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Parent Expectations of Teaching and Caring at Different Kinds of Higher Education Institutions Tyna M. Adams, Ph. D. University of Alabama at Birmingham College of Arts and Sciences Advising Abstract Today's college parent is involved in a myriad of ways with their college student's experience as well as the institution. What remains unclear is what parent expectations are of the college or university and of their involvement in their student's college experience. Understanding parent expectations may help staff and administrators better support and encourage appropriate parental involvement in the student's college experience. This study examined parent expectations of teaching and caring at eleven different institutions, utilizing the Parent Expectations of Collegiate Teaching and Caring (PECTAC) survey created by Wayne Young (2006). The sample included a total of 3, 378 participants. The intent of the study was to comparent expectations regarding the teaching and caring functions of several kinds of institutions, which were grouped by two variables: Sponsorship (public, private non-sectarian, or private religious) and Institution Type (research/Ph. D or liberal arts). Methods Variables Dependent- Parent expectations of the teaching functions of the institution and Parent expectations of the caring functions of the institution Independent- institution sponsorship, institution type, parent characteristics, and student classification Participating Institutions Convenience sample based on RU/H- Research University, (high research activity); DRU-Doctoral Research University; Bac/A&SBaccalaureate, Arts and Sciences. The target population for this study was parents of currently enrolled students. The population frame included all parents who had a student currently enrolled in a participating institution working toward a degree or certificate. Instrument Parent Expectations of Collegiate Teaching and Caring Questionnaire (PECTAC) was used to gather data for this study. The PECTAC was developed by Wayne Young (2006) and was created to understand parents as partners and the importance that parents placed on the teaching and caring functions of an institution (Spearman, 2010). The questionnaire contained 86 questions separated into three specific sections (Young, 2006). The survey included 12 demographic items , 40 items relating to the teaching functions of the institution and 34 items relating to the caring functions of the institution. Questions were measured on a 4 point likert scale 1 (very important) to 4 (not at all important). Demographics Participants were mostly female, Caucasian, Married, with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Majority were first time college parents at a public institution and very involved in the college choice process. Level of significance used for this study was p <. 01. Effect size determinations were based on Cohen's (1988) guidelines for d: small =. 2; medium =. 5; large =. 8 and for eta squared: small= 0. 02; medium = 0. 13; large = 0. 26. Recommendations Results • No significant effects were found in relation to institution sponsorship or type on parent expectations of teaching. • Parents of students attending religious institutions have higher expectations of caring. • Teaching and caring are more important to parents that are non-college graduates. • Teaching and caring are more important to African American and Latino parents. • Teaching and caring are generally more important to mothers than fathers. • Teaching and caring are more important to parents of freshman students. • Parent gender, ethnicity, and education predict expectations of teaching Additionally the following items were rated as very important to parents. • High speed internet access in residence hall room • Email access to instructors and advisors • Feedback on written work • Students being treated fairly by course instructors • Students leaving college with more technology skills • Access to career counseling, placement services, academic advising and mentoring • Development of plans for a major with an academic advisor. • Programs welcoming students to campus, providing health care, and a safe and secure campus. Generally, parents did not view online course delivery or training on the library’s digital resources to be important. Another surprise finding was that parents did not view parent programs or active parent associations with opportunities to volunteer to be important. Parents continue to play an important role in the relationship between the student and institution. Their expectations influence how they interact with their student as well as with the institution that their student attends. The results of this study suggest that parents have specific expectations of higher education. • Mothers, non-college graduates, African American, and Latino parents, as well as parents of freshman students and parents of students who attend religious institutions have higher expectations of many of the institutional functions of teaching and caring. • Results of this study may help administrators improve or create services and programs to better serve African American and Latino parents, who rated the teaching and caring scales as especially important. It may also be important for staff members to be aware of the expectations that these groups (mothers, African American, and Latino parents) have. • Other recommendations include tailoring general parent orientation sessions to meet the expectations of mothers and fathers. More specifically, including information regarding information technology, computer skills, and out of class learning opportunities toward female parents. • Bringing faculty in to parent orientation sessions may give parents an opportunity to ask questions as well as gain insight to what faculty expect from the students. Adding this aspect to parent orientation sessions may help parents better understand ways that they can help and support their student. There appears to be a misconception that we need only to orient the students to the institution. If parents are given more detailed information and provided a parent contact, a large portion of unrealistic expectations can be avoided and confusion may be alleviated. References Spearman, C. J. (2010). Expectations of parents of first year students regarding collegiate teaching and caring at a public university. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Pro. Quest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3404394) Young, W. W. (2006). Parent expectations of collegiate teaching and caring (doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Pro. Quest Dissertation and Theses database. (UMI No. 3236911).