Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Diane Smallwood, PsyD, NCSP

Second Advisor

Jessica Glass Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D

Third Advisor

Susan Howard, PhD


The purpose of this study is not only to understand teachers’ knowledge of evidence based intervention strategies but also how they implement these in the classroom. This information will provide insight into current teacher behaviors regarding the intervention process. The study also explores how long teachers utilize such techniques before referring a student for a psychoeducational evaluation, as well as how often students are referred for a comprehensive evaluation. The study was designed to address four research questions related to teacher knowledge of evidence based interventions and their utilization of the prereferral process. A total of 117 classroom teacher in grades K-8 responded to a survey in its entirety. The study identified several factors that initially indicate to teachers that a student is struggling academically. Additionally, the study found that teachers had attempted using several basic interventions, but that the majority of participants had not attempted any of the listed Tier 1 interventions in math or writing or any Tier 2 interventions. Teacher reported that they attempt prereferral interventions for 3-4 weeks and decide if they are effective, in a number of ways. There was no majority opinion on the factors that influence the decision to refer for a psychoeducational evaluation; however, many participants indicated that they view the prereferral process as a way to access an evaluation for special education.