Date of Award

Fall 1992

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

David Joyner

Committee Member

Jack Robinson

Committee Member

Ulysses V. Spiva

Committee Member

Robert Lucking

Committee Member

Donald Myers


With the increasing shortage of quality teachers, alternative certification programs have become a major source of attracting professionals from other fields and training them for the teaching profession. As a possible source of quality teachers, military retirees represent a large pool of prospective candidates. Despite their experience, and because of their alternative teacher training, the quality of their classroom performance is often questioned by both teacher unions and teacher training institutions.

This study focuses on military retirees who have been trained via an alternative certification and begun second careers as public school teachers. Specifically, this study determines the level of employer satisfaction, identifies group-wide or special problems, and examines the performance of retired military beginning teachers relative to other first career beginning teachers in 27 areas of beginning teacher competence.

A non-experimental, ex-post design and survey is used to obtain data from the supervisors of 95 per cent of the military retirees who were alternatively trained via Old Dominion University's Military Career Transition Program and currently teaching in public schools in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Descriptive statistical analysis is applied to the data received, to reveal the following about retired military second-career beginning teachers: (A) Employers of retired military beginning teachers in Hampton Roads are very satisfied with the overall performance of these teachers. (B) Retired military beginning teachers exhibit no group-wide problems and special problems encountered by some members of this group are limited to the areas of their teacher education/training, relationships with peers, and adaptability to the school environment. (C) When comparing the performance of retired military beginning teachers with other first-career beginning teachers in 27 competency areas, military retirees were able to identify long term goals for a given subject, utilize an effective system for maintaining records of student and class progress, and interact with other teachers, staff, and administration in a manner which is significantly better than that of other beginning teachers.

Data received on experienced teachers is also analyzed and presented.

Conclusions of this study are that military retirees are a good source of quality teachers, and that alternative certification programs can produce second-career teachers, whose level of performance is equal to or better than that of first-career teachers who received their teacher education via traditional undergraduate programs.