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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Institute of Reading Development?
    The Institute of Reading Development is an educational service provider that partners with colleges and universities around the U.S. to provide reading programs for students ranging in age from four years old through adulthood. These programs develop and reinforce the reading skills taught in school at each developmental stage. In addition, the programs develop in students the capacity to become absorbed in imaginative literature and identify with characters. The Institute was founded by Paul Copperman, a presidential appointee to the National Council on Educational Research, and the author of Taking Books to Heart: How to Develop a Love of Reading in your Child.
  2. What is Mississippi State University’s relationship to the Institute of Reading Development?
    Mississippi State University, Center for Continuing Education has entered into a contractual relationship with the Institute of Reading Development to implement developmental reading programs for students from preschool through adulthood. The Center for Continuing Education has offered the programs taught by the Institute since 2003, and over 5,500 children and adults have participated in the programs.
  3. Who are the Instructors?
    All instructors are hired by the Institute of Reading Development and selected based upon five characteristics: a strong connection to books and reading; intelligent with strong communication skills; they are warm and approachable to students and parents; a strong work ethic, solid organizational and leadership skills, and take initiative when working with parents and students. All Institute instructors have obtained an undergraduate degree or higher. All instructors undergo training under the supervision of Paul Copperman, the president and founder of the Institute of Reading Development. Training includes reading theory, classroom management skills, and mastery of curriculum. All faculty participate in weekly professional development meetings with an Institute trainer. Instructors are not required to obtain state teaching certification. All Institute instructors are subject to a fingerprint based national criminal record search.
  4. What is the refund policy?
    Refund requests must be made in writing and postmarked at least ten days before the starting date of the class. A $15 refund-processing fee is charged per family.
  5. Are the programs suitable for students reading below grade level or students with learning disabilities?
    Institute programs are not designed to diagnose or treat learning or reading disabilities. However, the programs are often quite helpful for students who have learning or reading disabilities, and also often suitable for students reading substantially below grade level. Parents who have a student with a learning or reading disability should call the enrollment staff at the Institute of Reading Development 1 (800) 979-9151 to determine if the program is appropriate for their child.
  6. What are the average and maximum class sizes?
    Program Level Average Class Size Maximum Class Size
    R 12 16
    1 12 18
    2 12 18
    3 11 20
    4 16 22
    5 19 28
    6 17 30
    7 14 38
  7. Is there a guarantee?
    No guarantees are made with regard to the achievement of individual students. Parents who have questions regarding whether the program is appropriate for a particular student should speak with one of the enrollment staff at the Institute 1 (800) 979-9151.
  8. Are scholarships available?
    A limited number of partial scholarships are available for economically disadvantaged students. Inquiries about scholarships should be directed to the Institute's enrollment staff 1 (800) 979-9151.
  9. How do students register for one of the programs?
    Parents or students interested in enrolling should do so on the program website, where they can also schedule a make-up for any missed lesson. If they want to discuss program details or the suitability of the program for their needs, they should call the enrollment staff at the Institute at 1 (800) 979-9151. Tuition may be paid by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover), check, or money order. All registrations must be received prior to the first day of class.
  10. Are references available?
    Video interviews with recent students and parents can be viewed at and selecting your appropriate age group. In addition, course evaluations are collected from students and parents at the completion of each program, and these indicate the programs are very well received.
  11. How are mailing addresses obtained? How can someone be taken off the mailing list?
    All of the names and addresses for Institute mailings are provided by the following list vendors: American Student List, First Data Info-Source, Equifax Marketing Decision Systems, Experian (TRW), and Acxiom Corporation. These lists are compiled from public records, and are made available to be purchased and used by any organization. If someone would like to opt out of receiving any future mailings, they can request to be put on the "DO NOT MAIL" list. To request that a customer be put on the list, email with DO NOT MAIL in the title. Please be sure to include the customer's complete name and address.