Term of Award

Summer 2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Kymberly Drawdy

Committee Member 1

Yasar Bodur

Committee Member 2

Gerald Eads

Committee Member 3

Jason LaFrance

Abstract

The causes of the teacher shortage are complex; however, the retention of special education teachers is a significant contributor to this shortage. Some research has indicated that up to 9.3 % of special education teachers leave the field at the end of their first year of teaching and 7.4 % move to general education yearly. Therefore, school districts face a continuous cycle of recruitment, hiring, and induction. Because of the pivotal value of retention, school districts and site level education leaders must take proactive steps to reduce the retention rate. The research on teacher retention indicates factors such as salary, support; mentoring, responsive induction programs, deliberate role design, positive work conditions, and professional development positively affect retention. This mixed methods was an examination of data from the 2007- Georgia Teacher Survey (Department of Research and Evaluation at the Georgia Professional Standards Commission) to establish a link between mentoring, job satisfaction, and the retention of special education teachers. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the influence of mentoring and job satisfaction on the outcome variable of interest, teacher retention. A sociocultural frame work was used draw the following conclusions: mentoring is most effective when it provides opportunities in the learning community for mentors and mentees to meet and share ideas with colleagues in a similar content area; relationships and support is the ultimate determining factor regarding intent; mentoring and job satisfaction can impact the intent to remain in the profession based on race, gender, and number of years teaching, for special education teachers.

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