Date of Award

Winter 2001

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Stephen W. Tonelson

Committee Member

Cheryl S. Baker

Committee Member

Robert A. Gable

Committee Member

Jane M. Hager


The primary purpose of this research was to evaluate the efficacy of the distance learning Commonwealth Special Education Endorsement Program (CSEEP) delivered by Old Dominion University. The CSEEP program was designed to address economic and geographic barriers confronting teachers seeking to complete requirements for endorsement in special education, improve the quality of education teachers, help reduce the shortage of fully licensed special education teachers, and increase teacher retention in special education.

This evaluation was designed to assess program results, examine the effectiveness of the program, and determine the impact on both the participants and the schools, and identify ways to improve the program. Responses to various questionnaires and surveys were analyzed. That analysis revealed that the number of teachers who had completed the CSEEP program increased the number of special education certified teachers and improved the services for students with special disabilities. Participating in the CSEEP program helped teachers become experienced and well-trained in: (1) assessment of student performance, (2) preparation and planning, (3) instruction, (4) teaching specific content, (5) classroom management, and (6) collaboration. A high negative correlation was found between participants' satisfaction with level of preparation and additional level of training perceived to be needed in the different practices. The data indicated that the greater the level of preparation, the less additional training participants perceived they needed in each task.

A significant correlation was found between how participants rated their level of training and how mentors rated participants' level of training in instructional practices. Ninety-five percent of the participants indicated that coursework through CSEEP increased their ability to provide effective classroom instruction. Also, 99% of the participants who completed the program thought that the program increased the likelihood that they would remain in the field of education. Implications of the results, as well as suggestions for further research related to mentoring, school administrators, data collection, supportive induction program, and a follow up study are discussed.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).