Engaging Families in Higher Education : Lessons Learned and Best Practices book cover
1st Edition

Engaging Families in Higher Education
Lessons Learned and Best Practices

  • Available for pre-order on June 13, 2023. Item will ship after July 4, 2023
ISBN 9781032183688
July 4, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
232 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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USD $44.95

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Book Description

In today’s colleges and universities, parents and families are increasingly important as partners to support students in enrolling and navigating the college experience. Tailored to higher education professionals who work with the families of college students, this book provides a solid foundation for establishing or enhancing parent and family initiatives across the institution and how to partner with families to foster student success. The chapter authors, seasoned professionals working in higher education, share best practices and relevant research related to partnering with families and addressing challenges that come with engaging families. Chapters also explore ways to make parent and family programming accessible for first generation families and families from underrepresented groups who may often feel left out of traditional activities, programs, and services. Chapters feature "Voices from the Field" sharing best practices as well as "Tough Talks" breaking down some of the more difficult interactions between families and students and staff. This book is a valuable resource to higher education and student affairs professionals seeking to strengthen their work with families in order to better support student success in college.

Table of Contents


Chelsea Petree


Chapter 1 – Introduction

Part One: Foundations for Working with Families

Chapter 2 – College is a Family Business

Christine Self, Elizabeth Massengale, and Amy Murphy

Chapter 3 – College Transitions and Family Relationships

Christine Self, Elizabeth Massengale, and Amy Murphy

Chapter 4 – Families: Every Shape and Size

Brian Van Brunt

Chapter 5 – Pandemic Parenting: Parents’ Role in Student Success During COVID-19

Marjorie Savage, Jodi Dworkin, and Katherine B. Vasquez

Part Two: Family Engagement Across the College Experience

Chapter 6 – The Inclusion of Families in New Student Orientation
Libby Daggers

Chapter 7 – Keeping Families Connected

Christine Self and Torey Palmer

Chapter 8 – What Happens in the Classroom

Amy Murphy

Chapter 9 – Belonging on Campus

Christine Self and Amy Swank

Chapter 10 – When Crisis Strikes

Maureen McGuinness and Amy Murphy

Chapter 11 – The Future of Family Engagement

Christine Self, Elizabeth Massengale, and Amy Murphy

Chapter 12 – Conclusion


Appendix A: Transition to College Awareness Checklist

Appendix B: Family Engagement Rubric for Higher Education



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Christine Self is Director of Parent & Family Relations at Texas Tech University, USA.

Elizabeth Massengale is Assistant Vice Provost of Student Support and Success at Texas Tech University, USA.

Amy Murphy is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for the M.Ed. in Student Development and Leadership in Higher Education at Angelo State University, USA.


"Engaging Families in Higher Education is essential reading material for Vice Presidents and Deans new to working with today’s college families. This easy-to-digest book is a comprehensive resource with both honest stories about experiences working with parents and actionable advice about how to approach complex situations. Best of all, it shares how working with college students and their families can be engaging and extremely rewarding work."

--Lady Cox, Associate Vice President, Student Affairs, Auburn University

"In a field where constituent needs are ever-evolving, this book is an excellent foundation for PFP professionals to build out their toolkit and approach. I appreciate the comprehensive nature with which they summarize the history and evolution of parent involvement as a means of better understanding the landscape today. In addition, the authors provide a number of excellent techniques, resources and common language for approaching the everyday work with families of college students. A perfect blend of theory and application!"

--Alexandra Brown, Senior Director, Student Alumni Programs and Family Engagement, University of California, Los Angeles

"Throughout all, this book does an amazing job of promoting the balance between student independence and family involvement. No matter what your role is on a college campus, you will find value with its pages…As an experienced and dedicated family engagement professional, I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to enhance their profession and learn about our most important partners in higher education-parents, family members, and student supporters."

--From the foreword by Chelsea Petree, Ph.D., Parent and Family Programs Director, Rochester Institute of Technology and President of the Association of Higher Education Parent/Family Program Professionals (AHEPPP)