Organizational and professional commitment of alternatively certified teachers
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The requirements in No Child Left Behind have put pressure on states, districts, and schools to attract and retain teachers that are adequately prepared, highly qualified, and have the organizational and professional commitment to remain in the classroom. The Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program (Georgia TAPP) is one alternative preparation program that allows individuals with a four-year degree an opportunity to earn a teaching certificate. The purpose of this descriptive survey was to describe Georgia TAPP certified educators in terms of their organizational commitment, professional commitment, and perceptions of adequate preparation. Independent variables, including age, gender, years of work experience before entering Georgia TAPP, and grade(s) taught, were used as a means of composing groups for comparison. Previous studies have found that each of these variables can influence commitment. A series of one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedures were used to compare participant groups. A series of correlations were also conducted to discover if relationships existed between perceptions of adequate preparation, organizational commitment, and professional commitment. The sample for this study was 116 Georgia TAPP teachers certified through the Northwest Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency from 2001-2007. Three different questionnaire instruments were used, including a demographic data questionnaire, the Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (Mowday, Steers, & Porter, 1979), and the Career Commitment Scale (Blau, 1988). Age was statistically significant in relation to organizational and professional commitment, as well as perceptions of adequate preparation. Years of previous work experience before entering Georgia TAPP was also significant for professional commitment. Participants’ perceptions of adequate preparation had only a slight, positive effect on organizational and professional commitment. Organizational and professional commitment were found to have a low, positive correlation. An awareness of the multi-dimensional quality of commitment in teachers, as well as the practical need to nurture it, could be beneficial as schools, school boards, administrators, parents, and communities engage in education-related activities and attempt to recruit and prepare committed teachers.