Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

John Kellmeyer

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Irma Harper

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Jamie Petrilla


Abstract Teacher retention was a grave situation prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that has since become a global epidemic. Losing early career educators has had a cost that hinders the U.S. public school system. There have been previous studies detailing the plight of teacher retention throughout the years indicating the causes of teacher attrition. Each study gave examples of the detrimental costs of teacher retention from the perspective of the school district. The purpose of this interpretative phenomenological analysis study was to explore the perceptive phenomenon of teachers’ involvement activities in professional organizations and the decision to remain in the profession. A purposeful nonrandom sample of 12 early career educators in Texas primarily from the greater Houston area were interviewed along with 13 participants in the anonymous survey. The semi-structured interviews were recorded and transcribed. The study findings overwhelmingly corroborated that early career educators need more than what they are getting on their campuses to ensure teacher retention. The study participants were asked questions about their lived experiences, what they want or need to be successful and to stay in the teaching field. The findings indicated that early career educators need additional, yet different, mentoring, support, networking, and resources from professional organizations. Early career educators were forthcoming with their lived experiences indicating what experiences and activities they were missing on their campuses. Sharing these experiences, opportunities, and activities will be beneficial to early career educators and give professional organizations a road map to increasing teacher retention.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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