Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Agriculture (MAgr)


Agricultural Education

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Christopher Eck - Co-Chair

Committee Member

Dr. K. Dale Layfield - Co-Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Joseph Donaldson


Teacher attrition is a historic problem that globally is considered to be an educational crisis. SBAE is not exempt from this crisis with teacher shortages dating back to the passing of the Smith-Hughes Act in 1917. For the past three decades, researchers have studied this phenomenon to better understand the needs of SBAE teachers in order to increase recruitment and retention as well as improve work-life balance.

While several needs are recurring current efforts are not resulting in actionable change for SBAE teachers. To gain perspectives on the problem, qualitative interviews were conducted with SBAE teachers as well as an expert panel of SBAE supporters were invited to participate in a Delphi (N=71) in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, both focused on the perceived needs of SBAE teachers. The Conceptual Model of Support for SBAE Teachers was introduced as a potential lens to meet the human needs of SBAE teachers and depth to direct actionable change for in-service SBAE teachers.

Findings from this multi-method study align with previous research on SBAE teachers' needs. Four overarching themes were found through qualitative interviews, including health and wellness of SBAE teachers, students, and communities; supports structures for SBAE teachers; student human capital development; and resources for SBAE teacher success, confirming that teachers’ basic human needs for security and subsistence are prevalent within the profession. The Delphi resulting in 42 items being identified as areas of need for SBAE teachers. All align with the historical needs of SBAE teachers and demonstrate gaps in support in the areas of wellness, stress, work-life balance, and need for purposeful professional development.

Author ORCID Identifier




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