Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.S. in Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Jill Cabrera

Second Advisor

Tom Brady

Third Advisor

Mark Deschaine


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



This applied action research with program evaluation aimed to determine if teacher-led professional development and empowerment initiatives such as the Teacher Leader Collaborative (TLC) contributed to a group of teachers' efficacy and professional growth to reduce teacher turnover of English Language Arts (ELA) teachers at Bernard Williams Middle School (BWMS). Each year the middle school has a turnover trend in the ELA department. As a result, sustainable school improvement efforts have waned, and teachers have had limited access to professional growth initiatives because of these transitions. The outcome has led to student achievement challenges. Therefore, this applied research study comprises two components: self-directed professional development and teacher-leader collaboratives. The applied research aims to develop empowering working conditions to retain 60% of ELA teachers at BWMS. It explored an empowerment retention strategy and its impact on the professional growth and collective efficacy of ELA teachers to retain them as teacher leaders at BWMS. The data was collected using surveys, interviews, observational notes, and student benchmark data. The findings confirm the benefits of such an initiative, as it assisted educators in making instructional decisions, created a positive work community, and increased student achievement. Teachers were adamant about providing suggestions and improving the program. However, increased collective efficacy did not result in meeting the program’s goal.



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