Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Carla L. Sparks, Ed.D.


The K-12 public education system faces a teacher shortage dilemma of unprecedented proportions. At the onset of the school year, out-of-field teachers, underqualified teachers, or long-term substitutes often fill instructional vacancies, causing many students to begin the school year with uncertainty. Recruiting, training, and retaining highly qualified teachers is critical to student success. The purpose of this study was to analyze early career educator experiences and the impact of teacher recruitment initiatives, induction programs, and retention efforts in one school district, explore common practices in recruitment, induction, and retention in other school districts, and develop strategies and actions to mitigate the teacher shortage. The context of this inquiry was a mid-sized public school district in the United States. The methodology included surveys and interviews with district personnel, current early career educators, and former early career educators who left the profession in their first three years of teaching. My study included qualitative data that measured the efficacy of support systems in place for current and former early career educators, as well as the contributing factors that caused the former early career educators to leave the profession. I used these data to propose solutions to increase the efficacy of teacher support initiatives and keep quality teachers in the classroom.