Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Ed Bengtson

Committee Member

Kevin Brady

Second Committee Member

Marcia Smith


rural school district teacher recruitment, special education teacher retention


According to published research, rural school districts across the United States are challenged with obstacles in recruiting and retaining special education teachers. This study presents findings based on special education teachers’ experiences teaching within one rural Arkansas school district. This instrumental single case study investigates the factors that encourage special education teachers to remain in their current position within a rural Arkansas school district. Qualitative data is analyzed from 11 participants, 9 current special educators, 1 special education director, and 1 retired special education teacher. All of the participants are from one rural Arkansas school district in order to gain insight from their experiences and perspectives. Major findings include factors that positively influence retention of special education teachers within the one rural Arkansas school district: small scale of district, administration support, student rapport, positive school culture, extended family living in the local area, and the supportive culture of the rural community.