Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2024

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S.)



Committee Chair

Richard Marsicano

Second Committee Member

Heath Marrs

Third Committee Member

Meaghan Nolte


Best practices and federal legislation dictate that schools conduct a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and implement a behavior intervention plan (BIP) whenever a student engages in a pattern of challenging behavior that interferes with their learning or the learning of others. While the exact practices of FBAs and BIPs in schools remain largely unknown, school psychologists are often regarded as having the training and expertise to fulfill this role as well as to coach others to meaningfully engage in these practices. To better understand the role of school psychologists regarding FBA and BIP practices, semi-structured interviews were individually conducted with five school psychologists regarding their training, experiences, practices, and roles within their current schools. Thematic Analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data from semi-structured interviews. Participants indicated that FBAs and BIPs are completed by multi-disciplinary teams within their schools, describing their role as facilitators to the behavioral problem-solving process, serving in a primarily indirect or procedural capacity rather than in a coaching capacity due to competing demands and priorities of the organization. These findings may inform future research efforts aiming to close the research-to-practice gap in behavioral assessment and intervention, by providing additional context to the role of school psychologists in behavioral assessment and intervention as perceived by the five school psychologists in the current study.

Available for download on Monday, June 11, 2029