Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Margaret Constantino

Committee Member

Jennifre Parish

Committee Member

Michael DiPaola


This program evaluation is focused on the social skills instructional processes of a separate day school for students with emotional disabilities (ED) in Upstate New York. The CIPP model of program evaluation was used to highlight the processes involved with the school’s program, specifically teacher led social skills instruction. To determine the program’s quality of social skills instruction multiple forms of qualitative data were collected. Teacher interviews and multiple classroom observations allowed for a humanistic approach to understanding teacher’s perceptions, practices, and beliefs regarding social skills instruction. This constructivist research design allowed for a comprehensive understanding of the current programing and instructional strategies for students requiring the highest level of academic and behavioral supports, while providing increased practicality in implementing potential recommendations. The data indicated four themes impacting New Horizon’s ability to successfully meet the needs of their students: teachers feel unprepared to implement and assess social skills; teachers are not receiving targeted professional development on social skills strategies; teachers are utilizing some evidence-based instructional strategies during social skills lessons; and teachers do not have access to the necessary resources to implement and assess social skills for students with ED. A delegation of roles and responsibilities, facilitated collaboration opportunities, and professional development opportunities could potentially mitigate teacher misconceptions, motivation, and fidelity of implementation of evidence based instructional social skills strategies for students with ED.



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