Special Education ETDs


Erin Jarry

Publication Date



This qualitative study examines the experiences of family members who participated as Family Faculty in the Families as Faculty program. All of these family members were primary caregivers for students with disabilities. Families as Faculty is part of some of the teacher preparation programs at universities in New Mexico. Three research questions were explored. First, why do families choose to participate in this program? Second, what are the benefits and challenges they experience as participants in the program? And finally, what about their experience influences their decision to continue or terminate their participation in the program? Data were collected through telephone interviews utilizing open-ended questions. Results indicated that Family Faculty chose to participate in the Families as Faculty program because they believed that by sharing their stories, they can influence students in teacher preparation programs, thus positively impacting classroom practice. Family Faculty report many benefits and no challenges from participating in the program. Overall the participants reported that their experiences were extremely positive and they expected to continue their participation in the future. Implications for future research are discussed.


Parents of exceptional children--Attitudes, Special education teachers--Training of, Volunteers in education--Attitudes

Document Type




Degree Name

Special Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Keefe, Elizabeth

Second Committee Member

Luckasson, Ruth

Third Committee Member

Copeland, Susan

Fourth Committee Member

Villa, Richard