All Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education & Allied Health

Degree Program

Collaborative High Impact Instruction


Education and Special Education

First Advisor

Dr. Gale Rice

Second Advisor

Dr. Catherine Schroy

Third Advisor

Dr. Sarah Huisman


Education, discipline, exclusionary discipline, Manifestation Determination Review, Disability, Equity, School-to-Prison Pipeline


The purpose of this study is to seek best practices for Manifestation Determination Review (MDR) meetings with regards to Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) participation, how frequently expressive and receptive language of the student are considered throughout the process, and the degree to which MDR teams follow best practice recommendations. Given the vague federal guidelines regarding the MDR process, SLPs are not consistently invited to MDR meetings and expressive and receptive language of the student being disciplined are not consistently considered in the manifestation determination meetings and process (Fisher et al., 2021; Knudsen & Bethune, 2018). The researcher used a mixed methods design to examine the documentation from MDR meetings and determining how frequently SLPs were in attendance, how frequently expressive and/or receptive language were described in the documentation, and to what degree teams followed best practice guidelines (Allen, 2021). The findings indicate SLPs are in attendance in 60% of the investigated meetings. Overall, there was little evidence teams considered language skills as a justification for an MDR decision. The results support the need for research into best practices for MDR policy for educational researchers and educators working in the field. They also inform a possible improvement plan for a district.

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.