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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.

The TXCC Comprehensive Centers Program Ended September 30, 2019

The 2012–2019 grant cycle for the U.S. Department of Education Comprehensive Centers Program ends on September 30, 2019. Please visit the Department’s Comprehensive Centers Program website to check for updates about the 2019–2024 cycle of centers: U.S. Department of Education Comprehensive Center Programs. For information about the centers AIR manages, please visit: AIR Regional Comprehensive Centers and Content Centers.

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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