Margaret Cahalan, Ph.D, Vice President for Research, Director The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education
Margaret Cahalan is the Vice President for Research, Director of the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, of the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE). Over a 30-year career at she has directed numerous national higher education surveys on the experiences of recent college graduates, as well as evaluations of TRIO programs including the National Evaluation of Student Support Services (SSS) and the National Evaluation of Educational Talent Search. She served as the Principal Investigator for the i-3 grant Using Data to Inform College Access Programming. She currently serves as the Principal Investigator of the NSF funded iStronG project to develop a science curriculum designed to empower Upward Bound Students using systems dynamics modeling tools with a focus on green STEM careers and climate change solutions. Her experience as an external evaluator over many years has led to an increased awareness of the critical need for a more collaborative, empowerment, and action research approach if the evaluations are to have validity and utility. She also has a life-long interest in historical demographic trend data as it relates to equity issues in the United States. She is the lead author on the Pell Institute and PennAHEAD publication series: Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the United States Historical Trend Reports. This project, now in its 6th edition, was begun in 2015 and has a major goal to serve as a tool for tracking progress from an equity perspective in the U.S .higher education system. The project also sponsors Shared Solutions Dialogues at the national, state, and local levels among multiple stakeholders to consider specific action plans to address the issues of systemic inequality in higher education.