Term of Award

Summer 2023

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


College of Education

Committee Chair

Juliann McBrayer

Committee Member 1

Antonio P. Gutierrez de Blume

Committee Member 2

Caitlin Criss


Leadership in education is thinking, communicating, and modeling to maximize student growth and achievement. This quantitative research study explored how leadership can strengthen the academic progress of students within Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). When implementation of MTSS is guided by adaptive school leadership, educators will be prepared, communication will occur, interventions will be established, and data will be evaluated. Adaptive leaders who build efficacy will ensure fidelity and continuous improvement of student achievement.

Survey research was conducted to analyze the operational level of MTSS regarding the domains of Leadership, Building Capacity for Instruction, Communication and Collaboration, Data-Based Problem-Solving, Tiered Interventions, and Data Evaluation. Demographic information was analyzed to determine correlations between educator years of experience and leadership and educator school level on leadership, within MTSS. The findings established an operational baseline for each domain and indicated Communication and Collaboration and Building Capacity for Instruction are focus areas for improvement in the academic MTSS process. The implications of this research may help school leaders identify topics for continuous improvement to achieve an operational or optimizing level of performance within MTSS. The outcomes from the research could help identify the current use of evidence-based practices and identify professional development needs. Future research is recommended within educator talent development to determine the types of professional development or high leverage practices that educators feel they need support in MTSS implementation, as well a plan for coaching to provide a feedback loop to maximize students’ academic support.

Research Data and Supplementary Material