Catholic colleges and universities in America have significantly changed philosophically, demographically, legally, and financially during the past 5 decades. Since the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, there has been considerable focus on attempting to accurately describe the Catholic identity for institutions affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Called to embrace the modern world, Catholic institutions of higher learning have been challenged to retain their distinctiveness even as they have become more closely aligned with secular institutions within the academy. Because of this convergence of institutional similarities, how does a potential student come to understand institutional Catholic identity during the search process? With over 230 Catholic degree-granting institutions to choose from in the United States alone, the task of determining a “best-fit” for the student can be challenging. It is important to have a framework for independently determining the strength of institutional Catholicity for a student seeking a uniquely Catholic undergraduate experience.
Specifically, this research identifies a set of 15 signal features for identification of a distinctively Roman Catholic institution of higher education within a framework for understanding institutional positioning with respect to the Roman Catholic Church from an external, or off-campus, perspective. In addition to the exploration of public documentation and the campus environment, select faculty and student leaders were interviewed at “Holy Catholic College” (a pseudonym) to understand their perspectives on the strength of Catholicity of their particular institution in the development of the framework and associated signal features.
|Commitee:||Cordoba Tait, Alicia, Scanlan, Michael|
|Department:||Higher Education and Organizational Change|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, Organizational behavior, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Catholic Identity, Catholicity, College choice, Institutional Catholicity, Student choice|
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