Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Steve Stone


Teacher shortages have had a significant impact on student learning outcomes in a time of immense testing accountability; yet, the way rural school districts handle the teacher shortage varies, from policies to incentive pay, to the use of international teachers. International teachers have become a significant resource for some rural districts to address teacher shortages. This study focused on the lived experiences of a subset of international teachers who are working in United States schools via the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP). The findings of the study authenticated the purpose of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1946, more commonly known as the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, which has remained evident in increased participation in the exchange program since its inception. The mutual exchange program effectiveness was not dependent upon whether or not the participant returns to their home country. Study recommendations included a focus on professional development on teaching in a multicultural setting, classroom management, and continued growth of collective efficacy among international and non-international teachers through frequent, purposeful collaborative interactions. Implications from the experiences of the participants over time support consideration of coordination between the federal Department of State and Department of Education in regard to J-1 visa reform supporting rural school recruitment, retention, and student achievement.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License