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Vol. 16 No. 1 (2021)

Where Are They Now? Career Paths and Perspectives of Urban Teacher Enhancement Program Graduates

  • Deborah Voltz
  • Tondra L. Loder-Jackson
  • Michele Jean Sims
  • Elizabeth Simmons
February 18, 2021


Available evidence suggests that inequities exist in the distribution of qualified teachers within high-poverty urban schools, and further, that such inequities adversely affect student achievement in these schools. This paper highlights the role of teacher education in addressing this challenge by describing the findings of a study of the graduates of University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Urban Teacher Enhancement Program. The career paths of program graduates who began teaching in urban schools were examined at the first-, fifth-, and tenth-year mark to investigate their longevity in urban schools, their perceptions of their greatest rewards and challenges, their perspectives regarding their reasons for entering and/or staying in urban teaching, and their thoughts about the role their teacher education program played in their career trajectory. Findings indicate that retention rates of study participants compare favorably with national averages, and that program participants felt that their teacher education program had a positive influence on their longevity in urban teaching.