Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This study sought to extend the literature on parent participation in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) process by implementing an intervention aimed at fostering parent participation in IEP meetings and comparing its results to those obtained using one school district’s standard IEP meeting procedures. This study also sought to determine the effects of SES and disability on parent participation in IEP meetings. Specifically, a mini-conference between parent(s) and special education teachers prior to the IEP meeting informed parents of their child’s competencies and allowed for collaboration on a proposed IEP. A control group of parents was exposed to routine procedures involving no conference. The effectiveness of the mini-conference compared to no mini-conference was determined. Differences on dependent measures according to disability as well as SES were determined. Dependent measures included a researcher’s coding form designed to allow the investigator to numerically document the amount of parental input in IEP meetings and questionnaires completed by both parents and professionals at the conclusion of the IEP meeting. The questionnaires were intended to solicit parent, teacher, and administrator perceptions of parental comfort and participation in the IEP process. For parents who received the mini-conference, questionnaires were used to determine whether parents, teachers, and administrators felt the mini-conference was helpful in preparing the parents for the IEP meeting. Fifteen special educators participated in the study. The return rate of parent consents was 41.9%. No differences were found in either parent or administrator survey responses to items relating to parent comfort or satisfaction with meeting outcome between the experimental and control groups. However, differences were present for the teachers on the same survey measures. Parent education level was correlated with parent participation in the IEP meetings. Parent participation was no different depending on the percentage of the school day a student received special education services. There was no difference in parent participation by conference group, as measured by number of unsolicited parental contributions. However, parents, teachers, and administrators all responded that the mini-conference was helpful in preparing for the IEP meeting, would be beneficial before all IEP meetings, and increased parental participation.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Kristin Gansle



Included in

Education Commons