Date of Award

2008

Access Restriction

Campus Access only dissertations

Degree Name

Doctorate in Education

Department

Education

School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Mary K. McCullough, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kristen R. Anguiano, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Teresa Mendoza, Ph.D.

Abstract

Catholic schools are an important element of the educational environment in the United States and are often the subject of effectiveness studies. However, Catholic school leadership, for the most part, is left out of the research loop (Schuster, 2000). While the learner affects schooling outcomes, the leadership of the school principal is the critical component in determining school quality (Sergiovanni, 1997). Today's Catholic schools differ greatly from Catholic schools prior to Vatican II. School leaders are faced with greater responsibilities than their predecessors. For example, within the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Catholic school principals are challenged to strategize different ways to market their schools, increase their enrollment, and raise funds for schools to remain viable.

Based on a literature review on Catholic school leadership, including (a) the history of Catholic schools in the United States, (b) Catholic school governance, (c) Catholic school leadership, (d) strategic planning, and (e) the changing role of the school principal in the future of Catholic education, the following three research questions serve as the premise of the study:

  1. . What do Catholic elementary school principals identify as skills needed to lead Catholic schools in the 21st century?
  2. . What are Catholic elementary school principals' perceptions of how their role is changing?
  3. . How do Catholic elementary school principals identify their role and the current struggles of implementing a centralized strategic plan in a large Catholic diocese?

This study employs a mixed-methods research design including a document review of the Los Angeles Archdiocese Strategic Plan and a survey containing multiple choice, Likert-scale type questions, and open-ended qualitative items. This research study is conducted to identify Catholic school elementary principals' role in implementing the current Strategic Plan for the Los Angeles Archdiocese and struggles principals encounter in implementing the Strategic Plan at their school site. Further, this research investigates how the Catholic school principalship is changing and the necessary skills that Catholic elementary school principals need to practice for leading these schools in the 21st century. Recommendations are discussed for Catholic elementary school principal training needed to lead future Catholic schools.

Catholic schools are an important element of the educational environment in the United States and are often the subject of effectiveness studies. However, Catholic school leadership, for the most part, is left out of the research loop (Schuster, 2000). While the learner affects schooling outcomes, the leadership of the school principal is the critical component in determining school quality (Sergiovanni, 1997). Today's Catholic schools differ greatly from Catholic schools prior to Vatican II. School leaders are faced with greater responsibilities than their predecessors. For example, within the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Catholic school principals are challenged to strategize different ways to market their schools, increase their enrollment, and raise funds for schools to remain viable.

Based on a literature review on Catholic school leadership, including (a) the history of Catholic schools in the United States, (b) Catholic school governance, (c) Catholic school leadership, (d) strategic planning, and (e) the changing role of the school principal in the future of Catholic education, the following three research questions serve as the premise of the study:

  1. . What do Catholic elementary school principals identify as skills needed to lead Catholic schools in the 21st century?
  2. . What are Catholic elementary school principals' perceptions of how their role is changing?
  3. . How do Catholic elementary school principals identify their role and the current struggles of implementing a centralized strategic plan in a large Catholic diocese?

This study employs a mixed-methods research design including a document review of the Los Angeles Archdiocese Strategic Plan and a survey containing multiple choice, Likert-scale type questions, and open-ended qualitative items. This research study is conducted to identify Catholic school elementary principals' role in implementing the current Strategic Plan for the Los Angeles Archdiocese and struggles principals encounter in implementing the Strategic Plan at their school site. Further, this research investigates how the Catholic school principalship is changing and the necessary skills that Catholic elementary school principals need to practice for leading these schools in the 21st century. Recommendations are discussed for Catholic elementary school principal training needed to lead future Catholic schools.

Catholic schools are an important element of the educational environment in the United States and are often the subject of effectiveness studies. However, Catholic school leadership, for the most part, is left out of the research loop (Schuster, 2000). While the learner affects schooling outcomes, the leadership of the school principal is the critical component in determining school quality (Sergiovanni, 1997). Today's Catholic schools differ greatly from Catholic schools prior to Vatican II. School leaders are faced with greater responsibilities than their predecessors. For example, within the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Catholic school principals are challenged to strategize different ways to market their schools, increase their enrollment, and raise funds for schools to remain viable.

Based on a literature review on Catholic school leadership, including (a) the history of Catholic schools in the United States, (b) Catholic school governance, (c) Catholic school leadership, (d) strategic planning, and (e) the changing role of the school principal in the future of Catholic education, the following three research questions serve as the premise of the study:

  1. . What do Catholic elementary school principals identify as skills needed to lead Catholic schools in the 21st century?
  2. . What are Catholic elementary school principals' perceptions of how their role is changing?
  3. . How do Catholic elementary school principals identify their role and the current struggles of implementing a centralized strategic plan in a large Catholic diocese?

This study employs a mixed-methods research design including a document review of the Los Angeles Archdiocese Strategic Plan and a survey containing multiple choice, Likert-scale type questions, and open-ended qualitative items. This research study is conducted to identify Catholic school elementary principals' role in implementing the current Strategic Plan for the Los Angeles Archdiocese and struggles principals encounter in implementing the Strategic Plan at their school site. Further, this research investigates how the Catholic school principalship is changing and the necessary skills that Catholic elementary school principals need to practice for leading these schools in the 21st century. Recommendations are discussed for Catholic elementary school principal training needed to lead future Catholic schools.

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