Date of Award

Spring 4-21-2022

Document Type

Education 590 Project

Degree Name

Master of Education



Department Chair or Program Director

Dr. Jane Huffman

First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Guth

Major or Concentration

Elementary Education


The perspective of first-year teachers is valuable in identifying the ways in which preparation programs are successfully educating their student teachers. This qualitative study investigates the effectiveness of university-based teacher preparation programs accredited by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Specifically, this study is attempting to gain a better understanding of how the knowledge and skills of novice teachers were efficiently developed in the areas of differentiation, multiculturalism, classroom management, and content knowledge as well as how mentorship through field experience contributes to their growth. To answer the research question, seven interviews were analyzed from in-state, first-year teachers that recently graduated from a Virginia education program. Findings indicated that the evaluation of Virginia programs is consistent with average ratings across the United States except for higher rates of preparation in multiculturalism. It is also recommended that programs instruct using frequent field experience in conjunction with courses.