Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Christopher A. Janson

Second Advisor

Dr. Sophie Maxis

Third Advisor

Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder

Fourth Advisor

Dr. E. Newton Jackson

Department Chair

Dr. Christopher A. Janson

College Dean

Dr. Marsha Lupi


This study explored parent perspectives about their participation in a federal TRIO pre-college program. Specifically, parents were asked to identify the program elements that encouraged and supported their participation in the college-going process of their child in a TRIO pre-college program. Forty parents of low-income, first generation TRIO students were purposefully selected for this study because they had participated in the parent component and because their child had enrolled in college within a year of high school graduation.

Q methodology was used for this study because it is designed to address the subjective first person viewpoint. In this Q study, the forty parents were asked to sort 33 value statements according to what was most like their perspective and least like their perspective, with regard to the program elements that encouraged and supported their participation. The 33 statements were derived from the current research on parental involvement and a parent survey to produce the Q-sort. Parents were also asked to explain why they sorted the statements holding the highest and lowest positions, as they did.

Subsequently, the parents identified five particular program elements that encouraged and supported their involvement in the college-going process. These factors were named: (a) A sense of community ”village”, (b) A sense of shared accountability and increased parental self-efficacy (c) A sense of the parent and student increasing social capital, (d) A sense of program relevance and (e) A sense of having highly committed program staff.

The research findings have implications for program development, program practices, and staff training. Recommendations for future research have been included.