Date of Award

Spring 4-29-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Mark E. Jimenez, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Catherine Beck, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Maggie Broderick, Ph.D.


As the immigrant population increases in the United States, it is important for American administrators and teachers to form effective partnerships with immigrant parents. With these partnerships, schools can encourage greater direct parental involvement from immigrant parents. Active parental involvement positively correlates with academic success; however, active parental involvement is not seen as much in Asian parents compared to other ethnic groups. Current literature shows lack of direct parental involvement in Asian parents due to barriers such as cultural differences, language, education level of parents, absence of knowledge about American schools, and school-based barriers; however, little is known about Vietnamese immigrant parents. This ethnographic study sets out to understand more about the concerns and challenges of first- and second- generation Vietnamese immigrant parents through the use of interviews and questionnaires. The analysis of the data identifies language and cultural differences as primary barriers to greater direct parental involvement from Vietnamese immigrant parents. First- and second- generation Vietnamese parents had different worries and experiences with the American school system; however, both highly valued education. First- generation parents worried about the social and academic aspects such as how their children would understand and fit in with their new teachers and friends that speak a different language. Second generation parents worried that American schools were not academically challenging their children. Understanding these concerns of parents would help teachers and administrators create effective strategies to increase parental involvement with this cultural group.