Research News

Wang receives emerging scholar award from Council for Study of Community Colleges

April 10, 2015

UW-Madison’s Xueli Wang received the Barbara K. Townsend Emerging Scholar Award from the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC).

She was presented the honor at the CSCC annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday, April 10.

The Barbara K. Townsend Emerging Scholar Award recognizes a scholar for: outstanding theoretical and/or applied research that contributes to the professional body of knowledge about community colleges; demonstrated excellence in teaching, advising and/or mentoring; and, integration of knowledge to teaching and service.

Xueli Wang
Wang is an assistant professor with the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. She also a principal investigator with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) and a Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE) scholar.

In 2013 she was awarded a grant from the Association for Institutional Research and the National Science Foundation to study course-taking patterns among community college students planning to transfer into baccalaureate STEM programs. This past summer, she won another NSF grant worth $1.4 million to study students at Wisconsin’s two-year colleges who aspire to transfer into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors at four-year institutions. The new grant will allow Wang to follow a cohort of 3,000 students in Wisconsin.

And for the previous three years, Wang has worked on yet another grant, this one with fellow WCER Researcher Allen Phelps. The Manufacturing Engineering, Technologist and Technician Education (METTE) project, funded with a $1.2 million NSF grant from the Advanced Technological Education program, is working to improve education for manufacturing workers.

With more than eight million students enrolled at community colleges nationwide, including 43 percent of all undergraduates and a disproportionately large number of minority students, Wang sees enormous potential for her research to improve the education and lives of a large percentage of young Americans fighting to make it into the middle class.