Karen Arnold

Associate Professor

Lynch School of Education


Dr. Arnold is an expert in college readiness, access to higher education and college persistence of low-income and first-generation students, high school valedictorians, and college students in general. She studies the connections between education and adult life; her research follows “best case” groups of students (high school valedictorians, Rhodes Scholars, and low income students of color from innovative high schools) across the transitions from high school to college to career. Dr. Arnold’s work centers on the ways in which individual, organizational, and social factors come together to perpetuate inequality in individuals’ educational opportunities, higher education experiences, and subsequent life chances. 

She has published numerous articles in academic journals and is the author or co-author of five books including: The Ecology of College Readiness (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012); College Student Development and Academic Life: Psychological, Intellectual, Social, and Moral Issues (New York: Garland); Remarkable Women: Perspectives on Female Talent Development (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press); Lives of Promise: What Becomes of High School Valedictorians (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass); Beyond Terman: Contemporary Longitudinal Studies of Giftedness and Talent (Norwood, NJ: Ablex)

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