Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Van E. Cooley


The purpose of this study was to uncover the emerging views of parents and community group stakeholders in regards to The Kalamazoo Promise, and what they believed were the important issues that must be understood by implementers of The Promise in order to provide more effective implementation.

The Kalamazoo Promise is a full-tuition scholarship provided to all eligible graduates of the school district. The qualification criteria are simple, and all graduates attending at least the four years of high school are eligible.

A case study was conducted in one representative school in this midsized, urban district. A multiple-phase approach was chosen to discover emergent issues concerning The Kalamazoo Promise. Interviews were conducted of parents and community group members to gain insight into the issues they viewed as essential to universal attainment.

Results include the fact that many parents did not know the particular eligibility details of The Promise for their children. Parents also indicated that the school was the key place students found out about and were prepared to become Promise ready. Community group findings included the importance community group members placed on parents accessing community supports. There was also concern that many parents do not know what services were offered or were reluctant to acquire them. Economic factors did not receive the anticipated level of importance from either parent or community group interviews. Focus group interviews confirmed the findings of the individual interview phase for both groups. Also among the findings was the central role both groups placed on the school as the access point to The Kalamazoo Promise, and the need for each school to provide detailed information that the parents and community groups need.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access