Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Jami Royal Berry

Second Advisor

Jennifer Esposito

Third Advisor

Walter Stephens


Many schools struggle with effectively managing student behavior. In recent decades, a large number of schools have implemented a system of positive behavior interventions and supports in an attempt to reduce the time that students spend out of the classroom addressing behavioral issues. This dissertation investigates the use of a program, School Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS), through an examination of results provided from the program implementation in a middle school in the Southeastern United States. The School-wide Evaluation Tool (SET) is the primary instrument used in this case study and is designed to collect both quantitative data and qualitative data from school observations and structured interviews with administrators, teachers, and students. In total, more than 25 structured interviews were conducted regarding the SWPBIS implementation. Other techniques of data collection include (a) additional opened ended response questions directed to teachers in the school, (b) a comparison of the number of office discipline referrals (ODRs), and (c) the number of expulsions prior to and after SWPBIS implementation. SWPBIS has few if any implementation studies conducted in the Southeastern United States; therefore, this study adds to the middle school literature regarding SWPBIS implementation and contribute some additional impact measures that may not be directly assessed in other studies.