Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Educational Leadership

Capstone Instructor

Oluwatoyin Akinde Fakuajo

Second Reader

Dorothy Bialke


parent education, synchronous, ECFE-like, nourishing family environment


This study evaluated the accessibility and effectiveness of a pilot virtual synchronous group-based E3 Parent Education (E3PE) program initiated in Whitefish, Montana, in January 2021. It is a qualitative study of a model designed initially for a virtual live group-learning setting to empower parents in building a nourishing family environment. Parent education has been proven as an effective intervention and prevention of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and K-12 student mental health problems and behavioral issues. However, a lack of universal access and the busyness of parents are significant barriers to participation. The Literature Review showed rapid growth in technology use to increase accessibility, but virtual live parent education was understudied. This study aimed to fill this gap and bridge research-to-practice. Through in-depth one-on-one interviews with eight participants (n=8) who attended eight to 27 E3PE sessions, five major themes were identified: motivation, impact, challenges, strengths and limitations, and suggestions for improvement. Findings demonstrated that a free virtual synchronous format provided equitable access and lowered the barriers to participation. Parents reported immediate benefits, increased self-care and self-love, improved parenting capacity and confidence, and feeling supported. The impact on parents led to tangible positive outcomes in children, including better attitude, improved behavior, and increased abilities. Also, it resulted in improved spousal relationships, which ultimately fostered a nourishing family environment. Referred to the Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), this ECFE-like model tailored courses to meet the needs of the families and provided ongoing support to cope with relapses. Finally, the study contributed organic data and meaningful information to the field; findings from the study advised that policymakers promote the E3PE model to support parents and break the negative cycle of ACEs.