Examining the Teacher Pipeline: Will They Stay or Will They Go?

Mary R Moeller, Lonell L. Moeller, Dan Schmidt


This study examines survey data from teacher education students in their final two years of preparation at a Midwestern university. We asked students to explain if they intend to stay in our state or move to other states to pursue teaching careers after graduation. We compiled all 137 responses using descriptive statistics and found that 59% of respondents intend to leave our state after graduating. Of the remaining respondents, 21% intend to stay in our state and 20% are unsure of their plans. We used qualitative methods to code students’ responses, giving reasons for their intentions. While students mentioned financial reasons (low salary and debt) most often, students also valued a sense of place (home, family). Comparisons to populations studied in Carr and Kefalas (2009) and Petrin, Schafft, & Meece (2014) are made with implications for all concerned about the national teacher shortage and outmigration of graduates in rural states.


teacher shortage; teacher pay; out-migration; rural education; brain drain


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