Curriculum within administration-focused EdD programs is designed to strengthen schools and the teachers within them.

Group of education professionals in the hallway of a school.According to the National Education Association,* teacher retention in our nation’s schools continues to be an ongoing issue, with 40% of educators leaving the profession within the first 5 years.

While this statistic may sound dire, it can easily be reversed by skilled administrators endowed with energy, optimism, and the necessary skills to navigate the needs of both teachers and students.

From improving teachers’ work–life balance to incorporating their feedback into decision making, a doctor of education degree—commonly known as an EdD—can equip principals and other school leaders with the expertise and confidence to hire the right teachers—and keep them for the long haul.

How an EdD degree can boost teacher retention

Whether pursued on campus or online, EdD programs, especially those focused on administration and leadership, equip K–12 leadership with the advanced knowledge they need to strengthen their schools.

An EdD can provide administrators with the expertise to create and sustain thriving learning environments that keep both teachers and students engaged, comfortable, and happy. And because the curriculum in an EdD program helps build the skills of a school administrator, in the long run it can help increase teacher retention too. Here are five examples.

  • Law and Policy

    When it comes to teacher retention, a number of legal issues can come into play. An online EdD program can help make sure administrators have a clear understanding of teachers’ legal rights, torts and contracts, regulatory policies, collective bargaining, and even civil rights.

  • Budgets and Resources

    School budgets, and how to strategically distribute a limited amount of resources, are key to teacher retention and school performance. EdD degree programs offer instruction to help administrators understand and interpret budget documents, create school-wide strategic budgeting plans, and identify and pursue the right funding opportunities.

  • Learning Environments

    Safe, effective, positive learning environments are essential for both student success and teacher retention. EdD degree curriculum helps equip administrators with the ability to create learning cultures based on mutual respect, de-escalate confrontations, prevent and respond to violence, and fairly and effectively administer discipline and resolve conflict.

  • Communication

    Building a collaborative community in which all stakeholders work together toward common goals is essential for making sure that not only does every student learn and succeed, but that teachers are succeeding as well. Effective EdD programs feature curriculum that explores the characteristics of successful collaborative leaders, including the ability to foster collective problem solving and decision making.

  • Recruiting and Retention

    Recruiting great teachers is just as important as retaining them. On-campus and online EdD program curriculum provides administrators with essential working knowledge of human resource policies and practices—including how to hire and retain new teachers—as well as ways to best identify teachers’ needs for professional growth and ensure they’re utilized in areas of strength.

Ready to increase teacher retention rates with an EdD?

If the curriculum highlights above inspire you, consider enrolling in an EdD degree program focused on administration and leadership.

To avoid the scheduling challenges associated with traditional doctoral degrees, many educational professionals prefer online EdD programs, which allow greater flexibility and control over their course of studies.

Discover how an EdD degree with a specialization in Educational Administration and Leadership (non-licensure) from Walden can help you increase teacher retention rates and transform your educational institution.


*Research Spotlight on Recruitment and Retention, NEA Reviews of the Research on Best Practices in Education, National Education Association, on the Internet at www.nea.org/tools/16977.htm.

Walden offers both state-approved educator licensure programs as well as programs and courses that do not lead to licensure or endorsements. Prospective students must review their state licensure requirements prior to enrolling. For more information, please refer to www.WaldenU.edu/educlicensure.

Prospective Alabama students: Contact the Teacher Education and Certification Division of the Alabama State Department of Education at 1-334-242-9935 or www.alsde.edu to verify that these programs qualify for teacher certification, endorsement, and/or salary benefits.

Note to all Washington residents: This program is not intended to lead to teacher certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

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