Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Stephen Laws


Parent engagement continues to be problematic in schools. Although many schools have attempted to implement parent engagement programs, there are still significant challenges recruiting parents to engage with the school. Numerous studies have proven a strong relationship between parent involvement and student academic outcomes. Despite the vast research on parent engagement, schools continue to struggle with developing a parent engagement program inclusive of all stakeholders. The purpose of this study was to investigate strategies to increase parent engagement in small, rural elementary schools and a 6-12 high school in eastern North Carolina. The participants in this study were parents/guardians, teachers, and school administrators. The data collected and analyzed will support researchers, school administrators, and teachers in knowing specific strategies to increase parent engagement in rural communities. Epstein (2011) provided a comprehensive framework consisting of six tenets for use in developing a parent engagement program. Epstein et al.’s (2018) framework was used to study the experiences of parents and educators in this rural district. I gathered qualitative and quantitative data through surveys and focus group interviews. The data showed the school community has a strength in parent willingness to participate; however, a parent engagement framework has not been established in the district. Recommendations were made to develop a plan that encompasses communication, collaborating with the community, and shared decision-making.

Creative Commons License

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