Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Summer 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Teacher Leadership for Learning

First Advisor

Dr. Marie Holbein

Second Advisor

Dr. Binbin Jiang

Third Advisor

Dr. Mark Warner


In response to address teacher shortages, urban schools have begun the practice of hiring alternatively certified teachers to staff classrooms with highly qualified teachers. Alternative certification refers to certification obtained through programs without completing a traditional four- or five-year university-based program. Several studies revealed that alternatively certified teachers normally do not receive in-depth training before beginning sole teaching responsibilities. Therefore, site-based support is essential for first year alternatively certified first year teachers’ development and retention. Research also indicated principals who provide one-on-one support as well as various support strategies could affect first year teachers’ self-efficacy as well as increase morale.

The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of alternatively certified beginning teachers regarding the extent of support they received from their principals and the support strategies they identified as most effective. The conceptual framework is based on research examining teacher efficacy; this study was designed to identify key areas of teacher support and their effectiveness in assisting novice alternatively certified teachers. Research questions focused on the perceptions of the first year alternatively certified teachers and their principals regarding induction support and their effectiveness during the first year of teaching. Support strategies identified in the study could be used to develop an effective, cohesive teacher induction program. A qualitative case study was used to identify and assess the types of support given to first year alternatively certified teachers from their principals with semi-structured face-to-face interviews. In addition, document analysis was conducted on materials that demonstrated support provided to the teachers. Data analysis involved coding and theme analysis.

Results of the study that there was some variation in the perceptions of the first year alternatively certified teachers in terms of the support that they received. Participants cited examples of various levels of support from the instructional support team members, school district and other sources; however, each of the participants noted an infrequent amount from the principals themselves. The research recommends principals provide direct support to teachers during the induction period.