Understanding the Needs of Culturally Diverse Public School Students Transferring to a Private Catholic High School: An Exploratory Case Study


Joanne Blast

Document Type


Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology (SSP)


School Psychology

Date of Award

Spring 2022


As private Catholic schools grow increasingly culturally diverse, it is important to understand the experiences and perceptions of students, families, and educators to increase the chances of meeting students’ academic and social needs. Therefore, this exploratory qualitative case study aims to understand the experiences and perceptions of the administrators, teachers, and staff involved in a transfer bridge program that supports the academic and social success of public school transfer students from culturally diverse backgrounds at a suburban predominantly White co-ed Catholic Diocesan high school. Administrators and faculty associated with the transfer program were interviewed to gain their perspectives. Results indicated that faculty and administrators involved in the program view the bridge transfer program as providing a supportive and inclusive community for public school transfer students to build academic and social skills. However, consensus is lacking regarding the primary purpose and goals of the program and more student feedback is needed to provide a more comprehensive picture of the transfer program’s ability to meet students’ needs. The results of this case study add to thelimited but growing literature base on culturally responsive support for Catholic school students and will inform the school’s efforts to support their transfer students’ academic and social success. Keywords: Transfer student, High School, Predominantly White Institution, Catholic High School


Erin Harper

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Psychology