The impact of an alternative certification program on teacher retention in selected Texas public school districts as reported by personnel in Education Service Center, Region 20, Texas
Goldhorn, Jeffery Lee
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The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of an alternative certification program on the retention of teachers in Region 20, Texas, as reported by Education Service Center, Region 20, Texas. Demographic variables were used to determine association with retention rates. Additionally, the study provided qualitative data and information that assisted in explaining the retention rates of Teacher Orientation and Preparation Program (TOPP) participants. A mixed methods research, utilizing logistic regression and a survey interview instrument, was used to determine retention rates as well as variables that influence retention rates of TOPP participants. A total of 537 TOPP participants were analyzed. Additionally, a sub-sample of 10 participants was interviewed. The study provides an analysis of the following demographic variables: ethnicity, gender, current grade type (elementary ??PK-5, middle school ??6-8, and high school ??9-12), and current socioeconomic level (as determined by the percent of children who qualify for free and reduced lunch programs). Of the four demographic variables analyzed, none was found to have an association with retention rates. A number of other variables were found to have an impact on the retention of the teachers interviewed in the sub-sample. Those variables included personal commitment to the field of education or the kids, a mentor, team support, administrative support, and new teacher induction programs. The implications from the findings of this research study are numerous and can have an effect in areas such as teacher hiring practices, teacher retention practices, and teacher preparation programs. It is important to note that the researcher recommends that expert opinions be sought and further research be conducted on teacher retention and teacher preparation programs before any recommendations for change are made.