Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Educational Leadership and Policies


Educational Administration

First Advisor

Lynn Harrill


This qualitative study sought to better understand the lived experiences of students, teachers, and administrators with regards to the In-School Suspension program. This study was grounded in a theoretical framework which included basic concepts of behaviorism and social exchange theory. With these theories this research study sought to explain the relationships that exist within the ISS program and the effect of those relationships on deterring student misbehavior within a particular critical case study. These concepts helped to explain even further the relationships and the human lived experiences that occurred with this study. Data were collected through in-depth individual interviews with students and the ISS director and two different focus group interviews with teachers and administrators.

This study sought to understand how the lived experiences of the students differed from the experiences of the adults in the study. The study also sought to determine how these lived experiences of the study participants influenced their perceptions as to why some students serve one assignment of ISS and never return while other students repeatedly return to the program. Four major themes emerged from the data collected in this study: (1) ISS as a negative experience for students; (2) the guidance component of ISS; (3) ISS and how it affects at-risk students; and (4) the academic impact ISS has on students. The analysis of all of the data allowed the researcher to synthesize the thoughts of each participant group and find similarities and differences. Recommendations for future studies are also discussed.