Author

Austin Veiga

Date of Award

2022

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.

Department

Education

First Advisor

Sally Hood

Second Advisor

Dr. Katie Danielson

Third Advisor

Dr. Eric Anctil

LC Subjects

Catholic schools--Administration; Teachers colleges--Evaluation; Teacher turnover; Teachers--Training

Abstract

Teacher retention rates in America have remained low over the past decades, with almost half of teachers exiting the field in their first five years of teaching. High teacher turnover has a financial impact on schools and districts as well as negative impacts on student learning. The Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education (PACE) is a teacher preparation program that has graduates who have demonstrated higher retention rates in the teaching field over the first five years. This single-case study investigated the experiences of six graduates of the PACE program during their time in the program, and sought to understand their decision to remain teaching in the classroom after graduation. Six interviews and one focus group were conducted in order to explore attitudes and experiences that supported participants in their early career. Key findings revealed that participants remained in the field for altruistic reasons such as connections and impacts on student lives, and making significant differences in the world. Additionally, participants described the importance of a collaborative and supportive administrator both in the early years of their career, as well as their current school environments. Participants also indicated that informal mentors that were sought out positively impacted their willingness to stay in the profession. Participants identified PACE programmatic supports, that had little or no impact on their experiences as early career educators, including the need for student affairs professionals to assist individuals in the program, and the need for more applicable and pertinent feedback from university supervisors. Implications for best practices for alternative teacher preparation programs are suggested, based on the data received from participants.

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