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University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies releases whitepaper outlining concerns of educators transitioning back to classroom

By Sharla Hooper

Researcher evaluates pandemic impact and support needs for K-12 teachers

University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies announces the release of a whitepaper exploring how K-12 teachers are rethinking their career options and questioning if the risks outweigh the benefits.

Analyzing findings from the University’s first annual Career Optimism Index™ study, the whitepaper, authored by Joy Taylor, Ed.D., a fellow of the Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Research and associate faculty of the College of Doctoral Studies at University of Phoenix, seeks to outline the concerns that resonate with current and future educators as teachers transition back to the classroom full-time. The paper also investigates what educators need from school leaders to meet their physical and socio-emotional needs in the new pandemic “normal.”

“Educator concerns about pandemic, stress, and career trajectory as well as declining enrollment in teacher preparation plans emphasizes the need for a clear and comprehensive plan of action to address the evolving professional development requirements of current K-12 teachers and realignment of teacher preparation programs in order to meet these challenges moving forward,” states Taylor. “It is incumbent on school leaders to provide guidance and support to teachers as they learn to adapt their approaches to teaching and learning.”

Dr. Taylor has 36 years of experience as an elementary school teacher and principal, and currently serves as a dissertation chair and associate faculty within the College of Doctoral Studies.

The full whitepaper is available at the University of Phoenix Career InstituteTM webpage or as a direct link here.

About the College of Doctoral Studies

University of Phoenix’s College of Doctoral Studies focuses on today’s challenging business and organizational needs, from addressing critical social issues to developing solutions to accelerate community building and industry growth. The College’s research program puts students in the center of an effective ecosystem of experts, resources and tools to help prepare them to be a leader in their organization, industry and community. Through this program, students and researchers work with organizations to conduct research that can be applied in the workplace in real time.

About the Career Optimism Index™

The Career Optimism Index™ study is one of the most comprehensive studies of Americans’ personal career perceptions to-date. The University of Phoenix Career Institute will conduct this research annually to provide insights on current workforce trends and to help identify solutions to support and advance American careers. For the first annual study, more than 5,000 U.S adults were surveyed about how they feel about their careers at this moment in time, including their concerns, their challenges, and the degree to which they are optimistic about core aspects of their careers, their advancement in the future. The study was conducted among a diverse, nationally representative, sample of U.S. adults among a robust sample to allow for gender, generational, racial, and socioeconomic differences and includes additional analysis of workers in the top twenty media markets across the country to uncover geographic nuances. 

About University of Phoenix 

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit