Date of Award

Summer 8-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Barbara V. Strobert, EdD

Committee Member

Anthony J. Colella, PhD

Committee Member

Gregory Seaton, PhD


Urban education, low socioeconomic schools, urban charter schools, low-income urban education, teacher-preparation programs


This dissertation explores how novice teachers currently working in low-income urban charter schools in New Jersey perceive their specific preparation to work in a low-income urban charter school classroom, prior to doing so. In this qualitative study, a semistructured interview was used in an effort to assess the preparedness of 18 teachers based on their preservice training, administrative support and mentor guidance, and their self-efficacy and level of cultural awareness. The framework used for this study was Herzberg’s theory of motivation. Herzberg’s theory in combination with scholarly literature surrounding novice teachers in low-income urban classrooms produced success factors that measure teachers’ level of success in their roles. In previous research, teacher retention was said to be affected by the lack of these success factors. Subjects were recruited from charter schools in three low-income urban areas in New Jersey. The interview instrument for this study was derived from literature surrounding novice teachers’ experiences with teaching in low-income urban classrooms.

This study addressed three research questions aimed at uncovering aspects of teacher preparation. The findings of this research indicate that most teachers did not receive preservice training specifically geared toward teaching in low-income urban charter schools in New Jersey. Findings also indicate that teachers felt supported by their administration. Teachers also reported that positive relationships with their mentors offered an additional layer of support in their roles, while the lack of that relationship did not offer extra support needed by novice teachers. This study also found that teacher retention was high, and teachers were committed to the success of their students. Teachers’ own success was directly connected to the success of their students. Teachers recommended that anyone seeking to work in a low-income urban charter school in New Jersey seek professional development opportunities consistently.