Date of Award

Spring 2019


© 2019 Rachel Shanley

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Marylin Newell

Second Advisor

Jessica Branch

Third Advisor

Scott Milliken


In the San Francisco Bay Area of California, there are numerous options for secondary education, including free, well-ranked public schools and costly Catholic high schools. Although enrollment at Catholic schools is declining nationwide, there is still an interest in attending Catholic high schools due to the teaching of strong moral values, the benefit of long-term enrollment, the extraordinary classroom experiences which include a safe and welcoming environment for the students, extensive faculty and staff dedication, higher levels of parent involvement, advanced standards for student achievement, more civically engaged students, and a more infused college-going culture in the school promoting college readiness and the attendance at more selective higher education institutions. Overall, Catholic high schools attract better performing students from more privileged backgrounds and make a stronger positive impact on students, which leads to a perceived superior education experience. Catholic high school admissions must use these reasons families decide to attend Catholic schools to their benefit, by innovating their marketing strategies and admissions events to create more interest in the high school. By updating marketing and events, Catholic high schools will gain additional prospective families, creating a larger enrollment or more selective admissions.


Ed.D. Dissertation