Date of Award

Spring 1-21-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.S. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Barbara V. Strobert, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Jan Furman, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Nicholas DelTufo, Ed.D.


enrollment, New Jersey, nonpublic, admissions, principal


Catholic schools across the country serve a valuable role in their communities as a source of academic strength, faith formation, and as a support system for families. The decline of Catholic school enrollment continues to be a source of challenge for families seeking a Catholic education for their children as well as for the Catholic school leaders working to sustain and grow their schools. The purpose of this study is to explore the influences that impact parental decisions in selecting a suburban Catholic parish elementary school in northern New Jersey for their children. This study seeks to learn more about parents’ motivators, opinions, perceptions, and concerns about Catholic education and their overall priorities for their children’s education as they relate to selecting a parish elementary school for their children. The study investigated the following research question and sub-questions: (1) How do parents describe the primary contributors to the decision-making process when they enroll their child/children in a northern New Jersey suburban elementary parish school? (1a.) How do parents describe the initial motivators that drive them to consider a parochial elementary school? (1b.) How do parents describe their decision-making process?

This qualitative study gathered open-ended interview responses from 18 parent participants who were randomly selected from three Catholic parish elementary schools in northern New Jersey. Interview questions were designed to elicit reflective responses on the experiences of participants as they initially selected a Catholic elementary school as well as their experience in re-enrolling each year. The findings from this study reflect the emphasis parents place on the academic program, faith formation, and relationships within the school community.