Sara Goldrick-Rab and her colleagues are examining the effects of community college attendance. They found that enrolling at a community college appears to penalize more-advantaged students who otherwise would have attended four-year colleges. However, enrolling at a community college has a modest positive effect on bachelor’s degree completion for disadvantaged students who otherwise would not have attended college; these students represent the majority of community college-goers.
Sara Goldrick-Rab is associate professor of educational policy studies and sociology at UW-Madison. She is also the Senior Scholar at the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education, and an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty, Center for Financial Security, LaFollette School of Public Affairs, and Wisconsin Center for Educational Research. She is also the Project Director for the What Works Clearinghouse's expansion into postsecondary education. As a scholar-activist and sociologist with a deep commitment to bringing research into policy and practice, Dr. Goldrick-Rab's research explores policies aimed at reducing socioeconomic and racial inequalities. She was named a 2010 William T. Grant Scholar for her project "Rethinking College Choice in America." She was also a 2006 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation postdoctoral fellow. She is the co-author of Putting Poor People to Work: How the Work-First Idea Eroded College Access the Poor (Russell Sage, 2006), which was a finalist for the C. Wright Mills award. Her research has been published in journals such as Sociology of Education and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis and been financially supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Spencer Foundation, American Educational Research Association, William T. Grant Foundation, and many others.