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Frances McHale

Is Parochial School A Good Fit? A Case Study Examining Motives and Reasons Behind

Parents Picking Private School for Their Children

March 7, 2016

Advisor: Jeremy Rapport

The general knowledge that one gains in their lifetime is indicative of prior educational experience. All schools regardless of age level are established with the goal in mind to provide a framework and understanding of basic material. Looking specifically at St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Catholic School, in Wooster, Ohio, this study focuses on the motivations and reasons for parents sending their children to go to school there, as well as how parochial schools have been established in the United States. Why specifically do parents choose to send their children to Catholic school? Is it the focus on religion, or the belief of better academics?

This study focused on interviewing religiously active, moderately active and nonaffiliated mothers, all of whom have made the decision to send their kids to St. Mary’s. It was noted that the primary reason for parents sending their kids to school there was so they could establish and maintain their religious beliefs. Another motivation that parents suggested was the strong, rigid academics that St. Mary’s provides for their students. After gaining this understanding of reasoning and motivation, it was clear that St. Mary’s offers a unique approach to education that serves certain families.


Rapport, Jeremy


Religious Studies


Catholic Studies | History of Christianity


parochial Schools, Catholic school, school choice, St. Mary's case study

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Franny M. McHale