Michelle Hodara

Michelle Hodara leads research and evaluation projects related to postsecondary readiness 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:

  • “Exploring credit mobility and major-specific pathways: A policy analysis and student perspective on community college to university transfer,” published in Community College Review
  • “Does developmental education improve labor market outcomes? Evidence from two states,” published in American Educational Research Journal
  • “An examination of the impact of accelerating community college students’ progression through developmental education,” published in Journal of Higher Education
  • “The effects of English as a second language courses on language minority community college students,” published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

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.

Practice Expert – Applied Research and Postsecondary Success
503.275.9598

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Blog Posts

Why Postsecondary Education Matters

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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

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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

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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...