Date of Award

Summer 8-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Thomas Gilblin

Abstract

There is little debate that parental involvement in education is paramount to the success of students in their academic lives. As a result, public schools across our country are developing programs aimed at reaching out to parents in hopes of improving the relationship that exists between the schools and the families of their students. These programs are developed through the analysis of vast amounts of research based on the general issues commonly affecting parental involvement in our public schools. While the data gathered from this type of broad research is useful and necessary in the process, many urban schools don’t realize that the results may not apply directly to the demographic that they are serving in their district. Policies and programs aimed at these types of parents need to take the general knowledge gained from large studies across the country and combine those with research done within the urban population in order to develop an effective plan of action.

The culminating purpose of this study is to combine prior research regarding the obstacles that exist for general populations of parents with new and unique research based on an urban school district population. The resulting data will allow for a deeper understanding of the need for differentiation when urban schools are developing parental outreach programs as opposed to implementing generalized programs as they have in the past. Research outcomes will be used as resources for developing programs that schools can create and implement to reach all demographic groups of parents. For the purpose of this study, suggestions and applications will be aimed at populations that are directly connected to the school: members of administration, teachers, and students. This narrowing will allow for maximum control and effective execution of programs due to ease of access to the partakers.