Date of Award

Summer 6-25-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Shelly Fransen

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Amy Viets-Cooper


Teacher shortages have motivated school districts and state educational agencies to focus on targeted teacher recruitment strategies as a means to mitigate the crisis (Sutcher, Darling-Hammond, & Carver-Thomas, 2016). One specific strategy, Grow Your Own Teacher programs, involves recruiting and developing future teachers from within the local community (MODESE, 2019). While a significant body of research exists about this topic, many districts and state organizations are left to determine what specific program practices best meet their needs. This qualitative study included an analysis of the perceptions of participants and key personnel of Grow Your Own Teacher programs to determine best practices for rural, suburban, and urban districts. Upon completion of focus groups with participants and interviews with key personnel, several themes were developed in regard to perceived best practice. District key personnel must look to intentional mentorship programs and provide preservice teachers with early relational capital. A combination of financial incentives and university partnerships must be developed to open pathways for future teachers. Finally, the more preservice teachers are provided with hands-on classroom experience, the greater the odds future teachers will persist unto the profession. The conclusions drawn from this study can assist Grow Your Own Teacher program personnel with specific best practices regardless of geographic location.


Copyright 2020