Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Joshua Tipton

Second Advisor

Jessica Taylor

Third Advisor

Cherie Gaines


Alternative routes to teacher certification have been utilized as a way to address the Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education teacher shortage, and this abbreviated path to a teaching career has attracted current educators from the industries for which they are trained. Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education teachers who have entered the teaching profession after prior industry experience intentionally chose, and continue to choose, to teach. There is a gap in the extant literature as to why. In this qualitative interpretive study, I examined the motivational influences on professional choice, perceived level of preparedness, and retention of alternatively certified teachers of Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education in northeastern Georgia. Thirteen participants from seven school districts in northeast Georgia provided insight related to why they choose to teach, how prepared they felt at the end of their alternative certification programs, and factors that affected their retention. The alternatively certified Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education teachers initially felt unprepared to teach in the school setting, but maintained a loyalty to their industries and chose to teach to train a future workforce and ultimately grow their profession. Understanding why alternatively certified CTAE teachers choose to teach, their perceptions of their preparedness, and the factors that affected their retention may lead to attracting and retaining more quality CTAE teachers.


Career Technical and Agricultural Education, CTE, Teacher motivation, Teacher education, Teacher persistence