Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Irma Harper

Abstract

Teachers are leaving their profession at alarming rates. As a result, retaining novice teachers has become a major concern for policy makers, school districts, administrators, and teaching staff throughout the United States. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of novice teacher induction support structures in a southwestern US state. The conceptual framework is based on research examining teacher attrition; this study extends the research by examining school-based and university-based programs. Research questions focused on the perception of novice teachers regarding mentoring experiences at their certifying universities and employing school districts. Three research questions examined school district comprehensive induction support, certifying university support induction programs, and other support services that supported novice teachers' decisions to remain in the profession. This study used a sequential exploratory mixed methods design to gather data. Quantitative research analyzed survey responses through descriptive statistics. Qualitative research utilized semi-structured interviews. Data analysis involved coding and theme analysis. Results revealed strong school support can compensate for the lack of university support, but strong university support did not compensate for a lack of school support. Implications for social change indicate the need for stronger school supports in induction programs for new teachers. First-year teachers should be followed for a longer period of time to understand difficulties they face as they grow into experienced teachers. This study provided valuable data to identify types of school and university-based support that may aid in the reduction of teacher attrition rates.