Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Not Listed

Committee Chair

Reagan Curtis

Committee Co-Chair

M Cecil Smith

Committee Member

Helen Hazi

Committee Member

Joseph Kovaleski


School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) is a multi-tiered system of student support that emphasizes the use of positive behavior strategies for a school’s students. Schools are adopting SWPBIS because it gives staff the opportunity to teach desired behaviors to students and emphasizes the enhancement of instructional time by minimizing disruptions. SWPBIS uses a support framework that includes a building-level behavior coach and a core team made up of an administrator, parent(s), and professional school staff. Staff and student training is bridged with implementation efforts to sustain a positive school climate and prevent student behavior problems. The SWPBIS coach assists in establishing a school’s steps to structuring behavior practices, guides the team in evaluating and sustaining the structure, and helps with training staff and implementing all parts of a school’s plan. SWPBIS coaches’ role experiences have not been widely studied—particularly in regard to their perceptions of their professional responsibilities and challenges in response to SWPBIS development and practices. Understanding these responsibilities and challenges may inform education stakeholders (i.e., state and national leadership teams, state/local facilitators, school board members, school administrators, parents, students, community members) about coaches’ perceptions of their work in SWPBIS schools. In turn, stakeholders may be encouraged to advocate for needed policy, procedures, supports and resources to improve SWPBIS and its coaching effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to determine selected Pennsylvania coaches’ perceptions of their role responsibilities and challenges through a survey. Demographic profiles show that coaches have experience as teachers, administrators, and specialists. Most coaches spend at least 1-5 hours per month coaching in addition to their other school roles. They use data to monitor school SWPBIS practices to problem solve with their teams monthly. The greatest challenges reported were lack of time to perform SWPBIS-related duties, infrequent professional development opportunities, and dealing with staff buy-in.