The Institute for Evidence-based Reform, LLC, (TIER) was founded in 2010 by Kristin N. Johnson, Ph.D. and Kristopher J. Kaase, Ph.D. to support educators and caregivers in bridging the gap between knowledge and implementation of evidence-based practices with fidelity. TIER provides school districts, government education agencies, institutions of higher learning, non-governmental educational organizations, and parents with services and products to build their capacity to meet the needs of all those they serve. We believe building capacity requires a sustained effort and cannot be achieved through professional development alone. We work side-by-side with teachers, principals, administrators, and others to help them develop their capacity to consistently implement best practices. We believe this approach is the only way to effect real change and build sustainability.

We believe building capacity and sustainability requires each of the following components.

  • Policy and Procedure Development – Getting your policies and procedure right is important to the success of any organization. We help organizations strike the balance between requirements and flexibility in creating policy.
  • Professional Development ­– Professional development should help people improve their practice. Our professional development is rooted in evidence-based content and training practices that provide multiple opportunities for active engagement of participants.
  • Coaching & Technical Assistance – We believe that significant learning happens when people try to implement what they have been taught through professional development. We believe providing support to teachers, principals, school district and state leaders, and others as they implement practices is necessary to build capacity.
  • Data Analysis & Research – We believe we must evaluate our efforts with data. Consequently, we collect data about the processes we help you implement and data about the student outcomes. Both are critical measures of effectiveness and are necessary for improving practice.

What makes TIER distinctive?

  • Working side-by-side with individuals in implementing practices
  • Using efficient, evidence-based strategies and interventions that have high impact
  • Providing detailed procedures for implementing strategies and interventions
  • Providing tools for monitoring integrity of implementation
  • Using data at all levels to form decisions and provide feedback of potential changes
  • Providing focused support and effort
  • Conducting research on our practices
  • Engaging people from across the nation to learn about the latest developments in evidence-based practices

TIER staff are recognized nationally for their expertise and are trusted by a wide range of educational organizations and businesses. In addition to services to a number of school districts we have provided direct and advisory services to more than 20 states and U.S. territories.

Our Staff
Kristin N. Johnson, Ph.D.

Kristin N. Johnson, Ph.D.

Kristin N. Johnson, Ph.D., earned her specialist degree from Nicholls State University and her doctorate at the University of Southern Mississippi both in School Psychology.  She has been a nationally…

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Jan Kirkland Hogue

Jan Kirkland Hogue

Jan Kirkland Hogue, TIER Lead Research Assistant, graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences, and a Master of Science in…

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Scott Mason

Scott Mason

Scott Mason, TIER Operational Manager, has worked in customer relations and communications for 20 years. He oversees all the software and technical support on all projects and on My Behavior…

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Mariangely Meléndez-Torres

Mariangely Meléndez-Torres

Mariangely Meléndez-Torres, TIER Research Assistant, was born in the island of Puerto Rico. Inspired by a family of teachers and social workers, Mariangely developed a concern for the education of…

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Cheryl Berry Welch

Cheryl Berry Welch

Cheryl Berry Welch, TIER Research Assistant, earned her B.S. from Mississippi State University in Special Education and her Master from Mississippi University for Women in Early Childhood Education. She has…

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Kate Helbig

Kate Helbig

Kate Helbig, one of three TIER research assistants, is currently in her second year of her doctoral school psychology program at The University of Southern Mississippi. She graduated from Southern…

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Our Partners
Ayesha Khurshid, Ph.D

Ayesha Khurshid, Ph.D

Dr. Ayesha Khurshid received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, and her master’s degrees in clinical psychology and school psychometry from Mississippi State University. She…

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Meagan Medley, Ph.D

Meagan Medley, Ph.D

Dr. Meagan Medley received her doctorate in School Psychology at Mississippi State University. Her school based work includes a focus in Response to Intervention (RTI), Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports…

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Ken Thompson, Ph.D

Ken Thompson, Ph.D

Ken Thompson, Ph.D. is the Director of Institutional Research at Millsaps College, where he also teaches in the Math Department. Dr. Thompson has degrees in Mathematics as well as Research,…

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Jeff Ward, Attorney


Jeff Ward, Attorney


Jeff Ward is an honors graduate from the University of Memphis where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Political Science. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence…

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The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi School Psychology Program http://www.usm.edu/school-psychology/school-psychology-faculty

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Kate Helbig

Kate Helbig

Kate Helbig, one of three TIER research assistants, is currently in her second year of her doctoral school psychology program at The University of Southern Mississippi. She graduated from Southern…

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