Winter 4-12-2024

ESRP 9000 Professor

Dr. Sandra Underhill

ESRP 9001 Professor

Dr. Sandra Underhill

Executive Summary

Increasing Parent Involvement in Special Education in a Florida School District. Matthew Owens, 2024: Strategic Research Project, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice. Keywords: advocate, collaboration, Exceptional Student Education, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Individual Educational Plan, Parent Preparation Program, stakeholder, transition

This strategic research project was designed to provide a means to meet an ongoing problem for Orange County Public Schools within the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) department. The collaboration between parents and the schools within ESE was seen as an area of need. One reason for the need was that parents were not sure of the role that they play on the team as well as what exactly is being discussed within the meetings that they need to attend. After examining the internal and external factors through applying a SWOT analysis, the critical issue of parent training became apparent. To address this issue a parent training program was selected from four alternatives and a review of literature to evaluate each of the alternatives. Two strategies were selected to implement this solution: face-to-face training and online training. The Quantitative Strategic Planning Matrix (QSPM) was used to determine the attractiveness score (TAS) of each of the two strategies. After using the tool and determining that only a .09 difference in TAS existed, it was determined to combine the two and go with a hybrid face-to-face with online course model for the training program. An action plan was developed and action steps were outlined to effectively implement the strategy. These steps included, (a) identifying the participants, (b) designing the parent training sessions and online modules, (c) preparing pre and post training assessments, (d) determining the schedule of the sessions and locations of the sessions, and (e) assessing the training program and making adjustments for the following year.

The literature reviewed strongly supported both of the strategies: face-to-face and online training as well as the barriers and limitations, and the impact of the trainings. While the session is intended to last for the school year, the intent of the program is to be a training program that is long lasting. It will be able to remain long lasting with the evaluation and monitoring of the program. Thus, adjustments can be made to the program as well. The findings from the reviewed literature from this strategic research project supports the adoption of the action plan and the strategy that was chosen for Orange County Public Schools.

Document Type

Strategic Research Project-NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Special Education