Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Scott Bailey

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Melinda Carver

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Jamie Petrilla


Teachers are fundamental to students' performance by fostering relationships and imparting knowledge in the classroom. Dual-credit teachers work for Early College High School (ECHS) programs to assist historically underrepresented students in accelerating their path toward earning college credits and associate degrees while attending high school. Hard-to-staff ECHS programs with underrepresented pupils in lower socioeconomic urban areas suffer high teacher attrition. How urban ECHS teachers define their professional experiences is still being determined, which affects organizational outcomes. The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative exploratory study was to investigate and understand the lived experiences of urban ECHS teachers in Texas. This study used phenomenological semistructured interviews and self-administered questionnaires to collect data from the 14 early college high school teacher participants. The exploratory study used interpretative phenomenological analysis as a qualitative research method to identify meaningful themes from patterns found within the data. Four central themes emerged from the investigation: (a) commitment to students, (b) motivation to retain position, (c) commitment to self, and (d) challenges. Participants' accounts of their experiences as ECHS teachers contribute to recognizing and comprehending their values and beliefs. The results indicated that ECHS teachers showed compassion and understanding as they helped students navigate the intricacies of dual enrollment in high school and college. Research demonstrated that an environment conducive to learning enhances students' cognitive, social, and emotional development. Sustaining an all-around favorable school culture affected ECHS instructors' opinions of their jobs and the educational system. Results discussions included new perspectives on the actual experiences of ECHS teachers, the limitations of the study, and implications for ECHS teachers, ECHS supervision, and ECHS environment studies and programs in the future. Preserving a generally positive school climate affected ECHS instructors' opinions of their positions and the educational system. Lastly, the study suggested that improving employee resources for urban ECHS teachers could improve well-being and workforce sustainability in ECHS contexts.

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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