Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Thomas O'Brien

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Noal Cochran

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Kyna Shelley

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Kevin Wells

Committee Member 4 School



Many speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are employed in public school systems as part of the special education department to work with students with deficits in oral and written language skills. The literature shows a direct relationship between oral language development and early literacy skills. SLPs can provide a preventative role through the multitiered systems of support (MTSS) or response to intervention (RTI) programs. However, many SLPs report barriers to accessing students in the general education setting. One of these reported barriers is a lack of administrative support. Therefore, this research explored factors that impact a P-12 school administrator’s experiences, opinions, and perceptions of SLPs in written language instruction. These administrators include P-12 principals, P-12 assistant principals, and special education directors.

A questionnaire was developed from two validated instruments. The researcher collected data from 285 P-12 administrators from across the United States. The analysis revealed that administrative roles can significantly impact the combined views (experiences, opinions, and perceptions) of an SLP’s ability to help students develop specific skills needed for reading. However, there was no noteworthy difference between the three individual constructs. The results of the factorial ANOVA indicated that school type and gender do not predict the perceived training of an SLP. A two-way MANOVA found the interaction effect between the participation in the Child Find process and geographical region on the combined dependent variables of the view of RTI was not statistically significant, nor were the main effects. A one-way ANOVA determined that the perceptions of the SLP’s qualifications to help children develop specific skills important for reading ability by P-12 school administrators for different school types were not statistically significant. The mean scores of the perceptions of an SLP’s qualifications to help children develop specific skills important for reading were explored. High school administrators had the highest positive perception of SLPs, followed closely by administrators of junior high and other settings. Surprisingly, administrators in the elementary setting ranked the lowest.