Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

William Flora

Committee Members

Pam Scott, Alyson Lerma, John Boyd


A phenomenological study was conducted to identify the factors associated with job retention among teachers in secure residential treatment centers in Tennessee. Central to this investigation was the exploration of how residential teachers perceive they are supported in their position, how teachers in residential settings perceive the culture of the facility, and what factors are associated with teacher retention in secure residential settings. Through a series of fifteen interviews, common themes emerged from the coding that provided insight into these questions.

Teachers who had worked in residential settings for more than five years seemed to have very strong internal belief systems that drove them and were rewarded by the successes of their students, despite what else might be occurring at the facility. Success for the teachers did not always seem to depend administrative support, but they relied heavily on their peers for support.

Administrators may be able to improve teacher retention by focusing on these factors, as well as ensuring that education is a valued component of the residential program and that teachers are compensated on a level equal to their peers in public education. Suggestions for future research include quantitative studies to examine the differences between for profit and non-profit programs, differences in retention that depend on the size of the program, and an analysis of retention as it correlates to teacher compensation.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.