Solomonson, J., Still, S., & Maxwell, L. (2021). Factors influencing the decision of Illinois school-based agricultural education teachers to remain in the profession. Journal of Agricultural Education, 62(3), 121-137.https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2021.03121
Due to the overwhelming number of teachers exiting the profession each year, recruitment and retention efforts continue to be a high priority for stakeholders within agricultural education. Specifically, teacher attrition has been identified as one of the leading problematic issues hindering growth of school-based agricultural education (SBAE) programs in the United States. Researchers tell us reducing teacher attrition rates could be a key factor in balancing supply and demand within the profession. Unlike many previous studies that have examined why teachers leave the profession, the purpose of our study was to investigate factors that contribute to a SBAE teacher’s decision to remain in the profession. We designed and administered an electronic questionnaire to describe leading factors impacting an Illinois agriculture teachers’ decision to remain in the profession and determine if significant differences existed among teachers in their various professional career stages. Among all teachers, personal influences and working conditions were found to be most influential in a teacher’s decision to remain in the profession. Several significant differences were discovered among groups, with most factors belonging within the compensation construct. Guidance on how to increase SBAE teacher retention rates and recommendations for future research are included.