Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Donald Wattam


One significant issue in U.S. public schools is the need to determine the root cause of the early departure of novice teachers. The problem that was the focus of this study was the departure of novice teachers from a southern rural high school prior to completing 5 years in the profession. The purpose of this project study was to explore novice teachers’ perceptions about early departure from the local high school. Fishbein’s expectancy-value theory was used in this exploratory case study to gain insight on seven novice teachers’ perceptions related to their early departures. The research questions focused on perceived barriers for departure decisions and the main motivators to depart the local school before 5 years of teaching at the high school of study. Findings from the data collected with in-depth, semi structured interviews indicated that novice teachers believed that the professional development that they received was not relevant to their environment. They voiced concern about the lack of administrative support and desired strategies for classroom management, classroom procedures, stress management, and time management. The resulting project consisted of a revamped professional development program to provide novice teachers with sessions that encompassed the areas that were believed to be deficient. The workshop evaluation provided formative feedback from workshop participants. The project contributes to positive social change by providing a program that will give novice teachers the information and tools they need to decrease stress while increasing knowledge and resilience.