Catholic schools are an integral part of the educational systems of urban centers across the United States, serving as pillars for many communities, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. In Los Angeles, more than 80,000 children and their families rely on these schools to provide the moral, spiritual, and intellectual underpinnings that have enabled so many Catholic school graduates to become productive and socially conscious adults.
However, these schools are facing significant challenges. Enrollment in Catholic schools has declined 12 percent nationally in the last decade. Many schools are struggling financially. Catholic school systems are in need of professional development for teachers and administrators, along with research into the most effective approaches to running the schools and educating increasingly diverse student bodies.
With the Center for Catholic Education, the LMU School of Education will be better positioned to assist the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as well as Catholic school systems across the country, in ensuring that the rich tradition of Catholic education endures and grows. The CCE brings together a broad range of successful programs at SOE to advance PK-12 Catholic education by training school leaders and teachers, increasing awareness of Catholic schools' impact on communities, and developing innovative ways to support Catholic schools. The Center for Catholic Education will serve as an anchor for Catholic schools in Los Angeles and nationally so that the rich tradition of Catholic education continues to shape morally and socially conscious men and women.
In establishing the Center for Catholic Education at the LMU School of Education, we begin from a position of great strength.
- LMU is the largest preparer of Catholic school teachers and principals in the nation, with an ideal approach to meeting the needs of Catholic schools and a track record of success.
- The SOE has extensive experience assisting schools on leadership and governance issues.
- LMU is a leader in research on Catholic schools.
- The SOE works across the educational spectrum.
- No other Catholic school of education in the country has the diversity of LMU – nor is any as effective at tackling diversity issues.
- LMU has a history of working closely with the Los Angeles Archdiocese to support Catholic schools.