Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Mario Castro

Abstract

A rural K-12 district in the Midwest evidenced a rise in the Latino population from 2002 to 2013, yet parental participation amongst Latino parents at the junior high was low. Low parental involvement has been linked to lowered self-efficacy, which impacts student learning. Although there is a plethora of research on the positive aspects of parental involvement, there is little research on Latino parent involvement in small rural communities. Within this instrumental case study, Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler's model of parent involvement was used to explore Latino parents' perceptions of their roles and responsibilities of communication strategies within the junior high and of available resources related to parental role construction and self-efficacy. Ten Latino parents with children in Grades 7 and 8 were individually interviewed. Document analysis of school documents and researcher notes were used to bolster the trustworthiness of interpretations. Typological analysis was incorporated to look at transcribed and coded notes where 4 main findings emerged: lack of communication, helping the adolescent child, understanding school structure/governance, and learning the English language. A curriculum design plan was developed in 3 areas supporting parent self-efficacy and role construction: understanding adolescents, understanding school structure/governance, and English as a second language (ESL) approach. This study may promote social change within a rural community because the implemented curriculum design plan established Latino parental engagement by incorporating a series of workshops in Spanish and an ESL format to meet the 4 categories which help to meet state and federal education guidelines within the area of parent and family engagement.