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Achieving Parental Support

This course emphasizes the crucial role of establishing strong connections with parents, a key component of effective teaching in contemporary society. Participants will discuss the importance of parental involvement, examine recent literature surrounding parental involvement in education, and discover ways of connecting with parents through new methods. Through this course, teachers will develop valuable insights and practical skills to communicate effectively with parents, fostering stronger relationships that ultimately enhance their students' learning outcomes.


Carlow University ED 646 • Madonna University EDU 5960.38 • Mercy University EDUT 506

The required text for this course is Parents and Teachers Working Together by Brett J. Novick. ISBN 978-1475828887.


Graduate participants earn 3 semester hours of graduate credit and will receive a transcript from one of our partner institutions below. Professional development participants will receive a certificate of completion for 45 hours of professional developments credit for face-to-face classes and 60 hours of professional development credit for online classes.

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Course Schedule

  • 2/13/24 - 5/14/24
  • 4/9/24 - 7/9/24
  • 6/11/24 - 9/10/24
  • 8/13/24 - 11/12/24
  • 10/8/24 - 1/14/25
  • 12/10/24 - 3/11/25

Course Schedule



Session/Module 1: Gaining an Understanding of Family Dynamics

  • Historical perspective of the family
  • Understand the blended families and how they affect how we reach out to the parents
  • Family structures that exist in the 21st century
  • Impact of divorce on a child’s behavior and academic achievement
  • Four factors that need to be considered when strategizing home-school relations
  • Functional and dysfunctional families and how that impacts what we do

Session/Module 2: Family Diversity: Why We Need to Change What We Do

  • Traditional family post WWII vs. the families that exist today
  • Gay, lesbian, or transgender parents and the obstacles that the children may face

    Characteristics of families of various origins Describe religious diversity and the respect for different days of observance.

Session/Module 3: Whose Job is it anyway? Seeking the Perspectives of Both Teachers and Parents

  • Obstacles which exist for non-custodial parents
  • Viewpoints that exist about teachers and parents
  • Roles of both parent and teacher in a child’s upbringing
  • Changing roles of both parents and teachers in the 21st century schools
  • Strategies to deal with parents who are sensitive and defensive
  • Overcome obstacles when parents are either wary of school or too invasive

Session/Module 4: The Latest Views on Parental Involvement in Schools

  • Family, school, community connections
  • Define parental involvement
  • Benefits of parental involvement for all involved
  • Parents role in homework
  • Creating a successful parent involvement program
  • Roles of fathers in school and its impact on achievement

Session/Module 5: Understanding the Dynamics of Winning Communication Strategies

  • The importance of paralanguage
  • Creating clear boundaries
  • Active listening practice
  • Computer programs and social media sites to increase parental support
  • Benefits of early contacts with parents

Session/Module 6: Best Practice - Phone calls, Parent-Teacher Conferences, and Back to School Nights

  • Introduction phone call
  • Open house and back to school night
  • Video or Zoom conferences
  • Steps to defuse a conference gone awry

Session/Module 7: Dealing with Families who have Children with Disabilities

  • Parental involvement and disabled children
  • Empathy for families upon learning of their child’s disability
  • Family involvement models for special education
  • Inclusion and how families can support their children
  • Perspectives of family members.
  • Document information needed for IEP’s and end of the year evaluations

Session/Module 8: Tough Stuff - Information that Creates an Awareness for Students Living in Poverty or Abusive Homes

  • Common nature of family violence and the impact it has on students
  • Impact of violence in the home on achievement
  • Role of the teacher in recording and reporting suspected abuse
  • Community support groups
  • Dynamics of poverty
  • Effects of homelessness on children

Session/Module 9: Models of Family Involvement

  • Family involvement models
  • Partnerships that target school violence and bullying
  • The need to keep the schools safe from intruders and bullies
  • Getting fathers to take an active role

Session/Module 10: Parental Rights, Educational Law, and Advocating for Families

  • Compulsory laws
  • Religion debate between schools and families
  • Student rights and school rightss
  • Public policies
  • Educators as resources for families
  • Compare the types of families that exist in the 21st century.
  • Determine the most effective ways to reach out to different families.
  • Formulate how family structures affect the students in their charge.
  • Explore the history of how families dealt with education in the past and how it reflects on today’s practices.
  • Develop a thorough understanding of what is meant in this day and age concerning family “diversity”.
  • Assess the best ways to communicate to those parents who speak little English.
  • Compare different perspectives on parenting and how the different styles of parenting can affect the teacher’s effectiveness.
  • Discuss of the various views that exist concerning how parents view the role of the teacher.
  • Compare and contrast work and time constraints for both parents and teachers.
  • Explain how parents can serve as partners to the teachers.
  • Compile a variety of ways of communicating with families.
  • Explain ways technology has changed and how this fosters better communication.
  • Explain parental involvement.
  • Explain the benefits of parental involvement.
  • Examine strategies that will allow parents to understand their role when it comes to homework.
  • Discuss the basic strategies of planning and implementing successful programs for this purpose.
  • Explore the reaction of family members upon learning of their child’s disabilities and the impact it has on the family.
  • Determine the educational obstacles that exist for children who are neglected or abused or witness domestic violence.
Partner Universities

Our Partners are well-established regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities, recognized for academic excellence and their commitment to teachers.

Important Information

Online 3-graduate credit courses are 13 weeks in length.

On-site weekend courses are held Friday evening from 6:00pm-9:00pm and Saturday/Sunday, 8:30am-5:30pm.

Weekday courses are Monday-Friday from 8:00am- 6:00pm.

It is the responsibility of the student to check with their state, county, district, or school to ensure that all requirements are being met by the course you're taking.  

Check the Partner Universities page for specific university information as well as course numbers which are specific to the university partner. 

Students are required to purchase their own textbook, the information for which can be found here. If no book is required it will be specified on the list. We have copies of many of the textbooks should you wish to purchase directly from TEI. 

Professional development (PD) participants receive a certificate of completion from TEI for 45 hours of PD credit for face to face classes and 60 hours of PD credit for online classes. These certificates are mailed within one week of the end of the class and reflect the course title, dates of attendance, and credit hour information. 

Student Academic Integrity
Participants guarantee that all academic class work is original. Any academic dishonesty or plagiarism (to take ideas, writings, etc. from another and offer them as one's own), is a violation of student academic behavior standards as outlined by our partnering colleges and universities and is subject to academic disciplinary action.