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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Charles Pearson
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Educational Leadership, Research, and Technology
Title: Understanding the Impact of the Kalamazoo Promise from the Perspectives of Parents and Community Group Members
Dr. Van Cooley, Chair
Dr. Patricia Reeves
Dr. Janice Brown
Date: Monday, October 12, 2009 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
3208 Sangren Hall
The purpose of this study is to uncover the emerging views of parents and community group stakeholders in regards to the Kalamazoo Promise and what they believe are the important issues that must be understood by implementers of the Promise in order to provide more effective implementation.
The Kalamazoo Promise is a full tuition scholarship provided to all eligible graduates of the school district. The qualification criteria are simple, and all graduates attending at least the four years of high school are eligible upon successful graduation.
A case study was conducted in one representative school in this mid-sized, urban district. A multiple phase approach was chosen to discover emergent issues concerning the Kalamazoo Promise. A preliminary document analysis was conducted. Emergent themes point to the lack of documentation of parents and community group voices. Parents and community group members were interviewed individually and in focus groups to gain insight into the issues they view as essential to universal attainment.
Results include the fact that many parents did not know the particular eligibility details of The Promise for their children. Parents also indicate that the school is the key place students found out about and were prepared to become Promise ready. Community group findings include the importance community group members place on parents accessing community supports. There is also concern that many parents either do not know what services are offered or are reluctant to acquire them. Economic factors did not receive the anticipated level of importance from either parent or community group interviews. Focus group interviews follow the individual interviews and confirm the findings of both groups.
Among the findings is the central role both groups place on the school as the access point to the Kalamazoo Promise and the need for each school to provide detailed information that parents and community groups need.