Date of Completion


Embargo Period



instructional hierarchy, behavior support plans, treatment integrity, staff training

Major Advisor

Lisa Sanetti

Associate Advisor

Susannah Everett

Associate Advisor

Brandi Simonsen

Field of Study

Educational Psychology

Open Access

Open Access


Behavior support plans (BSPs) are packages of interventions used to comply with federal mandates that schools provide students with support by eliminating behavior that interferes with learning (Horner, Carr, Strain, Todd, & Reed, 2002). BSPs and other behavioral supports are often delivered by paraprofessionals, especially for special education students included in general education (Suter & Giangreco, 2009). Educational and skill requirements of entry-level paraprofessionals vary state by state but are unlikely to include formal training or experience in implementing BSPs (Breton 2010). Paraprofessionals often receive brief or limited training prior to beginning work (Giangreco & Doyle, 2007). These factors may present challenges for the treatment integrity of BSPs, which refers to the extent to which the BSPs are implemented as intended. The Instructional Hierarchy (Haring, Lovitt, Eaton, & Hansen, 1978) may provide a framework for monitoring skill development and guide the training of paraprofessionals implementing BSP components, which may result in improved treatment integrity. Four paraprofessionals assigned to support students with individualized BSPs participated in this study. They participated in an after school training series that used the IH to guide the training activities and monitor their skill development. Data were collected on their implementation behavior during training sessions and also in the classroom—before and after the introduction of the training series. Generally, exposure to the training series resulted in improvements in participants implementation scores.