Graduate Student Dissertations, Theses, Capstones, and Portfolios

Date of Award


Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Brittany E. Kiser

Second Advisor

Jennifer J. Lesh

Third Advisor

April Johnson-Bynes


This dissertation explores the multifaceted challenges faced by Caribbean teachers seeking certification in Grades K-8 within the state of Florida, with a primary focus on identifying and mitigating barriers to the certification process. Caribbean educators bring diverse perspectives, pedagogical expertise, and cultural richness to the American education system, making their integration as certified teachers in Florida classrooms an asset. The research delves into the complex dynamics affecting the certification process, encompassing qualitative and quantitative surveys questions. A descriptive research study approach is employed to elucidate the systemic barriers encountered by Caribbean teachers, as well as to uncover potential solutions to streamline the certification journey. Key findings from the research reveal a constellation of obstacles, including stringent credential evaluation processes, misalignment of prior teaching experiences, linguistic and cultural challenges, and a lack of comprehensive support structures. These barriers impede the progress of qualified Caribbean educators, hindering their access to Florida's teaching workforce.

This dissertation advocates for the implementation of tailored interventions to alleviate these barriers. Proposed strategies encompass the development of culturally responsive teacher preparation programs, mentorship initiatives, and the establishment of clear pathways for Caribbean teachers to navigate the certification system. Moreover, recommendations are made for the cultivation of an inclusive and culturally diverse educational environment that embraces the unique contributions of Caribbean educators. The implications of this research extend beyond the immediate context of Florida, resonating with educational policymakers, administrators, and stakeholders across the United States grappling with the imperative of diversifying the teaching profession. By fostering inclusivity and removing barriers, this dissertation underscores the importance of harnessing the expertise and cultural richness that Caribbean teachers bring to Grades K-8 education, thus enriching the learning experiences of students and fostering a more globally aware and equitable educational landscape.



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