Researcher Joins Class of Greater Texas Foundation Fellows
Economics Teacher Rodney Andrews to Use 3-Year Grant For Project on Student Success in College
Dr. Rodney Andrews, director of the Texas Schools Project, is the first UT Dallas researcher to be named a Greater Texas Foundation Faculty Fellow.
Dr. Rodney Andrews, director of the Texas Schools Project at The University of Texas at Dallas, has been named a member of the second cohort of Greater Texas Foundation Faculty Fellows. The three-year program builds research and teaching abilities of Texas college tenure-track faculty working in areas related to student success.
Andrews will receive more than $81,000 over three years to support his research project, “The Effects of Targeted Recruitment Programs Implemented by Texas’ Flagship Universities.” Fellows also gain access to professional development opportunities and guidance related to their intended career trajectories.
“The Greater Texas Foundation’s mission is to ensure that all Texas students are prepared for, have access to, persist in and complete a postsecondary education. Its mission closely aligns with my own research interests. I am interested in a deeper understanding of the factors that promote access to postsecondary education and the benefits that it can deliver to both individuals and society.”
The Greater Texas Foundation is a statewide education grant-maker based in Bryan. From 2001 through 2013, the foundation made 495 grants that totaled nearly $42 million.
Andrews’ project attempts to address academic, social and financial barriers that deter students from succeeding in college.
“The Greater Texas Foundation awards these grants to only the very best researchers in this area, and the fact that Dr. Andrews received this grant speaks volumes.”
Recent studies suggest that low-income, high-achieving students often do not choose the appropriate institutions, Andrews said. His research focuses on whether they benefit from attending relatively selective postsecondary education institutions.
“They might be better served by going to more selective institutions where they will perhaps receive additional support — access to more academically able peers, better instruction,” Andrews said. “So this research has found that if you give these low-income, high-achieving students information on the set of institutions they can gain entrance to, they can change their college application behavior.”
That finding is exciting, Andrews said, but the returns are unknown. He plans to examine the impact of targeted recruitment programs by the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University in College Station on the likelihood of graduation, choice of major, and success academically and in the labor market.
The award will fund an economics graduate student to assist Andrews in this research at the Texas Schools Project, using data at the UT Dallas Education Research Center.
Dr. Denis Dean, dean of EPPS, said this highly competitive grant from the foundation demonstrates the quality and significance of the work by Andrews and the Texas Schools Project.
“The Greater Texas Foundation awards these grants to only the very best researchers in this area, and the fact that Dr. Andrews received this grant speaks volumes about how not only we here at UTD value his work, but also how his work is seen by others in the education community,” Dean said.
The three other individuals selected for the cohort were from Texas State University, The University of Texas at Arlington and The University of Texas at Austin.
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