Date of Award

Spring 2-16-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Barbara Strobert, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joan Moriarty, Ed.D.


special education, autism, attrition, retention, private schools


The purpose of this sequential mixed-methods study was to explore the factors associated with teacher retention in New Jersey private schools serving children with autism. This study explored the most influential variables in teacher retention within school administrators' scope of control. The research design consisted of two phases, with the first phase guiding the second. The first phase was quantitative and included collecting and analyzing data through teacher responses from an online survey. Survey data were subjected to descriptive statistical analysis. This analysis led to the creation and review of the interview questions utilized in the second phase. The second phase was qualitative and included interviewing, coding, and analyzing teacher interviews. In the second phase of this research, a qualitative collection of text data was gathered through structured interviews. These interviews were used to explain further what organizational aspects may influence teachers to remain in the school. These interviews allowed for additional insight into the teachers’ perspectives that quantitative research alone would not have been able to identify. The rationale for selecting this mixed-methods approach is that the quantitative data and subsequent analysis will provide a general understanding of the research problem, and the qualitative data and subsequent analysis will refine and explain the results through an in-depth analysis of teachers’ responses. Results revealed that the most consistent themes and areas for administrators to consider included growth and leadership opportunities for teachers, training and professional development, support for staffing and challenging behavior, recognition and acknowledgment of work, and pay and compensation. Additionally, school administrators should solicit employee feedback, utilize human resource strategies, and consistently evaluate and modify efforts as needed.