Date of Award

Fall 8-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Beth Kania-Gosche

Second Advisor

Dr. Nancy Schneider

Third Advisor

Ms. Tammy Moore


Teacher attrition is a growing problem within the education system in the United States. A study that tracked the experiences of graduates of a particular program was designed to gauge the program’s success. There were three research questions. The first asked, What are the first year teaching experiences of Midwestern University educator preparation program graduates? The second question was in two parts and asked, What do graduates of Midwestern University educator preparation program perceive as the strengths and weaknesses of their ability to carry out their duties as a first-year teacher? How does this change from August to May? The third question asked, How do the responses of graduates to the first two questions vary by type of school where they are employed, level and area of certification, and MAT or BA? To answer these questions, six graduates of Midwestern University’s Educator Preparation Program were followed during their first year of teaching. The participants were interviewed throughout their first year of teaching. The data was presented in case studies. These participants taught in urban, suburban, and rural schools that were either public or private. Some of the participants had earned a BA degree, some a MAT degree, and some were still completing their MAT degree. Three of the teachers were at the secondary level and two were at the elementary level. The data from these interviews helped clarify emerging themes from their experiences. This study showed the relevance of student teaching assignments. The graduates whose student teaching assignments had more varied ability levels and grade levels had an easier time transitioning into a first year teacher. Other experiences demonstrated how a cooperating teacher affected the success of the student teacher and the ability to iii transition into a full time teacher. Many of the participants developed their own style of classroom management as they progressed through their first year of teaching. Some participants struggled with IEPs and had to learn from their co-workers the correct way to implement them. Overall though, substitute teaching experience was found to be the most beneficial tool in preparing university students to become classroom teachers.


Copyright 2015