Background/Purpose: Student retention in physical education teacher education (PETE) programs is critical to promoting high-quality physical education in schools. This aspect of the current study was to investigate PETE program coordinators’ perceptions of their role in the process of retaining students within their programs. Method: Thirty-six PETE program coordinators (12 males and 24 females) completed in-depth interviews. The data were analyzed using a standard interpretative approach grounded in inductive analysis and constant comparison. Results: The PETE coordinators in this study perceived retention to be: (a) aligned with core job expectations, (b) grounded in relationships, (c) impacted by external and policy factors, and (d) limited by time and resources. Discussion/Conclusion: Retention in PETE is supported when faculty members utilize constructivist learning pedagogies and develop a sense of belonging among PETE students. Retention issues may be addressed through involvement with state policymakers and professional organizations.
Kern is with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA. Ayers is with Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. Killian and Woods are with the University of Illinois, Urbana, IL.
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