Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Stephen Laws


It is no longer about neighborhood schools but allowing parents to choose which school is best for their children. In addition, traditional public schools have seen a decline in enrollment, whereas charter, private, and home schools have seen an increase. This study sought to identify what motivates parents to choose a school for their children and how schools can enhance their marketing and branding. To determine the answers to these key questions, a qualitative research design was employed utilizing the Grounded Theory Approach. Data were gathered from a survey and focus groups at five large International Baccalaureate (IB) schools serving over 2,500 students in kindergarten through 12th grade in the Central Piedmont Region of North Carolina. The framework of this study is based on McClelland’s Three Needs Theory. The data suggest parents choose their child’s school based on the simple fact that it is a choice, it offers an advantage to their child, and the school provides a connection for their child and has strong teachers. It is also important to note most parents, according to the data collected, get their information about a school most often directly from the school. A school’s website and social media are two other primary sources where parents learn about a school. Based on the results of this study, public schools should offer parents a choice, be able to clearly communicate the advantage of attending school, and have a high-performing staff.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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