McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Ana Valderrama

Valderrama.JPG

Major and Classification

Philosophy

Faculty Mentor

  • Alexander Jun, Ph.D.

Department

  • Education

McNair Project

"Parent Involvement in the High School Careers of Underprivileged Chicano Males: Policy Implications"

This paper will attempt to formulate a theoretical model of parental involvement in the academic lives of underprivileged Chicano high school males. Suggestions for policy-making will be made with this framework in mind. Chicano males are dropping out of high school in disproportionate numbers, forming the highest percentage of high school dropouts in California (Larson & Rumberger, 1995). For this reason there is a great need for research focused on improving the success rates of these students. Successful Chicano students state that their families constitute their main source of support for pursuing their educational goals (Ginorio & Huston 2001); as such, my research will focus on developing an ideal model for maximizing the benefits of parent involvement at the high school level. This theory-based research paper will place a great deal of emphasis on the historical models and generally accepted theories of parent involvement in education. (These theories may include work in adolescent psychology, family-school relationships as they relate to educational development and acculturation/assimilation theories pertaining to minority students in the public schools.) This work in theory will allow me to formulate a more complete framework on which to base my recommendations. The final goal of this paper is to develop a proposal for an institutionalized parent education program that will maximize the positive influence of parents on the academic careers of underprivileged Chicano high school males. Types of effective parental involvement may include regular homework help; parent-teacher communications; the establishment of a study environment appropriately conducive to learning; and consistent, well-informed motivational techniques. To maximize the positive influence of parental involvement in the academic lives of underprivileged Chicano high school students, I hypothesize that a well-developed series of parent education seminars or workshops shall be monumental.