Date of Award

Summer July 2014

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Mary K. McCullough

Second Advisor

Kevin Baxter

Third Advisor

Frank Montejano


The purpose of this quantitative study was to provide insight to the perspectives of leaders and individuals in authority within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles system of Catholic parochial schools regarding current models of governance, levels of authority, and decision-making processes. There is a lack of clearly-defined levels of decision-making authority from the bishops to the Archdiocesan Department of Catholic Schools down to the individual schools.

The pastors, principals, and Department of Catholic Schools personnel shared their perspectives of current governance structures and elements of three emerging alternative governance models. Data were analyzed through a factor analysis of the survey items to explore the strength of the three categories of the governance models represented by the three groups of questions. Next, the descriptive statistics of the specific questions relating to each of the three governance models and community voice were compiled. A Cronbach’s alpha was calculated for each group of questions to measure internal consistency.

In order to explore relationships between perceptions among the three independent variable groups (pastors, principals, and Department of Catholic Schools personnel), a Chisquare analysis was run for each of the questions on an ordinal scale.

The study showed significant differences in participant responses between the three groups surveyed. However, there was agreement that community voice must be incorporated into governance, but only in a consultative manner. There was also agreement that a strong governing presence at the central office would be beneficial.