Date of Award

Spring 3-21-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Patrick Ainsworth, EdD

Second Advisor

Keith Larick, EdD

Third Advisor

Martinrex Kedziora, EdD


Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to understand and explain how parents perceive parent engagement affects high school academic achievement within county operated community schools in Riverside County California. An additional purpose of the study was to understand and explain actions parents believe are necessary to increase parent engagement within county community schools in Riverside County.

Methodology: This qualitative phenomenological study explored the perspectives of 16 parents who had students attending County Community Schools in California. The research focused on parent engagement and the actions necessary to involve parents in their children’s education. The researcher in conjunction with a thematic dissertation partner, Sandra Hernandez, created an in depth semi-structured interview consisting of eight interview questions correlated to the research questions and five demographic questions. The thematic dissertation partner helped in vetting the research question and helped to code the data collected in this research study.

Findings: Examination of phenomenological data revealed 15 themes, which led nine major findings and one unexpected finding. Major finding were:

  • Parents want to be involved with the county community school their child attends.
  • Communication is an important factor to increase parental involvement.
  • Parents support their children at home.
  • Parents want to participate in school activities.
  • Schedule activity times that parents can attend.
  • Parental notifications of events need to be done in a timely manner.
  • Parents want parent education and trainings.
  • Interviews evoke emotional responses from parents.

Conclusions: The study concludes that parents perceived that their involvement in their child’s education helps their children succeed academically. Parents want to be involved at the school site and in their child’s academic journey, but the schools do not provide opportunities for involvement.

Recommendations: Further research is recommended to explore different areas of what county community schools can do to actively engage parents to be involved at the school sites.