Involvement of Latino parents in their children's education and college preparation process is integral to the educational success of Latino students. This two-phase, mixed methods study explored the perspectives of Latino parents about their involvement in their children's education and college preparation process. First, archival data of the Path to College organization was examined for this study. Archival data were questionnaires completed by 132 Latino parents. Additionally, 5 separate semi-structured, face-to-face, focus groups were conducted with a sub-sample of 23 parents who had completed the questionnaire for the Path to College. All focus groups were conducted during the period of May through June, 2008. Research questions addressed the collected data in accordance with social capital and cultural capital theories. A thorough analysis of data revealed that across the 5 focus groups, Latino parents expressed high at-home support for their children's present and future education. Latino parents want partnerships with their children's teachers, and schools, however, cultural factors often present challenges to these parents' involvement in their children's education and college preparation. Further, more than half (53%) of respondents reported that they did not feel comfortable knowing how they would pay for their child's college education while 43% reported feeling comfortable. Across focus groups, Latino parents indicated a need for information related to requirements and resources for higher education. Findings also revealed that 30% of respondents reported having completed up to the 12th grade or GED, 35.75% reported having completed 11th grade or below, 9.25 % completed an Associates of Arts degree, 4% completed a bachelor's degree and 4% completed a master's degree. None of the respondents reported having completed a doctorate or professional degree. To that end, Latino parents expressed concern about the limited number of role models in their local groups and communities with respect to higher education. Additionally, findings revealed that 6 major themes emerged across focus groups: leadership and parenting, family and culture, communication, partnerships and networks, educational background and knowledge, information and resources. Each theme represents a common thread uncovered through an extensive examination of the focus group data and the archival data.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Education, Secondary -- Parent participation; Latinos -- Education -- United States; Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Hiatt-Michael, Diana B.