1st Edition

Engaging Families in Higher Education Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Edited By Christine Self, Elizabeth Massengale, Amy Murphy Copyright 2024
    222 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    222 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.


    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 M. 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


    Christine Self is Director of Parent and 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)