Melissa Roderick founded the Network for College Success in 2006 when Chicago Public Schools principals approached her looking for strategies to improve school outcomes with the effective use of research and data.
Professor Roderick is the Hermon Dunlap Smith Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, the Senior Director at the UChicago Consortium on School Research (the Consortium), and a member of the University of Chicago’s Committee on Education. She is an expert in urban school reform, high school reform, high stakes testing, minority adolescent development, and school transitions. Professor Roderick leads the Consortium’s research teams on post-secondary studies, the validation study of the impact of rising 9th grade on-track rates, and co-leads a major study of the Teaching Adolescents to Become Learners non-cognitive project. Her work has focused attention on the transition to high school as a critical point in students’ school careers and her current work examines the transition to college among Chicago Public Schools students. She is an expert in mixing qualitative and quantitative methods. Her new work focuses on understanding the relationship between students' high school careers and preparation, their college selection choices and their post-secondary outcomes through linked quantitative and qualitative research. From 2001 to 2003, Professor Roderick served as Director of Planning and Development for the Chicago Public Schools. Professor Roderick has a PhD from the Committee on Public Policy from Harvard University, a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an A.B. from Bowdoin College.