Term of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Dr. Teri Melton

Committee Member 1

Dr. Mohomodou Boncana

Committee Member 2

Dr. Terry Diamanduros


An on-line survey was conducted to investigate the assessment practices and perceptions of 366 practicing school psychologist in the state of Georgia concerning various operational components, and the use of RTI when determining SLD eligibility. Results were analyzed using ordinal logistic regression to determine if psychologists’ perceptions could be predicted based on various explanatory variables. Results revealed that a little over half of the respondents preferred assessment of cognitive processing deficits evidenced through patterns of strengths and weaknesses for establishing SLD classification; while well over two-thirds continue to also value analysis of cognitive ability (IQ) scores. Psychologists’ assessment practices were consistently predicted based on professional membership affiliation. Perceptions of the use of RTI in the operationalization of SLD, as well as, psychologists’ desire and ability to fulfill various leadership roles and responsibilities within RTI programs, were significantly impacted by the quality of the RTI program in the schools that respondents worked. This research begins to answer many questions concerning the perceptions and assessment practices of school psychologists across Georgia. Findings from this study provide important insight into school psychologists’ professional practices which is the first step to improving the accuracy, fidelity, and consistency of SLD identification methods.