Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Education Policy, Planning, and Administration
Corinne M. Murphy, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Claire Verden, Ed.D.
Siobhan Leavy, Ed.D.
A student’s educational placement should be an IEP team decision driven by the needs of the student in conjunction with the availability of the resources to meet the needs of the student. However, given the individual nature of special education processes, IEP teams may arrive at different decisions for very similar students. Additionally, special education legislation asserts that students must be educated in the Least Restrictive Environment. Existing research related to trends in educational placement has identified large scale factors that may influence educational placement decisions. Other research has focused on small case studies of students, and the specific circumstances that warranted their placement. The purpose of this study is to identify trends across variables for students who are referred to a center-based emotional support program. The collected data is analyzed for program-wide trends as well as trends amongst specific socioeconomic and ethnic groups. Results of the study reveal disproportionality amongst ethnic and socioeconomic groups in relation to specific special education variables. Implications for school districts to improve their practices in meeting the LRE mandates of IDEA are provided, as well as suggestions for future research.
Mangan, Donald, "An Analysis of Trends Across Variables in Placement and Referral Decisions for Students Placed in a Center-Based Emotional Support Program" (2018). West Chester University Doctoral Projects. 17.