Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Sonya D. Horsford

Second Committee Member

Robert S. McCord

Third Committee Member

Edith A. Rusch

Fourth Committee Member

William E. Cross

Number of Pages



According to research on parent engagement in K-12 schools, disconnects often exist between parent involvement as defined by school leaders and the African American families and communities they serve (Delgado-Gaitan, 1991; Tillman, 2009). Unfortunately, these competing definitions and conceptions of parent involvement often result in school leaders and administrators perceiving that Black students do not achieve as well as their White peers because Black parents are not involved or engaged in the education of their children (Cooper, 2010; Cooper, 2009; Fields-Smith, 2005). This perception undermines the development of positive home-school relations between school leaders, educators, and Black parents, and in turn, the positive benefits of parent engagement on Black student achievement. The purpose of this study is to document and explore community perspectives of Black parent engagement in West Las Vegas before and after desegregation through the implementation of Clark County School District's Sixth Grade Center Plan of Integration in 1972. Historical case study methods, archived oral histories of parents, educators, church leaders, elected officials, and West Las Vegas community members as collected from UNLV Lied Library's Special Collections serves as primary data sources. Joyce Epstein's (1995) Six Types of Involvement (parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision-making, and collaborating with the community) serves as the analytical framework for examining the key themes and community perspectives that emerged from this collection of oral histories concerning Black parent engagement in West Las Vegas before and after school desegregation efforts in Clark County. The significance of this study lies in its contribution as an untold local community history that focuses narrowly on the role of Black parents in segregated and desegregated educational contexts. As such, it seeks to inform and enrich, through community perspectives and voices, contemporary discussions concerning Black parent involvement and engagement in today's K-12 schools.


African Americans parents; Community and school; Education – Parent participation; Engagement; Home and school; Involvement; Nevada – West Las Vegas; Parents; Parental involvement; Parent engagement; Parent involvement; School integration; Segregation in education


African American Studies | Education | Educational Leadership | Family, Life Course, and Society

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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