Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Special Education

Committee Chair

Kim K. Floyd.


Special education teacher attrition is a growing problem in the United States (Payne, 2005). Without proper induction for early career special educators, the potential remains for these educators to leave the field at a rate twice that of their general education counterparts (Payne, 2005). The lack of a defined national or state policy on induction programs puts the responsibility on the school district to design and implement an induction program. The goal of the study was to provide empirical insight into the stakeholders' perceptions of the challenges and supports provided for beginning special educators in a low attrition district within West Virginia through qualitative research methods. Two triads were recruited to participate in this study, each consisting of a beginning special educator, their mentor, and building administrator. Interviews and an observation were used to gather data. The findings from this study were the perceived need for varied supports for beginning special educators, the special education coordinator as the main source of support, and the perceived role of induction in special educator retention. Based on the findings from this study, future research could examine the role of e-mentoring, district level support, and the role induction plays on teacher retention.