Term of Award

Spring 2005

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 1

Cordelia Zinskie

Committee Member 2

Fred Page

Committee Member 3

Judith Robbins

Abstract

The goal of this descriptive study was to present basic information describing the Student Support Team (SST) process in elementary schools in Georgia. The research method used for the study was a quantitative analysis of data collected from a survey of randomly selected SST coordinators in elementary schools across the state. Results from the study were used to address research questions on the following topics: (a) percentage of student population involved in SST, (b) reasons students are referred to SST, (c) goals that drive the SST process, (d) individuals serving as members and coordinators of Student Support Teams, (e) tasks of Student Support Teams, (f) models that structure Student Support Teams, (g) training provided for those involved in SST, (h) development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions, and (i) SST coordinators' perceptions of the SST process.

Findings about how the Student Support Team process was implemented in elementary schools in Georgia included descriptive information about the SST process, coordinators' perceptions of the SST process, and demographic information about SST coordinators and their schools. Both similarities and differences were found in how the SST process is implemented around the state. The study showed that a wide variety of individuals served as members and coordinators of Student Support Teams (SSTs), with a wide variety of models used to structure teams.

SST coordinators' perceptions of the SST process were obtained through a 1 to 4 Likert-type intensity scale. Comments made by respondents to an open-ended question provided further information on the perceptions of coordinators about the SST process. Respondents most strongly agreed that the SST process is available for any student having difficulty in the regular education classroom. Many respondents disagreed that SST members receive sufficient training, that their schools use extensive ongoing data collection, and that there are a sufficient number of SST leaders at their schools. The wide variety of information obtained from the survey of SST coordinators can be used to understand how the SST process is implemented in elementary schools in the state of Georgia.

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