University of South Carolina
In response to the nation’s call that all teachers be highly qualified, many states and school districts have put into place some type of teacher mentor or induction program to assist teachers entering the profession for the first time. Programs typically address areas such as classroom management, instructional framework and student assessment. The purpose of this research is to examine the effect of South Carolina’s teacher induction program on teacher attrition. An experimental quantitative analysis will be used to determine the impact of the teacher induction program on teacher turnover rates in the profession for the state of South Carolina.
Keywords: teacher induction, teacher mentoring, teacher attrition
Effects of Teacher Induction/Mentoring Programs on Teacher Attrition
The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of teacher induction programs on teacher attrition. Most induction programs include a component that allows for mentoring of new teachers. Ganser expressed that the practice of mentoring new teachers is fundamental to teacher retention (as cited in Hoyle, Bjork, Collier & Glass, 2005, p. 170). Research by Ingersoll (2001, 2011) has established a relationship between participation in a teacher induction program and remaining in the profession. In a recent review of the research, Ingersoll and Strong reveal that while most professions experience a level of attrition at the onset, teacher attrition is uncharacteristically high in comparison, especially after the initial year (2011). The higher levels of attrition are of concern as they directly contribute to a school’s ability to provide a quality educational program that is focused on increased student achievement. In an effort to boost student achievement, school systems have implemented measures over the past decade to provide evidence of teacher quality in response to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. A component of this measure is the inclusion of a program to recruit, train, and retain effective teachers. The New Teacher Center’s 2011 Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction, “reviews the presence or absence of policies related to 10 key criteria that are most critical to the provision of universal, high-quality induction and mentoring support for beginning educators” (Goldrick, Osta, Barlin & Burn, 2012). South Carolina’s Induction and Mentoring Program implemented in 2007-2008, requires individual school districts to submit a written plan for approval by the South Carolina Board of Education. Failure to submit this plan would result in loss of funding. As reported by Goldrick, et al. each district in the state of South Carolina has submitted and received approval for its induction and mentoring program (2012). The ten key criteria for teacher induction programs discussed in the review are indicative of how such programs can contribute to teacher attrition. South Carolina’s program implementation guidelines include program standards for the governance and design of the program. School districts are required to identify local leadership to oversee the program for new teachers and administrators, establish a mentoring program, and construct accountability measures. The minimum accountability measure for teachers in South Carolina is the Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Teaching (ADEPT) program. Successful completion of this assessment program allows eligible teachers to advance to a professional teaching certificate (South Carolina, 2006). The ADEPT System Guidelines state, “Upon entering the profession, new teachers receive assistance designed to promote their successful transition into professional practice. Research clearly indicates that providing support to new teachers enhances their teaching performance, increases student achievement, and improves teacher...