Expectations of parental involvement in a student's collegiate experience are grounded in the opportunities presented during the 13 years of the student's K-12 schooling. However, due to legal implications and informed by college student development theories, higher education administrators often deterred parental involvement. This research focused on the parents' perceptions of their involvement their first-time-in-college (FTIC) students' first year of college. The researcher utilized the 261 survey responses from parents of FTIC students at Large Research University (LRU). The intent of the research was to contribute to literature regarding parental involvement with their college students. The collected data included parents' perceptions, as the dependent variables, regarding (a) their personal involvement, (b) appropriate involvement, (c) expected involvement, and (d) the university's involvement. Additionally, collected data about the parents' characteristics served as the independent variables for the analyses. The analyses rendered significant differences in parents' perceptions of their involvement based on the parents' ethnicity, if the parent had a first-generation college student, and their students' residence in their first year of college. Parents, who identified as White, responded with perceptions of less involvement compared to other ethnicities. Alternatively, parents of first-generation college students and parents with a student residing at home held perceptions of more involvement. There were significant, positive correlations between parents' perceptions of their involvement and the number of hours the parent anticipated communicating with their student and the parent's anticipated number of visits to the student's college. The insight gathered from this completed research was informative for educational leaders in higher education concerning the involvement of parents in students' collegiate experience. Educational leaders can apply the knowledge proactively to inform their policies, procedures, and practices.


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Graduation Date





Gordon, William


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


Educational Leadership and Higher Education

Degree Program

Educational Leadership; Executive Track




CFE0008930; DP0026209





Release Date

November 2026

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until November 2026; it will then be open access.