A new genre of educators : a descriptive case study examining next-career professionals.


School districts across the country face teacher shortages. Moreover, these school districts have demonstrably low results when placing non-certified teachers directly into the classroom without any pedagogical training. This descriptive case study focused on a new genre of educators called “next-career professionals.” Next-career professionals are teachers who have had professional career experience outside of education for at least five years, obtained their alternative certification, and moved into teaching for a minimum of three years. The genre of next-career professionals was a new area of exploration in alternative certification research. This descriptive case-study explored the experiences of next-career professionals and their perception of preparedness teaching in a secondary setting. This study answered the following research questions: How do next-career professionals experience self-efficacy? What do next-career professionals draw from their past professional experiences to bring real-world experiences in the classroom? To answer these research questions, four purposely selected teachers who fit the criteria of a next-career professional participated in this descriptive case study. The purpose of this descriptive case study was to examine how next-career professionals’ experience self-efficacy through Bandura’s (1977) Self-Efficacy Theory. Additionally, just as experiential learning leverages the benefit of experience to strengthen the learning process, next-career professionals can also leverage the benefit of experience from Kolb’s (1984) Experiential Learning Theory to strengthen the learning process in the classroom. Furthermore, the lack of current research on next-career professionals supplied an avenue for me to gain perspective and insight into what these professionals bring to students (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). Next-career professionals were a new area of study. Nevertheless, to summarize, this study not only increased the awareness of next-career professionals, but it also brought attention to the impact next-career professionals have in the classroom. Thus, this case study shed light on the process of moving from a professional career to an educational career. In conclusion, this study allowed me to focus on the influences next-career professionals brought from their past professional experiences to their students.



Attrition. Next-career professionals. Self-efficacy. Teacher self-efficacy. Alternative certification. Experiential learning theory.