Won’t Stop, Can’t Stop: Alternative Route to Licensure Special Education Teachers’ Persistence in their Careers

  •  Katherine Brendli    
  •  Joshua P. Taylor    
  •  LaRon A. Scott    
  •  Jarrod Hobson    
  •  Christine Powell    
  •  Amber Ruiz    


Alternate route to licensure (AR) programs in special education continue to increase despite concerns that teachers certified through these pathways leave the profession at rates higher than traditionally prepared teachers. The purpose of this study was to examine special education AR program completers to determine their persistence to stay in the profession despite odds of attrition. For this article, we examined survey results from AR special education teachers (n = 57) and completed focus group interviews with a subset (n =13) from this same sample. Using Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) to guide our research, we uncovered three major themes from our focus groups: role conceptualization, barriers experienced, and motivating factors. Our findings suggest that AR special education teachers’ persistence relies on several factors, such as society’s respect for teachers, effective mentoring programs, positive collaboration experience, understanding of their unique role as AR teachers, and self-efficacy. Implications for educational practices, policies, and further research about AR teachers is explored.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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