Destiny McLennan

(she, her, hers)

Senior Researcher, Applied Research & Equitable Evaluation

Destiny’s work is guided and informed by the experiences of youth, particularly youth who have been systemically excluded and marginalized due to racism. She is interested in understanding and exploring the decision-making practices of such students after high school. College access and choice literature often lacks asset-based explanations of students that choose, or don’t choose, to follow this path. This is where she hopes to insert her work—understanding the complex choices students of color make in their daily lives, as well as in pivotal transition moments like after high school.

Before joining Education Northwest, Destiny was a doctoral student in UCLA’s Higher Education & Organizational Change program. Her dissertation explored the decision-making practices of Black students from urban schools, given an anti-Black reality, recognizing the wealth of knowledge both college-bound and non-college-bound students had in informing their decisions. At UCLA, Destiny worked for the Higher Education Research Institute, where she partnered with the Cooperative Institutional Research Program to explore nationwide data on various factors that influence students’ collegiate experiences.


  • Ph.D., Higher Education & Organizational Change, University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.A., Higher Education & Organizational Change, University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.S.Ed., Higher Education, The University of Pennsylvania
  • B.S., English and African American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

A cause I'm passionate about is…

The justice, freedom, and liberation of Black people everywhere.

A fictional character I identify with is…

Lynn from Girlfriends.

My dog thinks I…

Must show him attention 24/7.


Areas of Expertise

  • College access and choice
  • Youth voice
  • Qualitative methods
  • Anti-Blackness
  • Race and racism

Blog Posts
Case Briefs