Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 12-31-2019

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Linda Mallinson, EdD

Committee Member

Matthew M. Delaney, EdD


career and technical education, secondary education, teacher retirement, teacher recruitment, family and consumer science, home economics


This applied dissertation was designed to investigate how Florida will be affected by the upcoming wave of retirement predicted for secondary Family and Consumer Science educators. National research shows almost half of all Family and Consumer Science educators will be retiring beginning in 2020. In preparation for this reduction in Family and Consumer Science educators some states have studied the forecasted situation and have implemented plans to address this shortage in their states. However, Florida has no formal plan to address this teacher exodus, and universities in Florida have not offered degrees in Family and Consumer Science education since 2005, although Family and Consumer Science education programs remain full and are in high demand in secondary schools. Without certified Family and Consumer Science educators to replace retiring teachers, how can the needs for the continuation of these programs be met?

Since 2007 the Florida Department of Education shifted the focus of the state's secondary programs to heavily address the state’s need to have 21st Century industry trained and certified individuals. To prepare students to be ready for 21st Century industry careers upon graduation. To address this focus, each county in Florida is allowed to set alternative teaching certification requirements to hire industry professionals to teach Family and Consumer Science classes.

The purpose of this applied dissertation was to (a) understand how many certified Family and Consumer Science educators remain in Florida, (b) document and gain valuable information about their experiences as trained, qualified educators who, based on their vision of the field, have remained steadfast in education, and (c) identify alternative ways to retain the experience and knowledge that traditionally certified Family and Consumer Science educators have so their knowledge can be passed on to whomever replaces them.

Results of this study revealed that within the next 10 years, potentially 67% of Florida’s Family and Consumer Science secondary teachers would be retiring or strongly considering leaving the teaching profession. Respondents expressed three main areas of concern that influenced job satisfaction: salary increases, smaller class sizes, and more state-of-the-art technology and equipment. Teachers also echoed the critical need for the continuation of this field within secondary education. Eighty percent of respondents replied students would not receive the critical information included in Family and Consumer Science curriculum and the subject's Body of Knowledge if it were not taught. Teachers suggested an increase in (a) hands-on professional development workshops and trainings, (b) opportunities to increase communication with other teachers in their subject-area, and (c) a more centralized database to access information and share best practices for teachers in the state.

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