School of Education


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Joan Fitzpatrick


Health Information Managaement, Health Information Technology, Registered Health Information Administrator, Second Career Teacher, Self-Determination Theory, Transition Theory


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership | Higher Education | Other Education


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of faculty in Health Information Technology (HIT) programs as they transitioned from working in their field of expertise to become a teacher in the accredited HIT associate degree programs. The intended sample size, pending saturation, was comprised of 10 HIT faculty members at five colleges in the southeastern United States. Schlossberg’s (1981) transition theory is used to guide this study; it is a thematic approach, which can be used to identify the factors which affect people as they make transitions. The expectancy-value theory, conceptualized by Atkinson (1957), utilized by Watt and Richardson (2007) and the self-determination theory (SDT) (O’Brien, 2008) were applied to this study. The SDT is based on the constructs of: (a) competence, (b) autonomy, and (c) relatedness. Data was collected through the use of (a) interviews, (b) a questionnaire, (c) protocol writing, and (d) focus groups. These data was transcribed, coded, and clustered into categories as recommended by Moutakas (1994). The findings were analyzed and peer reviewed to ensure accuracy and dependability. The consensus of the participants was that they were (a) excited about teaching, (b) did not want to go back to a healthcare position, and (c) enjoyed a comfortable life as they helped students learn and meet their goals for better jobs.