Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Dane Joseph, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Marc Shelton, Ed.D.


In this improvement science dissertation in practice (ISDiP), I used a continuous improvement cycle to attempt to reduce student attrition in a dual language immersion (DLI) program. The intervention involved DLI parent engagement in the form of monthly parent meetings for one DLI kindergarten class. I also formed a networked improvement community (NIC) with various stakeholders to collaborate in a 90-day strategize, implement, analyze, and reflect (SIAR) cycle. I collected both qualitative and quantitative data throughout the process, and together with my fellow NIC members, we designed the content and structure of four monthly parent meetings. The DLI kindergarten parents were also active participants in the process, providing input in the form of feedback at the monthly meetings and pre- and post- intervention surveys. Qualitative data were collected through two focus group interviews with six veteran DLI parents and open-ended survey questions completed by the kindergarten DLI parents. Quantitative data were collected through a series of Likert scale surveys designed to measure family efficacy, learning behaviors, and perception of school/program fit. The conceptual framework I used incorporated social capital theory within a family efficacy and parental involvement framework. A sociocultural lens was also used when planning the parent meetings to account for the diversity among the parents and to avoid any misunderstandings based on cultural differences. I followed an empowerment approach to parental involvement to help increase the parents’ confidence in their decision to place their child in the DLI program by connecting with other parents and sharing knowledge. The findings showed that the intervention was effective mainly in increasing parents’ family efficacy scores. This corroborates with the conceptual framework presented by designing an intervention with the NIC and parent input that helped build social capital and increased parents’ confidence. The effect of the intervention on the long-term student attrition rate is yet to be seen. This process demonstrated the need for DLI program leaders to be knowledgeable about the DLI program and culturally appropriate parental involvement practices, to benefit not only the parents but the program itself.