Career persistency of Tennessee teacher education graduates

Paul Gregory Ketteman, Tennessee State University


Approximately fifty percent of all Tennessee teacher education graduates who begin teaching careers in Tennessee public schools leave teaching in Tennessee public schools within five years. This study examined archival data about 986 teacher education graduates from three selected Tennessee universities who were subsequently employed in Tennessee public schools. Data about the total sample of 1,294 graduates from the selected teacher preparation programs were gathered from information on file at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (Tennessee Education Completers Title II Report) and the Tennessee Department of Education (district and school information). The data were disaggregated and career persistency means of graduates of the selected teacher education programs were tested for statistical significance. Four null hypotheses were tested using analysis of variance (ANOVA) testing. Results were considered statistically significant at the .01 level. Features of the selected Tennessee college teacher preparation programs were not found to contribute to statistically significant differences in career persistence means among groups of graduates from the selected universities who were employed in Tennessee public schools. Statistically significant differences were found in career persistence means of demographic groups and teaching levels. Career persistence means of minority teachers who graduated from the selected Tennessee teacher education programs were found to be significantly higher than Caucasian graduates of the same programs. Career persistence means of elementary teachers in the sample were found to be significantly greater than those of high school teachers. The results have theoretical and practical implications for Tennessee teacher education programs and Tennessee public school districts. Recommendations included replication of the study using future Title II reports, further investigation of possible reasons for race/ethnicity and teaching level differences in career persistence means, and more collaboration among Tennessee school districts, universities, and state educational oversight agencies in the quest to lengthen the teaching careers of newly hired Tennessee teachers.

Subject Area

Teacher education|School administration

Recommended Citation

Paul Gregory Ketteman, "Career persistency of Tennessee teacher education graduates" (2005). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3203169.