Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Kristina Hesbol, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lolita Tabron

Third Advisor

Judy Marquez-Kiyama

Fourth Advisor

Leslie Hasche


21st century skills, Families, Family engagement, Postsecondary and workforce readiness


As the focus on graduating all students and preparing them for postsecondary pursuits increases, schools are examining their practices in supporting how students are successfully prepared (Gutmann, & Ben-Porath, 1987; Guilfoyle, 2013). This study examined how the diversity of the family structure that now permeates modern day society can be used as a true partnership that embraces inclusivity and as a credible component to the postsecondary pursuits of students. Through the lens of the existing literature and a new theoretical framework, The Model of Family Engagement in Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (FEPWR), the researcher identified the intersections between family engagement and postsecondary and workforce readiness. The new framework constructs an approach that is more inclusive in language, that addresses educators at all levels, and that bridges the gap between all levels of schooling and into the workforce.

This research used a case study design. Through semi-structured interviews, observations, and document review, the results of the study revealed that families perceived their engagement as occurring all the time outside of the school context and in various forms. However, family engagement was perceived and defined differently by teachers, principals, and other administrators. Additionally, the results revealed that while families may encounter barriers to being engaged in postsecondary and workforce readiness at the school level, they still had high aspirations for their children to be successful regardless of age of children, ethnicity or socio-economic status. An element of surprise in the findings was that families had low regards for postsecondary and workforce readiness programming.

The study outlines the implications for schools and school districts if stakeholders do not begin to understand and value the multiple representations of family engagement. The study further presents recommendations for system leaders and practitioners to employ targeted policies and practices that recognize the myriad forms of family engagement as integral to supporting students' preparation for postsecondary pursuits.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Keisha Kayon Morgan


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

273 p.


Educational Leadership