The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Kay Worner

Second Advisor

Janine Dahms-Walker

Third Advisor

David Lund

Fourth Advisor

John Eller

Creative Commons License

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

Keywords and Subject Headings

Special Education Placement, Least Restrictive Environment, Educational Placement, Federal Setting, Placement Rates, Self-Contained Programs


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has mandated students with disabilities receive a Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) in their Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Research has unmasked a pattern of placement in more restrictive setting placements based on pre-existing programming. The study explores the effects the presence of self-contained programing has on the implementation of LRE and cumulative placement rates (CPR) in select Minnesota public elementary schools.


To my dissertation committee Dr. Kay Worner, Dr. Janine Dahms-Walker, Dr. David Lund and Dr. John Eller, my deepest gratitude for your encouragement, support, sharing your wisdom and endless hours of editing. This study would not have been possible without Dr. Kay Worner who selflessly offered her knowledge and time to inspire and motivate me to complete this work.

Thank you to Cohort VIII, your continuous support was essential to my completion of this journey. Jill, Marcia and Michelle, we have weathered so much together these last three years. May we continue to “do hard things”! Thank you for your sisterhood.

Finally, thank you to my family. You supported me through one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. I owe a lifetime of gratitude to my parents who instilled in me a value of education and cultivated my persistence. A special thank you to my husband, Andy, for his love, support and accepting my expensive hobby; my education.



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