Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership and Curriculum

First Reader/Committee Chair

Piller, Bonnie


The educational rights of students with disabilities are supported through federal mandates, as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) safeguards a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Special education students encompass a wide range of individual and unique learning needs, thus the creation of educational environments that utilize fluid and flexible service delivery models is warranted. Furthermore, students with moderate to severe disabilities (MSD) require specialized academic instruction that promotes advancements across several developmental areas, which includes cognition, adaptive skills, communication, and emotional awareness. Exploring educational service delivery models that proficiently address the unique needs of students with MSD is essential, as limited research exists in this specific area. Utilizing a qualitative phenomenological research methodology, this study sought to explore an informal class reassignment program that provides educational instruction to students with MSD. Additionally, the intent behind this study was to explore how the informal class reassignment program influenced the special education teachers’ perspectives regarding learning outcomes for students with MSD, if at all. Moreover, this study sought to explore how moderate to severe special education teachers experience, define and describe an informal class reassignment program specifically designed to target the individual earning needs of students with MSD. This inquiry incorporated semi-structured interviews combined with reflective field notes to gain a deeper understanding of the participants’ lived experiences. Consequently, the findings shed light on factors that relate to optimal service delivery models for students with MSD.