Date of Award

Fall 12-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. John Freeman

Second Committee Member

Dr. Steve Bounds

Third Committee Member

Dr. Jeremy Owoh

Program Director

Dr. John Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Richard Schoephoerster


This study was designed to highlight the factors that contribute to high-achieving high school students not deciding to join the teaching profession. There is growing evidence to indicate that the teaching profession is comprised mostly of educators in their first five years in the profession and educators with more than 25 years of teaching experience. Increasing numbers of educators are leaving the profession within their first five years in a classroom. On the other end of the spectrum, as teachers with more than 25 years of experience ultimately retire, the question remains about the viability of the profession for younger generations. This study, and the accompanying research, pinpoint the student perceptual factors contributing to this trend. The research participants are high school juniors and seniors within the top 20% of their classes from one school district in Arkansas. The survey instrument is online and includes Likert-like scales which allow for qualitative and descriptive analysis. Areas for analysis in the survey are licensing and credential levels, induction and mentoring programs for entrants, professional development opportunities and participation, specialization, authority over decision-making, compensation levels, and prestige and occupational social standing. Keywords: professionalization, teaching, perception, high school students