Dr. Toby Park-Gaghan is an Associate Professor of Economics of Education and Education Policy in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Associate Director of the Center for Postsecondary Success.
Dr. Park-Gaghan’s primary research utilizes quasi-experimental methods and large statewide data sets to investigate student outcomes in postsecondary education and explore potential policy initiatives that could improve student success, with a particular focus on non-traditional students. He explores the non-traditional student defined by individual characteristics (race, economic disadvantage, and academic preparation) as well as by the higher education context in which they enroll (community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic Serving Institutions). Previously, he utilized the state database in Texas to examine the impact of beginning at a community college on baccalaureate degree attainment. In addition, he has collaborated on projects examining postsecondary enrollment and completion patterns for minority students within the Texas higher education context.
In his ongoing research, Dr. Park-Gaghan is involved in collaborate work examining student success within the context of the higher education landscape of Florida, with a particular focus on pre-college preparation, developmental education, community colleges, and minority serving institutions. He is a Co-PI on a multi-year project investigating developmental education reform in Florida, funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dr. Park-Gaghan teaches courses on the economics of education, large-scale database management, and advanced quantitative methods. He has recently published articles in the Journal of College Student Development, the Journal of the Professoriate, the Journal of Higher Education, and Research in Higher Education. Dr. Park’s work also been featured in USA Today, Reuters, The National Journal, Inside Higher Education, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.