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 alone, almost 80,000 children and their families rely on Catholic 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 struggle financially. However, Catholic schools in Southern California are much more vibrant than in other areas of the country. 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 populations.
The Center for Catholic Education, established in 2010, through LMU's School of Education, is well-positioned to assist the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as well as Catholic school systems throughout the state and across the country, in ensuring that the rich tradition of Catholic education endures and grows. The CCE brings together a broad range of successful SOE programs to advance PK-12 Catholic education by preparing teachers, training school leaders, increasing awareness of Catholic schools' impact on communities, and developing innovative ways to support Catholic schools. The Center for Catholic Education serves 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.
The Center for Catholic Education allows the LMU School of Education to function from a position of great strength in the support of Catholic education.
- 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 CCE has taken the lead on Educational Law as it impacts Catholic schools.
- 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, the dioceses of Orange and San Bernardino, and Catholic Extension to support Catholic schools, regionally and across the country.