Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Nancy Farnan, PhD; Margaret Gallego, PhD; Maria Luiza Dantas, PhD


academic success, California, Community-Based English Tutoring Program--CBET, children & youth, constant comparative method, Critical incident technique, demographic, family literacy programs, K-12 public schools, language-minority families, parents & parenting, qualitative, San Diego City Schools/San Diego Continuing Education (San Diego, CA)


Currently in the California K-12 public schools, approximately 25% (about 1.5 million) of the students know little or no English, and their numbers are increasing. Because of this diverse student population, a research study by the Gevirtz Research Center in 2005 reports that it is necessary to develop educational programs that help language-minority families understand and participate in the school system in ways that will support the academic success of their children. As a result of the Proposition 227 Initiative in California, statewide family literacy programs were established as Community-Based English Tutoring (CBET) programs to provide adult English language instruction to parents with limited English proficiency. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the San Diego City Schools/San Diego Continuing Education (SDCCD) CBET Program’s influence on parent involvement and analyze CBET program strategies that have increased parent involvement. The research questions guiding the study were: (1) What effect has the San Diego City Schools/ San Diego Continuing Education (SDCCD) CBET Program had on parent involvement, (2) What, if any, CBET program strategies have influenced parent involvement?, and (3) Is there a relationship between demographics of CBET participants and parent involvement? The CBET classes in this study were at participating elementary schools. CBET participants who had paired data (pre and post surveys) during 2001-2005 were included. This study analyzed these preexisting pre and post surveys, and conducted critical incident interviews of fifteen CBET participants during the summer of 2006. The participants were interviewed using the critical incident technique (CIT) described as a qualitative approach in an article by Borg & Gall in 1989, employing the interview method to obtain “an in-depth analytical description of an experience. Participants were asked about their CBET-based experiences at home and school using interview prompts. Data was analyzed using the constant comparative method modeled after research by Bogdan & Biklen in 1992. Data analysis identified the following themes: (1) parent/child relationships, (2) CBET-based influence at home, (3) CBET-based influence at school, and (4) participants outcomes. The results in this study showed that the CBET program: (1) has an impact on parent involvement, (2) introduces strategies that influence parent involvement, (3) increases participant outcomes, and (4) provides demographic data that shows relationships between the demographics of CBET participants and their parent involvement. According to an article by Dixon, Herrity, and Ho in 2004, at present little research is being conducted to examine the effectiveness of CBET family literacy programs. This dissertation will be submitted to the CBET reauthorization committee in California and the findings of this study could have important implications for school districts throughout the state of California participating in CBET family literacy programs.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access