Michelle Hodara

(she, her, hers)

Senior Leader, Applied Research & Equitable Evaluation

We know the value of postsecondary education and training for individual and societal well-being, yet there are worrisome trends in gaps in college enrollment and completion for historically underserved students. Motivated by these facts, Michelle aims to provide high-quality, accessible, and actionable research and evaluation that can contribute to a more equitable education system and society. She conducts research and evaluation that educators, policymakers, and partners can use to improve systems, practices, and policies and positively impact students and their families and communities.

After college, Michelle taught special education in Zuni, New Mexico, and developmental reading and writing at the University of New Mexico-Gallup, a two-year college. In these roles, Michelle worked with dedicated, excellent educators; learned from and taught amazing students; and observed systemic barriers. She was drawn back to economics, her first passion, to better understand these barriers and use applied research to investigate how to address them. At Education Northwest, Michelle has the opportunity to conduct applied research that contributes to a more equitable society.


  • Ph.D., Economics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • B.A., Economics and Political Science, Columbia University

I volunteer with...

Oregon Career Information System Board

If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be...

My hometown of Makawao, Maui

The strangest thing in my refrigerator is...

6 types of hot sauce

Michelle Hodara

Areas of Expertise

  • College access and completion
  • Experimental and quasi-experimental methods
  • Mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) for program evaluation
  • Technical assistance with higher education institutions

Blog Posts

Why Postsecondary Education Matters

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.
Case Briefs & Publications

Partnering to Support Students Holistically

Colleges and universities are partnering with community-based organizations to support students holistically—including their basic needs. We looked at what makes these partnerships successful.

Supporting Tribal College Student Success with Data

Education Northwest partnered with Stone Child College to help them better understand the educational and career outcomes its students, many of whom are members of the Chippewa Cree Tribe, experienced after they left the school.

Future Connect Evaluation

At Portland Community College (PCC), first-generation and low-income students can receive support to overcome those barriers through Future Connect, a scholarship and advising program.