First Year Teachers: Certification Program and Assigned Subject on Their Self-Efficacy


  • April G. Fox La Porte Independent School District
  • Michelle L. Peters University of Houston - Clear Lake


alternative certification program, first year teachers, high-stakes testing, teacher certification, teacher self-efficacy, traditional certification program


In the United States, the demands of increased federal accountability have dramatically impacted the field of teaching.  Teacher certification programs have been taxed with preparing first year teachers to assist increasingly diverse students to pass high-stakes state assessments.  The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine the influence of teacher certification programs and the assigned subject on the self-efficacy of first year teachers.  A purposeful sample of 288 first year teachers employed across 20 southeast Texas public school districts were administered the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale to assess their level of self-efficacy.  Results from the independent t-test found insufficient evidence to suggest that teacher certification program and/or the subject matter assigned to teach had any influence on the self-efficacy of first year teachers.  Teachers from traditional and alternative certification programs noted the importance of experience and mentoring as being crucial elements necessary to support their self-efficacy.

Author Biographies

April G. Fox, La Porte Independent School District

Dr. April Fox is the Executive Director of Special Programs for La Porte Independent School District. Her responsibilities include nurses, counselors, special education, and dyslexia services for children. Prior to this, she was the Coordinator for Related Services at Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District.  Dr. Fox has spent the bulk of her career at Galena Park Independent School District, which included 22 years as a Speech Language Pathologist.  She received her doctorate in Educational Leadership and a Masters in Educational Management from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Additionally, she received a Masters in Communication Disorders from the University of Houston.

Michelle L. Peters, University of Houston - Clear Lake

Dr. Michelle L. Peters is currently a tenured-track Assistant Professor of Quantitative Research Methods at the University of Houston-Clear Lake’s School of Education.  For the past 13 years, Michelle has instructed various statistics, mathematics, and quantitative analysis courses at both the masters and doctoral level.  Prior to her tenure at UHCL she was the Research Lab Coordinator for The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development. She holds a M.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering from The Missouri University of Science and Technology, a secondary mathematics teaching certification from Drury University, and a doctoral degree from The George Washington University.




How to Cite

Fox, A. G., & Peters, M. L. (2013). First Year Teachers: Certification Program and Assigned Subject on Their Self-Efficacy. Current Issues in Education, 16(1). Retrieved from