Journal of Educational Research and Practice




Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) are tasked with providing preservice teachers with pedagogical theory, practical field experiences, mentorship, and scaffolded professional dispositions during critical phases of their preparation. In addition, EPPs collaborate with school districts and state departments of education to address critical issues in the field, including teacher retention and shortages. Our research explores how one EPP pilot, designed to build upon experience, supported working adult education students (e.g., parapros) seeking initial teacher certification. We sought to understand how adult teacher candidates engaged in professional learning and emergent professional relationships. Our qualitative study examined the experience of the first cohort of a 3-year pilot program. Using andragogy as a conceptual framework and paired with Danielson Evaluation Dispositions to expand on this professionalism, the data expanded on these professional dispositions through a thematic network analysis. Emerging from this analysis and through an andragogical lens, cohort members exhibited key traits associated with adult learners, including application of skills, flexibility, identification of growth, and relationship building. Our research concluded with implications for EPPs and suggestions for further research for programs at the intersections of andragogy and initial teacher certification.