Education Doctorate

Year Approved


First Advisor

Tracy Reimer

Second Reader

Mary Whitman

Third Reader

Ann Herlofsky


The purpose of this study was to examine data regarding the implementation of critical components of the Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework in Minnesota public secondary schools, defined as middle and high schools that service any combination of Grades 6-12. This study’s mixed method design utilized secondary data collected from the Survey of Multi-tiered Systems of Support Implementation for Addressing the MN ELA Standards distributed by the Minnesota Department of Education. The survey employed a Likert scale that measured the implementation of four critical components identified as: (a) leadership and organizational structures, (b) curriculum and instruction, (c) assessment, and (d) collaboration among staff along with an open-ended question that asked respondents to identify implementation challenges. Quantitative data analysis was completed using descriptive statistics to describe and summarize the critical component implementation status. 55.65% of respondents indicated the component most frequently reported as fully implemented as, “Parents/guardians are notified when their child begins a supplemental intervention” (MDE, 2017). 42.6% of respondents indicated the critical component most frequently reported as exploring or not in place as, a "Standards-based grading system that measures and monitors progress toward benchmarks is in place with reliable ratings between staff” (MDE, 2017). Qualitative responses were analyzed to determine themes and meaning. Five themes were identified regarding challenges encountered during implementation of the critical components of MTSS: a) Staff turnover, bound staff capacity, and staff as a limited resource b) Teachers receive insufficient professional development and training c) Secondary school schedules are not conducive to the MTSS framework d) Lack of tiered interventions and MTSS models for the secondary level d) Limited staff and faculty time available to dedicate to the implementation of MTSS components.

Degree Name

Education Doctorate

Document Type

Doctoral dissertation