Based on the data collected from the stakeholders, the PDSB (1996) study established 4 clusters that purportedly encapsulate the characteristics of Catholic school graduates: Religious Faith and Spiritual Development, Personal Integration, Social Responsibility, and Life-long Learning.
While the PDSB (1996) study makes a sound start to the investigation of the characteristics of the Catholic school graduate, it does not venture into the rational, objective assessment of such characteristics in the schools.
In the present study, this approach was modified in one important way: the researcher used the dimensions and descriptors provided in PDSB (1996) to identify the salient dimensions and assist with item writing.
These items were tentatively assigned to the 4 clusters identified in the PDSB. An additional characteristic of these items was their tentative assignment to 12 sub clusters, which were also delineated by the PDSB (see Table 1).
While the research processes that underpinned its publication The Graduate of the Catholic School (PDSB, 1996) are not documented, it is clear that its 4 cluster conceptualization is supported empirically.