- Equity, access, and retention issues for Latina/o students and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students
- Role of race/ethnicity and gender on student success and STEM identity development
- Role of community colleges in equitable outcomes
Dr. Rodriguez’s research addresses issues of equity, access, and retention for Latina/o students in the higher education pipeline. As a researcher looking at these issues from a human sciences perspective, she focuses on the intersections of race/ethnicity and gender for STEM students and the role that community colleges play in creating equitable outcomes. Her research seeks to improve our understanding of STEM identity development and inform how national policy and institutional efforts can be enhanced to create equitable outcomes for Latina/o students within the STEM disciplines.
Dr. Rodriguez has worked with the project Engaging Latino Students for Transfer and College Completion a national initiative at the Center for Community College Student Engagement, focused on helping institutions strengthen Latina/o student engagement, transfer, and college completion. Sarah has also served as a New Mathways Project Mentorship Program Coach for the Charles A. Dana Center, supporting college implementation of the four principles of the NMP Model, including multiple mathematics pathways, acceleration to complete college level math courses quickly, and intentional use of strategies.
Dr. Rodriguez has also been involved with the national initiative Improving Outcomes for Men of Color in Community Colleges Initiative at the Center for Community College Student Engagement and served as the Research Coordinator for Project M.A.L.E.S. (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success), both of which focused on improving educational outcomes for men of color. As the Research Coordinator for Project M.A.L.E.S., a research and programmatic initiative to increase college retention and graduation rates of Latino males, she worked with the organization’s Executive Director and Founder, in collaboration with K-12, community colleges, and four-year institutions across the State of Texas, to conduct in-depth qualitative research and shape recommendations for policy and practice concerning the experiences of Latino male students.
During her academic career, Sarah has presented at conferences at the national, regional, and local levels and authored journal articles, book chapters, policy briefs, and other publications on Latina/o student success. At a national level, Dr. Rodriguez has been named a Gates Millennium Scholar from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an American Educational Research Association (AERA) Emerging Scholar, an American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) Fellow, and a Carlos J. Vallejo Research Fellow (AERA).
She also serves as an Affiliate Faculty Member for the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3), a national research and practice center that partners with community colleges to support their capacity in advancing outcomes for men of color and Project M.A.L.E.S., a multifaceted initiative centered upon supporting Latino males and other men of color through research, mentoring, and a statewide P-16 consortium.
Ph.D., Higher Education Leadership – Concentration: Mexican American Studies, University of Texas at Austin
M.S., Educational Leadership & Policy Studies – College Student Personnel, University of Tennessee
B.A. English & Spanish, Texas A&M University – Commerce