Date of Award


Degree Name

School Psychology


Graduate School of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Lanai Jennings, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Conrae Lucas-Adkins

Third Advisor

Dr. Marianna Linz


Research shows that suspension can have a negative impact on public school students’ academic and behavioral outcomes. To better understand how educators view the impact of suspension and the efficacy of suspension alternatives on student outcomes, 149 public school educators were surveyed from diverse academic departments and programmatic levels in a western North Carolina county. Findings indicate that although participants generally did not perceive suspension to be effective for improving behavioral outcomes, educators were more likely to endorse suspension for students without disabilities compared to students with cognitive or emotional-behavioral concerns. Educators in the survey perceived Social Emotional Learning to be the most effective intervention for students with a cognitive or emotional-behavioral disability, while Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support was perceived as the most effective strategy for non-disabled students. Overall, educators in the participating county provided higher ratings of efficacy for supportive practices (e.g., Mental Health Counseling or Social Emotional Learning), than punitive practices (e.g., In-School or Out-of-School Suspension) in promoting student outcomes. However, more research is needed due to limitations with the present sample.


School psychology.

Student expulsion.

School discipline.

Student suspension.