Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Administration and Supervision

First Advisor's Name

Stephen Strichart

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Howard Rosenberg

Third Advisor's Name

Awilda Haskins


Physical therapists, Job satisfaction, Physical therapy for children

Date of Defense



Recruitmuent and retention of Physical Therapists (PTs) by public school systems has been identified in the literature as a significant problem, and the resultant shortage of school-based PTs hinders the capability of school systems to deliver physical therapy services to exceptional students as mandated by federal statute. The purpose of this study was to assess the level of job satisfaction among physical therapists who currently work in public school settings. Job satisfaction can be an important factor affecting recruitment and retention.

A systematic sample of 462 school-based PTs was chosen to receive via mail a survey instrument which requested information regarding age, gender, highest academic degree, salary, and various aspects of their working environment. In addition, the survey instrument included the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire-Short Form(MSQ), and three open-ended questions. There was a 67% return rate.

The results of the study showed that the majority of PTs working in public schools are satisfied with their jobs. Their principal sources of satisfaction included the opportunity for social service, job security, creativity, flexibility, autonomy, and the opportunity to work with children and to see them succeed. They were dissatisfied with school policies and procedures, opportunities for advancement, quality of supervision, high caseloads, and limited space and equipment. It was concluded that school administrators charged with recruitment and retention of PTs should consider inclusion of PTs in supervision and in the development of policies and procedures. They should also consider enhancements of available space and equipment.





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