Texas Comprehensive Center

Previous Work
October 2005 through September 2012

These resources were published under a previous TXCC funding; therefore, information contained therein may have changed and is not updated.

Briefing Papers

Parent and Community Involvement in a College/Career-Ready Culture

Appendix B: Suggested Strategies for Family and Community Involvement

(See References and Additional Resources for complete citations)


Auerbach, 2004

For engaging Latino parents—

  • Start no later than upper elementary to introduce the idea of planning for college
  • Speak the parents' language
  • Host small group meetings of parents that have something in common rather than all-school events; make meetings convenient and comfortable; use face-to-face or telephone invitations rather than letters or flyers
  • Invite guest speakers from similar backgrounds to share their experiences
  • Reinforce basic college information often and in a variety of ways
  • Address special concerns of parents, such as children's safety on campus, undocumented status, financial aid
  • Provide opportunities to meet individually with college representatives to allow privacy and build trust
  • Help parents explore the college process as a group, for mutual support
  • Acknowledge barriers that Latinos face in college access, discuss strategies to overcome them
Bangser, 2008
  • Provide information on educational requirements for particular jobs—internships, lectures from the business community, career days, youth apprenticeships, job shadowing, mentoring
  • CTE programs establish working relationships with private industry, economic development agencies, workforce investment boards
  • State-funded early-commitment scholarship programs, partnerships with businesses and foundations, help with college and financial aid applications
  • Collaborate with post-secondary institutions—visits to college campuses, shadow students, dual-credit programs
Cabrera and La Nasa, 2001
  • Parental involvement is related to the amount of information they have regarding college, so targeting lowest-SES parents would produce highest pay-off
  • Provide parents with general, concise, clear information on college costs
  • Enlist college personnel to explain to parents the importance of early curriculum planning
  • Establish school partnerships at the elementary level, where parental involvement can be fostered
Clark and Dorris, 2006

For engaging Latino parents—

  • Offer parent-child activities
  • Promote parents' advocacy and leadership skill development
  • Establish home-school liaisons, create cultural and linguistic bridges
  • Learn about and understand the neighborhoods in the community, consult with community and religious leaders and local chambers of commerce
  • Provide workshops to help parents understand report cards and long-term impact of curriculum choices
  • Assign teacher or counselor to interact with local parent clubs
  • Foster welcoming atmosphere—create family center, post signs in Spanish, have interpreters available, follow up with parents who attend school events
  • Include parents on a task force or site-based management team
Cunningham et al., 2007
  • Enlist advocate groups to distribute materials containing college knowledge
  • Target specific populations and address challenges such as limited English proficiency and access to Internet
  • Enlist community government, foundations, organizations to fund outreach materials and information campaigns
  • Provide support and training for teachers and guidance counselors to distribute college knowledge
  • Enlist colleges to provide information on steps necessary for college admission and choices that must be made
  • Focus early intervention plans on college planning and bring parents into the process
  • Secure funding from government, private sector, colleges, other stakeholders for support programs
  • Reach out to parents concerning courses necessary for college and offer college planning workshops before students begin the application process
Dounay, 2006
  • Ensure that parents and students are aware of college entrance requirements, including entrance examinations, applications
  • Assist parents and students in setting goals and evaluating them annually; develop a learning plan or individual graduation plan
  • Notify parents annually whether their child is on track for graduation
  • Provide information to parents on financial aid eligibility, how to apply for aid
McDonough, 2004
  • Increase the quality and quantity of information available to parents on college entrance and financial aid
  • Encourage and provide counseling for parents to help develop and maintain student aspirations, academic preparation, and college enrollment
  • Build close partnerships with colleges
Pathways to College Network, 2004
  • Provide a variety of high-quality tools to aid underserved students and their families with college preparation
  • Involve leaders at all levels in creating policies, programs, and practices to help students in post-secondary transition
  • Make parents and families aware of their part in preparing students for college
  • Provide guidance to parents in supporting their child's school achievement, college aspirations, and post-secondary success
Patrikakou, 2004
  • Prepare teachers for parent involvement—benefits of it, key areas they can affect
  • Let parents know that they have a strong influence on their child's post-secondary success
  • Encourage parents to keep lines of communication with child open and show that education is important
  • Increase parental awareness of school policies and curriculum—print communications, parent mentoring programs, family resource centers, Web site, brown bag meetings, teacher-parent meetings
  • Inform parents of positive news, to get them more involved and responsive to outreach
Rowan-Kenyon et al., 2008
  • Provide information to parents in the home language
  • Alternative approaches for working parents—lunchtime workshops, "engage parents where they are and when they are available," meetings on weekends, college-going program at local church, online information
  • Parents' guidance advisory committee to develop college-related activities, at least one program per grade level each year
  • Ensure that college recruitment materials are available to all students
  • Increase availability of early information on financial aid
  • Increase parents' knowledge of full range of post-secondary options
Wimberly & Noeth, 2004
  • Increase access to resources, training, and information families need to help their child succeed
  • Maintain regular, two-way communication between families and schools
  • Welcome families as full partners in school activities and decision making
  • Provide access to a wide range of tools to engage families in children's learning
  • Schedule meetings, workshops, conferences at times that are convenient for parents
  • Provide training to school staff
  • Translate information into parents' home language
  • Provide child care
  • Form partnerships with local community groups, nonprofit organizations, businesses, government, and religious groups
  • Encourage parents to talk with children about future goals and what is needed to reach those goals and to attend college and career expositions with their children
  • Implement programs to help parents explain college requirements and costs, discuss the importance of personal growth, and raise awareness of the decision-making process to attain goals
  • Use a variety of formats to explain assessment information to parents and students and show how it relates to future goals
  • Encourage parents to meet and communicate with teachers and counselors early in their child's education career
  • Districts should develop and implement a plan for involving parents
Wimberly & Noeth, 2005
  • Begin college readiness in middle school
  • Explain to students and parents the effect of a challenging curriculum on their future educational, career, and income options
  • Use multiple sources of information, including standardized assessments, to inform students and their parents of progress toward college readiness
  • Work with families to calculate college costs and form a plan to cover these costs

 

 

 

 

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