Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Cherie Gaines

Second Advisor

Bethany Powers

Third Advisor

Brad Smith


Since the early 2000s, federal, state, and local lawmakers and educators have worked to combat the wait to fail mentality and support higher student grade level academic achievements. Educators were tasked with finding teaching methods that better served academically struggling students, some of whom had specified learning disabilities. Federal laws created Response to Intervention instruction in all grade levels, in which educators provided students additional instructional support. During my study, I found little existing literature focused on Response to Intervention instruction in high school grade levels. The purpose of this qualitative interpretive study was to examine certified educators’ perceptions of RTI2 in East Tennessee public high schools. I sent a questionnaire to 38 certified educators in varying East Tennessee public high schools. After 13 educators completed the questionnaire, I found participants did not have the same experiences with RTI in their high schools or district. The results included varying benefits of RTI instruction at the high school level, including positive mindset, increased academic success, and increased academic supports. On the contrary, the results yielded more themes of perceived barriers to RTI instruction in high schools, including lack of guidance, lack of support, lack of resources, student refusal, curriculum conflicts, and scheduling issues.


RTI, RTI2, Tennessee, High schools, Response to Intervention and Instruction