Michelle Hodara

Michelle Hodara leads research and evaluation projects related to postsecondary access and success and a Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northwest research-practice partnership that brings together stakeholders from across sectors to focus on high school graduation and postsecondary success. Michelle is also the applied research lead for the REL, helping to support authors with conceptualizing and conducting their research studies. As a What Works Clearinghouse certified reviewer, Michelle is trained in quantitative methods for program evaluation and has extensive experience in linking and analyzing disparate data sources to study what supports and hinders students as they transition from high school to college and beyond.

She is the lead author of many peer-reviewed studies focused on postsecondary readiness and key issues affecting community colleges, including:

Michelle holds a Ph.D. in Economics and Education from Columbia University, Teachers College. 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 former classroom teacher, Michelle is passionate about conducting practitioner-oriented research that supports efforts to 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.

Manager – Research and 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...