Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Sydney Parent


Due to the teacher shortage in a U.S. southeastern state, administrators at Unified School District (USD, a pseudonym) hired alternative teacher certification program (ATCP) teachers enrolled in graduate level education courses through ATCPs while teaching full time. These ATCP teachers have bachelor’s degrees and work experiences in various professions. The problem investigated in this study was the high attrition rate of ATCP teachers. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore ATCP teachers’ perceptions of their preparation program, previous degrees, careers, and family life experiences in preparation for teaching in USD’s K-12 schools. The conceptual framework was Shulman’s pedagogical content knowledge model. Ten ATCP teachers participated in semistructured interviews. Data were analyzed using open and axial coding, and the following 5 themes emerged: teachers felt that their ATCP prepared them for teaching the College and Career Readiness Standards; their prior experiences prepared them to teach; they felt prepared to integrate effective pedagogical practices; they did express the need for continued professional development training; and they noted the lack of instructional support in the school. Based on the study results, a professional development training was created to continue the preparation of ATCP teachers. The implications for positive social change are that future ATCP teachers may be more confident and satisfied in their new career and hence, help USD to have enough teachers for their students that can offer them quality education.