Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Amy N Bratten

Second Advisor

Dr. Janet Deck

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas J Gollery


Districts nationwide continue to face the challenge of recruiting and retaining quality teachers for the classroom. The teacher shortage issue is bleaker when seeking teachers to fill some of the most critical subject areas needed such as math, science, and exceptional student education. The purpose of this study was to understand the motivational factors that contribute to an ESE teacher’s decision to remain in the teaching field. Over 600 ESE teachers were surveyed and asked to rate their satisfaction level over a range of multiple factors, and 247 teachers responded to the survey. Using quantitative methodology, a one-sample t test was used to determine the statistical significance of perceived teacher satisfaction. The study’s survey items were reduced to dimensions using exploratory factor analysis. Conclusions indicated that the majority of surveyed ESE teachers were satisfied with their ESE teaching assignments and planned to return to their classroom. ESE teachers indicated that administrative support and parent support were key factors in maintaining motivation to remain in the teaching field.