CREO Alumni & Affiliate; Researcher, American Institutes for Research
Megan Austin (Ph.D., Sociology, University of Notre Dame) is a researcher at American Institutes for Research (AIR). Her research focuses on how educational policies and school organizational responses to policy shape student outcomes. At AIR, she partners with state education agencies and other education organizations to build capacity for research use through work with the Midwest Regional Educational Laboratory (REL Midwest) and the State Support Network. She also is designing and directing several research studies related to school choice in Indiana, Georgia, and Texas.
Megan’s published and in process work focuses on school choice programs and students’ academic course taking in high school. She has also published on the promises and challenges of research-practice partnerships. Her dissertation, funded by an AERA/NSF Dissertation Grant, developed a new measure of high school curricular intensity and found that although students’ academic course taking has increased over the past several decades and is strongly associated with greater odds of enrolling in postsecondary education, socioeconomic inequalities in course taking have remained steady or increased over time. Her school choice research is published or forthcoming in the Journal of School Choice, EducationNext, the Handbook of Research on School Choice, 2nd Edition (Routledge, forthcoming), and School Choice at the Crossroads: Research Perspectives (Routledge, forthcoming).
Megan also holds a Master’s in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame, a Master’s in Humanities from the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor’s in English and American Studies from the University of Notre Dame. She also is a visiting scholar in the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota.