A study was conducted to identify why secondary career and technical education (CTE) teachers, especially in Minnesota, remain in or leave the teaching profession. Research recently reported that nearly 22 percent of all teachers leave the teaching profession within the first three years of teaching. The population for this study was the 258 baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate graduates who obtained a standard or vocational teacher license in one of four vocational service areas between 1995 and 1999 at the University of Minnesota. The graduates were mailed surveys, with responses received from 79 (40 percent of the deliverable surveys). The study found differences between teachers who leave and those who remain in the teaching profession regarding their perception of the teaching commitment level and first-year teaching experience. Those who remained in the teaching profession were extremely committed to teaching, and they rated their first-year teaching experience as more positive than those who left. Teachers who stayed also rated their skills in organization and planning, functioning within a team environment, and practical experience higher than those who left. Those who left most often cited job-related stress as the reason for leaving. Recommendations were made for further research concerning the teaching environment and how it can be modified in order to encourage more CTE teachers to remain in the profession. (Contains 30 references.) (Author/KC)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Career and Technical Education (75th, New Orleans, LA, December 13-16, 2001).