Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Andrea Wilson


Some children display challenging behaviors because they do not have the skills to manage their behaviors appropriately. The collaborative problem-solving (CPS) model was implemented at a local middle school in Tennessee to provide students with social-emotional learning and support (SELS) as a means for promoting students’ self-directed behavior management skills. The problem was that despite the implementation of the CPS model prior to the intervention of administrator support/disciplinary action, the out-of-school suspension (OSS) rate increased since 2016. Guided by Greene’s CPS model, the purpose of this basic qualitative study was to investigate teachers’ perceptions of the implementation of the CPS model and institutional supports needed to improve implementation of the CPS model as a means for preventing OSS for students. Seven teachers who were trained and actively implementing the CPS model with students in grades 6-8 at a local middle school were interviewed. Data were analyzed using open coding to identify emergent themes. Findings revealed that teachers needed and wanted ongoing professional development, should maintain a growth mindset, and must strive to implement equitable practices for all students holistically. Based on these findings, a 3-day professional development was designed to assist teachers and other school staff in refining implementation of the CPS model. With enhanced implementation of the CPS model in schools, positive social change may occur by strengthening SELS practices that aim to support students’ social, emotional, and behavioral development in an equitable and holistic manner, possibly reducing the need for assigning OSS as a disciplinary consequence in schools.