Title

Parent/Family Centers In Mississippi: A Descriptive Study

Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Thelma J. Roberson

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

The intent of this study was to describe the characteristics of parent/family centers in Mississippi by determining (a) the characteristics of parent/family centers in the state, including the types of resources, programs, activities, and materials they possessed, (b) the types of funding sources used to support parent/family centers, including the revenue sources and percentage of Title I money allocated, (c) how parent/family centers assessed their programs, and (d) the general role and/or function of Mississippi parent/family center directors. Three sources were used for obtaining data in this study (a) parent/family center directors, (b) school district federal program coordinators, and (c) the Mississippi Department of Education. All 152 public school districts in the state of Mississippi were contacted by phone. Representatives from the school districts self-reported the existence of 146 active school building-based and/or district-based parent/family centers. An informative letter was distributed through the United States Postal Service, in August 2004, to the superintendents of Mississippi school districts that reported the existence of parent/family centers. All were invited to take part in the study of parent/family centers. Only 42 superintendents granted formal permission for the study to be conducted in their school districts. The Mississippi School District Federal Program Coordinator Questionnaire was used to collect data on parent/family centers from federal program coordinators. The Parent/Family Center Profile Questionnaire was used to collect data on parent/family centers from parent/family center directors. Questionnaire distribution began in September 2004. The research findings suggested that parent/family centers in the state of Mississippi were characterized by their ability to provide resourceful and well-equipped facilities. In addition, the parent/family centers were characteristically family-oriented and communicative. The Funding sources for parent/family centers were predominantly federal. Title I, Part A, ranked first among the types of federal funding sources used by parent/family centers. In regards to the assessment of parent/family centers, most parent/family centers determined their effectiveness by (a) recording the use of particular resources and (b) using written evaluations of all classes, workshops, and activities. Overwhelmingly, parent/family center directors had a positive view of the role they play in the parent/family center setting.