Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kathleen Maury


The Advanced Placement program allows high school students who pass an end of course Advanced Placement exam to receive college credit for college level courses completed during high school. The problem addressed by this project study is that, in the school under study, there is low enrollment in Advanced Placement classes even though many students qualify for these courses. Using a case study research design and collecting qualitative data, this study examined the influence parents have on student course selection. This study followed the theories of Epstein which indicate that involved parents positively influence their children's academic achievement. The research questions centered on the level of parental involvement in their child's course selections and their knowledge of Advanced Placement courses. Parents identified ways the school could help them be more aware of student academic choices available to their children. Data for these questions was gathered from 9 face-to-face interviews and 1telephone interview. An analysis schema, including theme coding and trend analyzing of the data, answered the questions and revealed the parents had no knowledge of the Advanced Placement courses, and they need direct communication from the school. The research led to the development of a Parental Learning Community. The project emanating from this study is a 3-part workshop. In part 1, parents learn how important their involvement is in their child's academic success. Part 2 informs parents about Advanced Placement classes. Part 3 obtains parent commitment to join the Parental Learning Community and keep it active. Positive social change may include increasing graduation rates, identifying ways schools can better support parental involvement, and preparing graduates for successful post-secondary education.