Michelle Hodara

Michelle is a content expert on postsecondary readiness and success, and she leads research and evaluation projects on programs, policies and practices that improve students’ college access and success. A What Works Clearinghouse-certified reviewer, Hodara is trained in quantitative methods for program evaluation and has extensive experience in analyzing large, longitudinal secondary, postsecondary and labor market datasets. She publishes and presents widely on her research and is the lead author on many peer-reviewed studies that use quasi-experimental methods.

Michelle holds a Ph.D. in Economics and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University where she worked at the Community College Research Center. Prior to earning her doctorate, she was a special education teacher in Zuni, New Mexico, and a developmental education instructor at the University of New Mexico-Gallup. As a child of life-long educators and a former classroom teacher herself, Michelle is passionate about conducting practitioner-oriented research that supports efforts to close the achievement gap and improve the educational outcomes of all students.

Through my work with REL Northwest, I have the unique opportunity to bring research to practitioners and policymakers and be involved in evidence-based decisionmaking.

Practice Expert – Applied Research and Postsecondary Success


Areas of Work: 

Blog Posts

Why Postsecondary Education Matters


April 3rd, 2018

Going to college makes a significant difference in students' future earnings. Read about how CTE could help energize more Oregon students to pursue a postsecondary path.

Expanding College Access: Promising Strategies to Boost Students’ Financial Aid Completion


January 23rd, 2017

Financial aid helps expand college access but not all eligible students apply. This post explores the barriers students face in applying for aid and provides FAFSA-completion strategies for educators.

Looking at the Latest Community College Innovations and Reforms


January 15th, 2015

For many Americans, high tuition costs are a primary barrier to attending college and earning a postsecondary credential. President Obama’s new plan to make community college tuition-free seeks to alleviate this barrier, but the plan is not just about working with states to provide a more...