Student Author:

Gregory W. Dachille '17, Gettysburg College

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Department 1



In the United States, elementary and secondary education teachers comprise 4% of the entire civilian workforce (Ingersoll, 2001). The composition of that 4% is changing because of teacher turnover. According to recent statistics, 46% of teachers leave the classroom within the first five years of teaching and 9.5% of teachers leave the classroom within their first year (Rinke, 2014; Riggs, 2013; Zheng & Zeller, 2016). This study is designed to examine the teaching experiences of graduates of one teacher education program and the potential differences between graduates who stay in teaching and those who leave. Throughout this study, the guiding questions were: How many Gettysburg College Teacher Education Program Alumni, 1985 - 2008, are still teaching in the classroom at a primary or secondary level? Why did some alumni leave the classroom at a primary or secondary level and why did some alumni never teach? How does the data from the Gettysburg College Teacher Education Program alumni correspond with the previous scholarship on teacher turnover and retention? When looked at from the perspective of an individual post-secondary institution, the individual stories of the alumni emerge and so does the complexity of teacher turnover and retention in America, which is not always reflected in studies conducting on a state or national level.


Research conducted during Summer 2016 as part of the Mellon Summer Scholarship program, and presented at the Eastern Educational Research Association in Richmond, Virginia on February 23, 2017.

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