School of Education
Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)
Inclusion, Peer Mentoring, Special Education, Secondary Education, Catholic Education
Education | Special Education and Teaching
McMahon, Shannon, "An Applied Study Examining Inclusion Models in an All-Girls Rhode Island Catholic High School" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2878.
The purpose of this applied study was to seek to solve the problem of a lack of comprehensive special education programming in an all-girls, Catholic school in Rhode Island, that addresses the students’ academic, social, and emotional needs, and to design a proposal of recommendations, using a multi-method approach. Particular attention was given to the merits of peer mentoring as an effective inclusion strategy. The central research question was “How can the problem of lack of comprehensive special education programs for girls be solved at St. Teresa’s Catholic School in Rhode Island?” Data were collected using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, including interviews with teachers and administrators at St. Teresa’s Catholic School; a survey of teachers and administrators at St. Teresa’s Catholic School; and a document review from Sacred Heart Academy’s Options Program, which included IEP, demographic, and curriculum data and testimonials from program stakeholders. Data were analyzed for codes and themes, from which the solution to solve the problem of a lack of comprehensive special education programming at St. Teresa’s Catholic School was derived. Results indicated the creation of an Options Program for girls in Rhode Island is a solution to the lack of comprehensive special education programming in Catholic secondary schools. A secondary solution is the creation of an advocacy group which supports the creation and expansion of special education programs.