Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - NLU Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Dallas-Jackson

Second Advisor

Dr. Sparks


This mix methods evaluative research study includes an investigation of the demands associated with special education and the needed support required for effective special education programming. The purpose of this study is to explore what comprises administrative support and ways administrators currently support special education teachers in self-contained classrooms in the school district of this study. Additionally, the purpose of this research is to investigate how supportive are professional development trainings for self-contained teachers at the school. This dissertation is mainly comprised of qualitative data such as interviews; however, quantitative data was used to find a relationship between factors that affect special education teachers in self-contained classrooms such as administrative support, professional development trainings and retention rates. Participants of this study comprised of 10 self-contained educators, eight school administrators, and one employee of professional development. After the data was coded and analyzed, three themes emerged: Barriers of Being a Self-Contained Educator, Administrative Support from the Viewpoints of Self-Contained Educators and Administrators, and the Need for Support. Results of this mixed methods study indicated school administrators and self-contained education teachers and professional development are critical areas which need to be addressed in an effort to reduce stress and burnout. Implications for practice of this study deal with colleagues and school administrators spending time visiting special education teachers in self-contained classrooms, collaborative learning and reflection that need to take place across the board, and the reframing of professional development courses and professional development opportunities within schools.