A Multi-Tiered System of Supports for Students who Challenge Us

(Grades K-5) / Semester Course

PDI Course Number: 133BXX / UCSD Course Number: EDUC42312

Course Description

As a busy elementary school teacher, do you find it difficult to support all your students’ individual academic and behavioral needs? Do you have certain students who challenge you more than others? This online course is designed for teachers in grades K-5 who want to learn how to use a multi-tiered system to support all their students’ academic, behavior, and social-emotional needs. Universal screening measures are examined as well as using data to guide decisions within the classroom, with a focus on identifying students at-risk for poor academic outcomes. Information on academic supports is shared including universal design for learning, culturally responsive teaching, differentiated instruction, and instilling a growth mindset in students. Specific multi-tiered strategies are introduced to help teachers support students who struggle behaviorally. Teachers will learn the importance of utilizing reinforcement techniques, preference assessments, extinction plans, functional behavior assessments, and behavior intervention plans. A variety of social-emotional strategies are also discussed, including social skills instruction and compassionate practices to support students’ mental health. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"I really enjoyed this class and appreciated that I did not have to purchase a textbook to access the materials. I truly feel I have a better understanding of the MTSS model after taking this class." - Kelsey Young

Enrollment Options

Course Only


Course with Credit from UCSD Extension


This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UC San Diego.

Summer semester online courses must be completed by August 24th.

Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

UCSD Course Number: EDUC42312
Unit One
  • A Multi-Tiered System of Supports
  • Screening for At-Risk Students
  • Data-Based Decision Making
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography/Write an article reflection
Unit Two
  • Inclusive Academic Instruction
  • Effective Instructional Supports
  • Developing a Growth Mindset
  • Assignment #2: Create a lesson which espouses the principles of culturally responsive teaching with multiple means for differentiation
Unit Three
  • Effective Behavioral Supports
  • Recording Student Behaviors
  • Designing and Implementing Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans
  • Assignment #3: Select one of the scenarios presented in Assignment 3 and design a behavior intervention plan (BIP) to address the problem behavior being described
Unit Four
  • Reinforcing Desirable Behaviors
  • Extinction of Problem Behaviors
  • Nurturing Home-School Collaboration
  • Assignment #4: Design an effective extinction plan
Unit Five
  • Inclusive Social-Emotional Learning
  • Social Skills Instruction
  • Compassionate Practices for a Healthy School Climate
  • Assignment #5: Design a social skills intervention
Unit Six
  • Fostering a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom
  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for English Learners
  • Connecting MTSS with Special Education
  • Assignment #6: Design a plan detailing what can be done to address your diverse students’ academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs
  • Assignment #7: Course Reflection

Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

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