AIM Coaching: IES


This work represents ongoing efforts to improve literacy outcomes for middle school students by infusing content area instruction with a set of feasible, effective instructional practices critical for the success of all students, including students with disabilities. 

  • Phase 1 (funded by the Institute of Education Sciences) included the successful evaluation of the Promoting Adolescents’ Comprehension of Text (PACT) intervention through a series of highly controlled randomized controlled trials that established PACT as impactful across a range of learners. 
  • Phase 2 (funded by the Office of Special Education Programs) extended PACT to science, social studies, and English language arts as a schoolwide Tier 1 model. Though students with disabilities benefited from the schoolwide implementation of PACT, we were struck by the difficulty teachers experienced sustaining practices over time and realized they needed ongoing support adapted to meet their learning and teaching needs.
  • Phase 3 (funded by the Institute of Education Sciences), the current phase, is focused on developing AIM Coaching to provide ongoing professional development and support to teachers as they implement PACT. We believe that this ongoing professional development will lead to greater PACT implementation fidelity. This, in turn, will affect student literacy outcomes.

Join Us!

If you are a middle school instructional coach or teacher and would like to join our team to help design AIM Coaching, contact Jade Wexler, director at the University of Maryland, or contact Elizabeth Swanson, co-principal investigator at The University of Texas at Austin


  • Fully developed instructional coaching model to support teachers who implement literacy practices in middle school classes
  • Literacy achievement among students with disabilities

Project Design


Instructional coaches, middle school teachers, and researchers will collaborate to design and empirically evaluate a coaching model that is adaptive to teachers’ individual needs. The AIM Coaching model will be used to support middle school teachers as they learn PACT instructional practices proven effective for a range of learners. The goal of AIM Coaching is to (a) support teachers as they implement PACT and (b) improve outcomes for students with disabilities included in middle school general education content area classes.


  • Year 1: Work closely with instructional coaches and teachers to develop the AIM Coaching model.
  • Year 2: Iterative design procedures to test and refine the AIM Coaching model in middle schools
  • Year 3: Conduct a randomized controlled trial to examine the efficacy of the AIM Coaching model
  • Year 4: Refine and finalize the AIM Coaching model


Approximately 144 middle school science, social studies, and English language arts teachers and more than 3,600 students from two different geographical regions will participate. AIM Coaching and PACT are designed to meet the literacy needs of a wide range of learners with a specific focus on improving outcomes for students with disabilities included in the general education classroom setting.