Date of Award


Degree Name

Specialist in Education



First Advisor

Dr. Ruth A. Ervin

Second Advisor

Dr. Alyce M. Dickinson

Third Advisor

Dr. Margaret T. McGlinchey

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


The purpose of the current study was to initiate a line of research focused on the development of tools and a systematic process for evaluating and guiding the improvement of the prereferral teaming process. Previous research on the prereferral teaming process has been limited. The current study extended the research base by applying an organizational approach to improving prereferral teaming. Template matching tools and systems analysis tools were used to assess gaps between current teaming practices and "best practices" in the prereferral teaming process across two school-based teams. The results obtained by using the two distinct approaches were examined to determine whether each tool was useful in identifying significant systems change needs in the prereferral process and whether the identified needs corresponded across measures. Results indicated that template matching tools and systems analysis tools were effective in identifying specific areas of the teaming process that were discrepant from those practices recommended in the literature. This study provides a preliminary evaluation of a potentially portable process for assessing improvement areas that would allow for individualizing the systems change process to account for developmental differences across schools.

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