Date of Award

2019

Access Restriction

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctorate in Education

Department

Education

School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Karen Huchting, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Franca Dell'Olio, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Rebecca Herr Stephenson, Ph.D.

Abstract

Recent demographic trends indicate that the number of young Latino Catholics in the United States is increasing. In response, educators and researchers have examined the Catholic school experience of Latino families as a means to provide meaningful support for this growing constituency amid broader enrollment declines and related challenges of fiscal viability. Within this context, this study examined the leadership practices of Catholic secondary school leaders in relation to the development of tuition assistance policies and community outreach efforts intended to serve Latino families. Utilizing a theoretical frame consisting of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and Culturally Responsive School Leadership (CRSL), this study employed an explanatory mixed-methods design. Quantitative data emerged from a cross-sectional survey, which was distributed to Catholic secondary school administrators within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Semi-structured interviews allowed for the collection of qualitative data, which constituted two case studies representing a spectrum of demographic characteristics within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The findings of this study indicate that Catholic school leaders view the principles of Catholic Social Teaching and Culturally Responsive School Leadership as influential to their roles as school leaders. However, the frequency with which Catholic school leaders employ culturally responsive leadership practices to address Latino families is varied and inconsistent. The research data also indicate a higher frequency of culturally responsive leadership practices among specific demographic subgroups including Latino leaders, leaders with an advanced Spanish-speaking proficiency, and those who work at schools in which a majority of the student body consists of Latino students.

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