Date of Award

Summer 7-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Roger "Mitch" Nasser Jr.

Second Advisor

Dr. Robyne Elder

Third Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom


Teachers are consistently developing learners that independently seek to gain knowledge and skills throughout life (Blaschke, 2012). Educators must desire to learn new and improved skills to gain knowledge. The new regulations and qualifications, and standards surrounding a career in education require teachers to become continual learners. Professional development is the practice of teachers continuing to grow in their fields and varies depending on personal preference, personal interests, and professional history, as well as addresses issues present in their district or school (Day, 1999). Educational policies and laws outline the need for high-quality professional development for teachers. However, little evidence is available to determine what aspects make teachers effective. Each school district should examine how they determine a successful implementation (Borko, 2004; Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman, & Yoon, 2001). Professional development, also referred to as continuing education, is important to the organization and to society; and therefore, each should attempt to foster continued learning. Professional development provides satisfying, relevant, and actionable guidance to K-12 educators, so they can keep up with the evolving K-12 world. Professional development has become crucial in the wake of growing teacher shortages, increased student diversity, and school safety and climate concerns. However, offering professional and continuing education opportunities is exactly what educators need most. How can district leaders know if their training programs are meeting educators’ needs without this information? iv The researcher surveyed K-12 educators and counselors to understand where districts can improve their development offerings. In this study, the researcher examined the efficiency and implementation of the continuing education courses, by comparing financial support and degree attainment, with improvement in the classroom. This study aimed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the district’s professional and continuing education program. The researcher provided feedback regarding the effectiveness of participating in the professional and continuing education courses and determined if instructional changes or implementations were to create a better learning environment for the students; and if degree attainment had an impact on participation, and if financial assistance encourages educators to continue their education. Professional development assists with helping teachers stay informed of mandated expectations and requirements for students, increase knowledge of the technology available for teaching, developing new teaching strategies, and learning to teach an increasingly diverse population (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007). If teachers are expected to improve teaching strategies, they must be given the required knowledge and skills (Reeves, 2011). Summary of Results The researcher examined four research questions and four hypotheses statements. This study examined the efficiency and implementation of the continuing education program through financial support, degree attainment, and improvement in the classroom. Additional statistical analyses, both descriptive and inferential, determined if there was significant support for each hypothesis. The purpose of the professional development session was to provide new ways for teachers to engage their students and assist with v being successful in the classroom. The participants believed that implementation of innovative, creative, and hands-on teaching methods was required to reach the students today. Qualitative data were developed by interviewing eight participants. All of the participants included a response to each of the 12 questions indicating that professional development should be active, engaging, collaborative, practical, reflective, and reinforced. This point demonstrated that adult learning in a professional environment occurs through the same process as developmental learning theories (Baumgartner & Merriam, 2000; Clark & Cafferella, 1999).


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