Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Chad Becker, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Leslie Loughmiller, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Okema S. Branch, Ed.D.


teacher attrition, teacher retention, faith-based, private school, work conditions, school culture, administrative support, teacher voice, student discipline


Teachers are the very foundation of a successful educational program. High rates of teacher attrition threaten the core mission of small, private, non-Catholic, faith-based secondary schools—to transform students spiritually, intellectually, and personally. It is vital that the faculty at these schools is comprised of quality teachers who return year-to-year to deepen relationships with students and continue the momentum of student transformation. The problem addressed in this single, instrumental case study is the high rate of teacher attrition that exists within small, private, non-Catholic, faith-based schools. The purpose of this study was to examine practices and policies that support teacher retention within small, private, non-Catholic faith-based secondary schools. The study was guided by the research question: What work conditions at small faith-based secondary schools support strong teacher retention? The research study was conducted at a small, non-Catholic, faith-based, private high school in rural Texas. Data was collected through on-site teacher interviews and observations and an off-site document review. The results revealed that school culture, administrative support, teacher voice, and student discipline played major roles in the teachers’ decisions to return year-to-year. Additionally, the results indicated that teacher workload and compensation did not significantly impact teachers’ plans to return. These results offer a foundation of understanding the work conditions that influence teacher retention in small, private, non-Catholic, faith-based secondary schools and set the stage for further research.

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