Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Allison Swan Dagen.


With the introduction of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have experienced a new focus on language and literacy within their roles and responsibilities to provide services to students. The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) support the role of SLPs in literacy efforts through their policies regarding expanded roles and responsibilities for school-based SLPs. ASHA notes that school-based SLPs have a clearly defined role in Response to Intervention (RTI) based on their expertise, knowledge and training to provide services as a resource and an interventionist when appropriate. The effect of the redefined roles and responsibilities of school-based SLPs for children who are experiencing literacy difficulties has been largely unstudied in the state of West Virginia. This study was an attempt to begin to investigate the challenges that SLPs in the state of West Virginia feel they face within the RTI model. While an effective research based framework such as RTI is essential to the success of students, the perceptions of the challenges that SLPs feel they face in their role in the RTI process directly impacts the effectiveness of participation in the RTI model in delivery of services on a day-to-day basis. SLPs' perceptions of the challenges they face in the RTI process, adequacy of training, willingness to participate in the documentation required within the RTI model, and the willingness to adopt collaboration techniques with other professionals within the RTI model are examined in the study. The sample population for the survey consisted of SLPs (n=227) from across the state of West Virginia. The study was conducted through a three phase process. Phase One involved a pilot study of two counties in the state of West Virginia, Phase Two involved the use of a paper survey that was distributed at the 2011 annual West Virginia Speech and Hearing Association (WVSHA) Convention, and Phase Three involved the distribution of the survey via Demographic information was collected and participants were asked to state their agreement on 26 perception statements using a 5-point Likert scale.;This quantitative study gathered data on the challenges SLPs from across the state of West Virginia feel they are currently facing within the RTI model. Results of the study indicate that the majority of school-based SLPs in West Virginia do not currently participate in the delivery of RTI services to students. In addition, the study indicated that the majority of school-based SLPs who participated in the study provide direct services to students through a caseload only model, which includes students who have a current Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in place and have not embraced a new framework called RTI to meet the challenges of appropriately offering interventions to students struggling with literacy issues. Based on statistical analysis of this survey utilizing both descriptive statistics and ANOVA, recommendations were made to help guide future professional development and training for school-based SLPs in the implementation of the RTI model. The current study confirms the need for school-based SLPs in West Virginia to consider adapting their service delivery model to address the unique needs of the children who struggle with literacy issues.