Education Doctorate

Year Approved


First Advisor

Reimer, Tracy


Students with Emotional Behavioral Disorders, in combination with significant and chronic behaviors, are often placed in alternative educational settings. No clear rationale is used by school districts to determine educational placement, and schools rely on a variety of settings to provide instruction and services to students with disabilities. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the narrative regarding student placement in restrictive settings and the individual and institutional rationales for student transitions. It also studied the narratives supporting students’ return to a less restrictive educational placement. Participants were school district representatives in one Minnesota county who served on Individual Educational Placement teams determining appropriate education placement for students with disabilities. This study found that multiple individual and institutional factors impacted the decision to transition a student to a more restrictive setting as well as transition a student to a more traditional educational placement. Eight themes emerged from interviewee responses specific to each research question. These themes included: student behavior and disposition, lack of school resources, collaborative culture and shared processes, receptive home district school, negative staff mindset, lack of student readiness mindset, inconsistent standards, and lack of communication and collaboration.

Degree Name

Education Doctorate

Document Type

Doctoral dissertation