Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology and Special Education

First Advisor

Dr. Nicole Patton-Terry

Second Advisor

Dr. Debra Mckeown

Third Advisor

Dr. Gwendolyn Benson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Laura Fredrick


Students enrolled in alternative/therapeutic school settings generally have a history of academic failure and behavioral disruption that may impede their learning. These students tend to perform lower than their peers in academic areas and exhibit higher rates of disruptive, off-task behavior and course failure. One strategy that may address the challenging needs of these students is the Check-in/Check-out intervention embedded with self-determination instruction. Self-determination instruction and Check-in/Check-out combined, have the potential to enable students in alternative school settings to be more empowered in their own learning and increase the likelihood of academic and behavioral success. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of implementing Student-Directed Check-in/Check-out (SD-CICO) on the behavior outcomes of African American middle schools students with emotional and behavior disorders. The study examined if SD-CICO positively impacted students' level of self-determination and ability to attain self-selected goals. The research questions presented in this study were addressed using a single case ABAB withdrawal design. Data was collected on students' level of on-task behavior during baseline (A) phases. During these phases, the students did not receive the SD-CICO intervention. During intervention (B) phases, students received SD-CICO instruction.

On-task behavioral data was collected during each phase to gather level and trend data. Because the presence and removal of the intervention should directly impact the students’ level of on-task behavior, visual analyses of the data allowed the researcher to determine the presence of replication of the students' behavior during baseline and treatment conditions. Visual analysis was also used to assess the presence of a functional relationship. Students’ level of self-determination was measured using the AIR Self-Determination scale.