Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Benerd School of Education

First Advisor

Anne Zeman, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Laura Hallberg, Ed.D.

First Committee Member

Richard Tapia, Ed.D.


Intern teachers are more likely to be placed in hard-to-fill content areas, such as math, science, and special education, which exacerbates their initial teaching experiences as teachers of record. For new teachers in their intern credential program, these factors compound the stress of attending coursework while managing their experience as a novice in the classroom. Without proper mentoring and support in these placements, teachers of color may perceive themselves as feeling less successful in the classroom. In this mixed methods study, the researcher investigated the types of support intern teachers of color need in successfully completing their teacher preparation program. Quantitative data were collected using archival research to determine perceived levels of preparedness by intern teachers of color. In alignment with explanatory sequential method, interviews were conducted to gather qualitative context to explain the quantitative data. Three themes emerged from the data analyses that formed these theories: (a) as a new teacher, it is common to feel overwhelmed, confused, or frustrated while trying to balance multiple demands; (b) teaching racially diverse students presents unique challenges; and (c) to thrive as a teacher, it is crucial to seek support from colleagues, mentors, and support networks. Implications for practice include systematizing strong mentorships, implementing teacher team models, and training intern support networks on cultural awareness. These findings provide information to intern programs about the types of support needed to be culturally responsive to the needs of both diverse teachers and the students they serve.





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