Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-31-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


David Weintraub

Committee Member

Robert Ostrove


teacher shortage, alternative certification, cohort, certification, retention


Employing and retaining teachers has been a rising problem affecting employment at school districts. Nationwide school districts have noted high instances of teacher shortages and are finding it more difficult to fill positions with traditionally trained teachers. In the 2019-2020 school year, at a local district in South Florida, it was assessed that 56% of new teachers to the district were of a noneducation background or career changers.

Retention of this subgroup of teachers is pertinent to reducing teacher attrition, specifically within the school districts that most frequently employ them. Certificate expiration, due to not completing their certification requirements within the validity period of the temporary certificate is one noted issue of attrition among this subgroup of new teachers. Therefore, alternative certification programs are an important factor in preparing and retaining teachers. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and examine participants’ experience of cohort membership in one specific alternative certification program, MINT 2.0 and how these relate to program completion. Results of the study could provide future program improvements. Wegner’s community of practice and studies on cohorts served as the theoretical framework and foundation of the study. Using semistructured interviews, this qualitative study explored the experiences of MINT 2.0 program completers.

Results of the study showed that participants noted specific benefits of cohort membership that supported their progression in the program, completion and retention to the district.

The results have implications for local, district programs the use of cohort models in various settings.