PhD student Sabrina Solanki discussed her research with members of the Education Policy Lab on April 22nd: "Tenure-Track for Teaching Oriented Faculty: Faculty Characteristics and Impacts on Undergraduate Learning Outcomes."
This paper examines a model of faculty unique to the University of California (UC) system: teaching-oriented faculty with tenure-track appointment. Based on college administrative data collected from six cohorts of students at the University of California Irvine, we examine the impacts of taking a student’s initial course in a field of study with three distinct types of instructors --- traditional tenure-track research faculty, tenure-track teaching faculty, and contingent lecturers --- on students’ current course performance, subsequent enrollment in the same field, and performance in follow-on courses given enrollment. To minimize bias from student sorting by type of instructor, we focus on classes taken during a student’s initial term at UCI and employ a three-way fixed effects model that controls for student individual fixed effects, initial-course fixed effects, and next-class fixed effects. We find consistent evidence that tenure-track teaching faculty have positive impacts on both subsequent enrollment in the same field and performance in the follow-on class given enrollment. The effects are particularly pronounced for academically weak students with a below-UCI-average SAT math score.
Ms. Solanki is a fourth year doctoral student specializing in educational policy and social context. She is advised by Professor George Farkas and Assistant Professor Di Xu. Ms. Solanki's research focuses on teacher effectiveness, student school-to-work transitions, and educational incentives.
The Education Policy (EPSC) Lab is a collection of researchers and students from multiple disciplines whose interests intersect in the field of K-16 education policy. The EPSC Lab serves as a forum for individuals to share research ideas, works-in-progress, and future conference presentations.