of a six-week adult literacy study conducted at Arizona’s Pima Community College. In that short amount of time, students identified as struggling readers increased their overall language literacy skills by more than 60 percent using the online MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach (MVRC). Students also significantly increased their comprehension skills, with their word per minute (WPM) reading speed going from an average of 109 to 169 WPM.

In addition, students reported decreased anxiety around reading and increased pleasure in reading in general.

The purpose of the study, which was conducted by Pima Developmental Reading faculty member, Dr. Meredyth Kealey, was to determine the efficacy of a technology-based reading intervention in a community college setting. Results showed that MVRC significantly enhanced both student skills and attitudes toward reading.

“They’re just so happy someone is teaching them how to read,” says Kealey, a 10-year teaching veteran. “They’re very grateful.”

The student participants, primarily English Language Learners, came from Spanish-speaking families and had not had the home literacy support that many of their peers enjoyed. Often they were just “pushed through” the different grades and had simply given up on themselves, says Kealey.

“The program offered encouragement to students along the way, with MVRC’s progress charts reinforcing their progress and motivating them throughout,” she says. “Many were experiencing success for the very first time.”

Older struggling readers are often left with no avenues for further reading instruction and come to believe acquiring new literacy skills is not possible, current research says. Once students understand they are still capable of learning to read, that it’s not too late, their self-confidence soars, says MindPlay founder and CEO, Judith Bliss, herself a struggling reader. “I’m convinced the key to success is hope,” she says.

About MindPlay

Founder Judith Bliss established the MindPlay Company more than 30 years ago, to create a solution to the challenges of learning to read.  After overcoming her own reading disabilities, her goal was to help struggling learners succeed in school and life. MindPlay’s mission is to develop, publish, and distribute cost-effective learning tools that support individual growth and skill development. The curriculum includes clear objectives, inviting graphics and technological innovations. MindPlay educational software programs appeal to multiple learning styles, identify individual student needs, and individualize instruction.



Susan McLester
MindPlay Communications