The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

John Eller

Second Advisor

Kay Worner

Third Advisor

Roger Worner

Fourth Advisor

Sonya Vierstraete

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

parental involvement, parental engagement, English learners, native language literacy proficiency, English language literacy proficiency, literacy


The study measured perceptions of immigrant English learner parents’ native and English language literacy proficiency levels, reported challenges affecting native and English language literacy proficiency levels, and reported the effect of native and English language literacy proficiency levels on parental involvement in three Minnesota schools. Research questions were answered through analysis of data from two surveys administered to immigrant parents of English learners and K-12 public school administrators.

The study found that 92.2% of immigrant parent participants, combined, had either some or much involvement in their child’s education. The majority of non-involved participants, 69.7%, chose the lack of English language proficiency as the reason they did not participate. The majority of parents, 95.5%, attended parent/teacher conferences when able. The majority of administrators, 94.0%, reported parents of English learners in their school to be engaged or actively engaged in their children’s school. All administrators, 100.0%, surveyed responded that there is a need for more English learner parental and family engagement and improved communication efforts.

The study findings revealed recommendations to further research the correlations between native and English language literacy proficiency and parental involvement. Continued administrative leadership in English learner parental involvement, improved communication and collaboration with community or outside agencies were recommended in order to offer quality programming for parents of English learners.


Furthering my education has always been a goal of mine. Pursuing a doctorate in education was not always part of my professional goals. I am forever grateful to a former colleague who encouraged me to start the process. I am so glad I did.

I would like to acknowledge and thank my dissertation committee members including Dr. John Eller, Dr. Kay Worner, Dr. Roger Worner and Dr. Sonya Vierstraete. Dr. John Eller, your time, effort and patience to teach the dissertation process was invaluable. Dr. Kay Worner, your guidance, expertise and insightful feedback during this process was appreciated. Dr. Roger Worner, thank you for unforgettable way of teaching and wonderful humor and wisdom. Dr. Sonya Vierstraete, I appreciate you as a colleague and friend. Thank you for your patience and guidance through the course of this journey.

I wish to thank the three public school superintendents in southern Minnesota, who granted me permission to gather the data from immigrant parents of English learners and K-12 public school administrators in their school districts. Additionally, thank you to the three Adult Basic Education program coordinators who allowed me to visit and conduct the parent survey. Valuable information was learned from this experience.

I thank my classmates in doctoral cohort 7 at St. Cloud State University for their support and friendship during the coursework and dissertation journey. I am so humbled to have met and worked with such wonderful people!

To my family, I thank you for your patience and understanding when I was away at classes. This journey was not easy, but certainly attainable. I thank my husband, John, for holding down the fort while I was away. I love you always! I hope you all can appreciate my effort to become a stronger leader in my field. To our three beautiful children, I know you will all become successful at your own craft someday with patience, hard work, and determination.



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