The Educational Efficiency of Employing a Three-Tier Model of Academic Supports: Providing Early, Effective Assistance to Students Who Struggle

By Jane Owen.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper presentation will explore the intricacies of the Three-Tier Model of Academic Supports, frequently referred to as Response to Intervention. Processes and procedures for implementing the Three-Tier Model in K-12 schools will be described. The goal is to show attendees how to develop a systemic organizational method that will allow schools to move away from the traditional special education structure and toward a program that assists all students on an as-needed basis.
Historically, the labeling of certain students as “learning disabled” and providing assistance based on this label has resulted in a bifurcated system of education that uses a protocol of testing to differentiate between students who qualify for special assistance and those who do not. Unfortunately, many struggling students do not qualify and are denied access to specialized assistance. Other students who do qualify may function quite well in the regular education classroom. The special education program as currently conceived has become overly expensive, frequently ineffective, and separates students in less than optimal ways. The Three-Tier Model of Academic Supports allows students to be served based on need rather than label, facilitates a precise focus on areas of weakness that can then be efficiently remedied, and permits students to move fluidly between the levels of support as need dictates.
In addition to an academic focus in K-12 education, a three-tier model of supports structure can be used effectively with a behavioral focus and can also be used in any setting in which people learn at different rates.

Keywords: Education, Special Education, Three-Tier Model of Academic Supports, Response to Intervention

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp.95-106. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 816.156KB).

Dr. Jane Owen

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Educational Leadership and Technology, West College of Education, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas, USA

Jane C. Owen, Ph.D., received her Bachelor’s degree in English Education from the University of Wyoming, her Master’s degree in Educational Management and Development from New Mexico State University, and her Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Texas. She is the author of two books: The Roles of the Superintendent in Building Community, and The Impact of Politics in Local Education, along with numerous journal articles focused on applying educational theory to the educational setting. She has been a high school teacher, assistant principal, principal, and district assistant superintendent of planning and accountability; she currently serves as interim Dean of the Graduate School as well as program coordinator for the Educational Leadership master’s degree program at Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas.

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