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Family is Forever: The Impact of Family Engagement in Higher Education on Black, Latinx, and Low-Income Students

Schultz, Juliane (2023) Family is Forever: The Impact of Family Engagement in Higher Education on Black, Latinx, and Low-Income Students. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This Dissertation in Practice explored the impact of an individualized meeting with family members of low-income students on the family member sense of connection to the university and knowledge of campus resources. Parents and family members play an important role in higher education as influencers, stakeholders, fundraisers, bill payers, and meaningful supporters for their students' college experience. While family member participation in higher education has increased with the current generation of students, many institutions continue to use a traditional approach to family engagement, which fails to fully leverage the positive impact that family members could have on student success.

This study used an improvement science framework to develop a theory of improvement for one specific university system, review relevant scholarly knowledge, introduce a test of change into the system, and measure of the impact of that change. The improvement effort introduced was a one-on-one outreach meeting between university staff and family members of low-income students to discuss the family member's experience at the university. A mixed methods study used survey data from both the staff and family member participants to measure the impact of the interaction. The data demonstrated that the meetings had a positive impact on the intended outcomes of building a sense of connection with the university and increasing knowledge of campus resources. This test of change produced positive results upon which future iterations of the outreach meetings could be designed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Schultz, Julianejes334@pitt.edujes334
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPerry, Jilljperry@pitt.edujperry
Committee MemberKiger Lee, Bridgetkigerlee@pitt.edukigerlee
Committee MemberHippensteel,
Date: 11 January 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 26 October 2022
Approval Date: 11 January 2023
Submission Date: 4 December 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 117
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: family engagement, higher education, low income students, improvement science
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2023 19:29
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2023 19:29


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