Michelle Hodara

Michelle Hodara directs research and evaluation projects related to postsecondary access and success and provides technical assistance to postsecondary institutions and systems. Michelle has more than a decade of experience researching and evaluating programs and policies that seek to improve college enrollment and completion outcomes among historically underserved students. Michelle is trained in quantitative methods and brings expertise in linking and analyzing data to determine what supports students need to successfully navigate the education and workforce pipeline. She has researched a variety of high-priority topics in postsecondary education, including the labor market returns to developmental education, community college to university transfer, and financial aid. She currently leads the evaluation and learning community of the ECMC Foundation’s Basic Needs Initiative. Michelle holds a doctorate in economics and education from Columbia University, Teachers College. Before 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, a two-year college. As a former classroom teacher, Michelle is passionate about conducting practitioner-oriented research that supports efforts to improve the educational outcomes of all students.

She is the author of many research studies focused on postsecondary access and success, including:

Applied Research & Evaluation

Areas of Work: 

Blog Posts

Collaborating to Solve Basic Needs Insecurity on College Campuses


March 5th, 2021

ECMC Foundation’s Basic Needs Initiative is helping colleges and nonprofit partners connect students to food, housing, and more.

Report Spotlights Promising Practices for Supporting Oregon's Transfer Students


January 23rd, 2020

Transferring from a community college to a university can be challenging. Without adequate support—as well as practices and policies that set them up for success—community college students may struggle to transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree. According to the Beginning Postsecondary Student study...

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...