Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education


Department of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Janet Deck

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Gollery

Third Advisor

Dr. Erica Sirrine


The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to explore how graduates of traditional teacher preparation programs perceived their preparedness to teach students experiencing trauma stemming from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The study focused on the perceptions of novice teachers working in Title 1 schools across two school districts in Central Florida. The quantitative research portion of the study involved an online survey addressing the impact of teacher preparation program coursework and clinical experiences on the teachers’ perceptions of preparedness. Qualitative data was gathered from semi-structured interviews after the survey to give voice to the novice teachers’ perceptions of preparedness. Study findings yielded implications relevant to the critical need for the inclusion of SEL competencies and trauma-informed teaching practices in teacher preparation programs. A clear need exists for leadership and faculty in traditional teacher preparation programs to purposefully transform university coursework and clinical experiences and ensure program outcomes include aspects of trauma-informed care.