Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Susan McClary


The decline in teacher retention is a growing problem in the 21st century. Beginning teacher turnover rates have grown by 50% over the past decade, with the national rate increasing to over 20%. Beginning teachers entering the profession are leaving within their first 3 years, with half leaving the profession in the first 5 years. To meet their growing needs, districts and states spend billions of dollars to recruit, hire, and try to retain new teachers. The purpose of this case study was to examine beginning teachers' perceptions of their teacher mentoring program located in an urban school district. Bandura's social cognitive theory, socio-cultural theory, and Knowles's adult learning theory were used to frame this investigation. The research questions examined the extent to which beginning teachers perceived their current mentoring program's strengths and weaknesses, the mentoring strategies used, and the improvements that could be made to the program. Interview data and transcripts from 10 beginning teachers were examined through coding that established common themes among teacher perceptions. The results revealed the importance of having a mentor and the need for more structure, more collaboration, and more support in the program. The findings from this study were used to create a 3-day workshop that includes the identified themes. Implications for positive social change include strengthening mentoring programs through professional development with more attention to structure, collaboration, and support to help transition beginning teachers into the teaching profession so that they remain.