Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Earl H. Cheek, Jr


The initial purpose of this study focused on an Orton-Gillingham phonics remediation program and the effect the program had on college students. The emphasis of the study changed due to the fact that the Orton-Gillingham phonics program did not impact the college students' learning, which was mainly due to the students having previously received some form of phonics instruction. The students had learned to compensate for their poor spelling ability through invented spelling, and the use of the computer and the spell checker. The other accommodations that decreased their need for knowledge of a spelling program were the use of a tape recorder, copy of notes, oral reader, and electronic dictionary. The students were more occupied with meeting the demands of college courses than learning a phonics program. The emphasis of the study changed, and the purpose evolved to acquiring a more concise understanding of the derelict college students' acquisition of knowledge. Data was collected and analyzed on five dyslexic college students in order to determine: (a) What enabled the dyslexic college students who were identified as being learning disabled to attain high school graduation and pursue college degrees? (b) How did each student compensate to survive in school? (c) How did reflective practice affect the dyslexic college students perception of themselves as learners? and (d) What similarities and differences existed among the dyslexic college students? Through an in-depth description of five case studies, we received valuable insight regarding the survival tactics employed by these students. We learned how reflection can be employed by some students and the positive effects of such practices. A discussion of the similarities and differences of the students revealed that self-esteem, maturity, and motivation were the key factors for success.