Short Title

The Impact of Recruiting and Retaining Teachers with Advanced Degrees


Teachers with advanced degrees, Master teachers, highly-qualified teachers, faculty recruitment, faculty retention, student outcomes


This paper presents a mixed method study examining the relationship between teacher advanced degree attainment and student achievement. This study utilizes teacher demographic data along with standardized test scores from 702 public schools in south central Texas. First, OLS regression analyses were employed to measure the relationship between the percent of teachers with advanced degrees and student achievement. The results of these analyses indicate that the percentage of teachers with advanced degrees made a statistically significant independent contribution to the variance in student outcomes on the state exam in English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. Following the analysis of the quantitative data, semi-structured interviews were conducted with principals identified as having the top 1% of teachers on staff with advanced degrees within this region. A constructivist approach was used to identify common themes for how these principals recruit and retain faculty with advanced degrees. Five themes emerged. These principals: employ a focused hiring philosophy, foster a learning organization, encourage teacher autonomy, participate in higher education partnerships, and support graduate degree attainment. Each of these themes are explored and practical suggestions for school leaders is presented.



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