CMS launched Parent University in the fall of 2008. In the first semester, 31 course topics were offered 56 times in the fall. Courses were offered in schools, public libraries, YMCA's, the Urban League, and other locations. More than 2,700 parents attended these sessions, of which, 1,556 parents had children who attended Title I, Focus, or Achievement Zone Schools. Courses were offered in 12 Title I, Focus, or Achievement Zone schools in the first semester.
In the first semester, 93% of participants surveyed said they received information and techniques they plan to use. 97% said the speakers were effective and presented information that was helpful.
In the second semester, Parent University more than doubled its course offerings to 64 different topics offered 159 times throughout Mecklenburg County. Topics of interest include Preparing for the EOG's and EOC's, transitional grades, and professional growth and development. The workshops were offered 30 times with nearly 1,000 parents attending. For the first time 15 classes were offered only in Spanish to serve our growing Latino population. In the second semester, more than 8,000 participants were involved in classes.
Parent University increased its partnerships by working with agencies such as Goodwill, Charlotte Emergency Housing, Hall House, Charlotte Housing Authority, Truancy Court, Young Black Males Leadership Conference, Park and Recreation Teen and Family Summits and other organizations to offer courses.
Parent University partnered with Leadership Charlotte and Leadership Charlotte adopted Parent University as their community service project. A team was assigned to each learning community and the team selected the neediest schools in the learning community to offer Parent University courses. They provided presentations, meals, incentives, childcare, promotion,etc, Nine sessions were offered with more than 1,200 participants.
Parent University offered two family events to provide a unique opportunity for families to receive resources and information while having fun. The fall event was held at Whitewater Center and more than 9,000 participated. The spring event was held at the Charlotte Checkers and more than 3,000 participated.
In total, more than 22,000 participants were involved in the courses and family fun events in the first year.
Volunteers have involved and supported Parent University through the Parent University Advisory Council, Curriculum Review Committee, and Friends of Parent University committee.
Parent University has secured nearly $470,000.00 in support from the MeckEd Foundation, other socially responsible foundations, grants, businesses in the first year to be used for the operational budget.
Nearly 170 CMS teacher, administrators, counselors, as well as community and business leaders offered in-kind support for Parent University by serving as presenters, advisory council members, curriculum review committee members, and volunteers.