Date of Award

Spring 4-4-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Doug Devore, Ed.D. Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Linda I. De Long, Ed.D. Committee Member

Third Advisor

Chris Kueng, Ed.D. Committee Member


Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore and describe the teaching and behavioral strategies exemplary, non-public alternative education schools used to support student learning as perceived by education specialists and site administrators at high-achieving, non-public alternative education schools in Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, and Orange County.

Methodology: This qualitative case study examined the perception of education specialists and site administrators by conducting interviews to identify effective teaching and behavioral strategies used by exemplary non-public alternative education schools. The researcher interviewed nine education specialists and three site administrators from exemplary non-public alternative schools.

Findings: Data collected from the interviews indicated overall, education specialists and site administrators utilized an array of behavioral strategies in the educational environment. These included (1) consultation with a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA), (2) incentive programs, and (3) behavior intervention plans. The teaching strategies utilized in the three exemplary alternative education settings included: (1) providing individual instruction, (2) modeling/peer modeling, (3) providing small group instruction, (4) building upon student interest, and (5) scaffolding.

Conclusions: Alternative education schools used various teaching and behavioral strategies. However, the researcher was unable to identify a significant amount of common teaching strategies to support student learning. Although, all alternative education schools that participated in the study had a BCBA on staff, most schools failed to utilize only research-based strategies.

Recommendations: The recommendations from the qualitative case study include five essential components of an exemplary non-public alternative school: (1) develop accountability systems to monitor student learning and teaching practices, (2) provide on-going professional development on teaching and behavioral strategies for diverse learners, (3) implement effective teaching and behavioral strategies based on data collection, (4) scheduled regular consultations with a BCBA or individual who specializes in behavior, and (5) ensure the school employees are highly qualified staff members.