Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Patricia Lowry, PhD, Director; Edward F. DeRoche, PhD; Iris W. Engstrand, PhD; William Pickett, PhD


Catholic school education, history, San Diego county (California)


The purpose of this dissertation was to research, present, and thus to preserve, information concerning Catholic school education in San Diego County from 1850 to 1936. The historical method of research was the research methodology utilized in the study, in which the author primarily investigated original documents stored in religious archives. The author details the thirteen Catholic schools that came into existence during the time period; describes the background and arrival in San Diego County of the seven religious communities that conducted the various schools; and portrays the early leaders responsible for the growth and development of Catholic education in San Diego County. It was noted in the dissertation that Catholic schools gained a foothold in San Diego County in the 1880's largely through the initiative of Father Anthony Dominic Uback, pastor of San Diego from 1866 to 1907. This Catholic leader was responsible for securing the first religious community of women to teach in San Diego County, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, an influential community who would conduct seven of the first nine Catholic schools to open in the County. Until 1936, San Diego County formed a part of either the Diocese of Monterey or of Los Angeles, and it was concluded that, in comparison to the rest of the Diocese, Catholic education developed slowly in San Diego County. Indeed, prior to 1900, there existed only one private school for Catholics, the Academy of Our Lady of Peace, and three schools for Indians. It was not until 1912 that the first "diocesan" school opened in San Diego County. Nevertheless the Catholic schools instituted during the eighty-six year period under investigation were widely dispersed throughout the County, from San Ysidro in the south, Fort Yuma in the east and San Luis Rey in the north. The dissertation may serve as a valuable contribution to the study of Catholic educational history in San Diego County. Furthermore, a better understanding of contemporary Catholic education is gained throughout the background of historical research documented in the study.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access