First Advisor

Sheldon Loman

Date of Award

Spring 6-13-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology and University Honors






Multi-tiered systems of support (Education), Student assistance programs, School children




This qualitative study identified how educators and administrators support elementary school students who experience social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Semi-structured interviews were used to understand how students are supported through Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) in an elementary school. We interviewed six participants, including one administrator, two general educators, one literacy specialist, and two learning specialists. The results revealed the frequent use of common strategies within MTSS that included Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (PBIS) and Behavioral Support Plan (BSP) tools and strategies. These strategies included: (a) zones of regulation, (b) in-class or out-of-class support from education specialists, (c) check in, check out, (d) social skills groups, and (e) class points or point sheets. Despite the participants' distinct roles, each reported the need for a stronger focus and training on social behavior to support students with intensive needs as well as more use of MTSS throughout the school and in the classrooms. Based on these findings, using MTSS to support students who are at risk for learning challenges emphasizes a school's need for implementation of an evidence-based framework to further support students who experience social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. This study contributes to the field of psychology by expressing the need for more social, emotional, and behavioral support systems in schools and be used as a guide to promote the support for children who experience similar challenges. Future research could include collecting additional qualitative data through larger samples, classroom observations, and reporting on students' responses to intervention.


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