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Stories | 04.24.19

Strengthening the Parent-Teacher Relationship

Stephanie Felice, M.A. ’18, is a parent educator for a large nonprofit organization who works to build connection and communication between families and teachers. A graduate of the Online Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology program, Felice manages programs, including Parents as Advocates, through Hillside Family of Agencies in Rochester, New York.

“I am dedicated to helping parents be the example children need to see in their educational career and in every aspect of their growth and development,” Felice said. “Children deserve to feel their efforts are appreciated and be taught the value of education. Unfortunately, so many parents are busy surviving they forget, don’t have the time, or don’t know how to teach their children that anything can be achieved through perseverance and knowledge.”

Her role involves conducting home visits for families with children 4 to 12. The parents in her program sign up on their own or are referred by a government agency or community organization.

Felice said that many teachers are also busy dealing with other issues, and often lack the time or ability to provide “the support to families our society needs.” Felice emphasized the importance of having have more teacher and school supports and resources to improve parent engagement.

To help with this in her community, Felice works with Rochester schools to create a bridge between school and home.

“I act as a liaison and educator for both parents and school professionals, while preserving teachable moments for all involved,” Felice said.

Her organization encouraged her to get her industrial and organizational psychology degree to help it improve the structure and outcomes of its program. Felice said she is using the skills learned through her graduate program to better her own performance and to improve cultural competence and equity at her organization, as well to help other organizations improve their communication with parents.

She also decided to go back to school because she values education and has “persevered to become an educated contributor to society.”

“I love to learn and experience different things in life,” Felice said. “As a first-generation college graduate and a single mother, my education path has not been simple, but I know perseverance and grit is the key to success.”

She added that she chose to attend Adler University specifically “because of its commitment and follow-through to advance social justice.”

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