Melissa Roderick

Herman Dunlap Smith Professor, Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice



Melissa Roderick is a Professor in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and is a co-director of the Chicago Consortium on School Research. Her work has focused attention on the transition to high school as a critical point in students’ school careers and her new work examines the transition to college among Chicago Public School students. She is an expert in mixing qualitative and quantitative methods in evaluation, and has conducted research on school dropout, grade retention, and the effects of summer programs. Currently, Professor Roderick is involved with a joint initiative with the Chicago Public Schools, assisting the CPS in tracking successive cohorts of Chicago students and building new indicators through analysis of high school transcripts and surveys of students and teachers to assess the preparation of CPS graduates for college. Professor Roderick is a   founding board member and currently serves as board chair of North Lawndale College Preparatory Charter High School. Her work has been supported by the J. P. Morgan Chase Foundation, McDougal Foundation, the Polk Brothers Foundation, the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust, the Spencer Foundation, and the Wallace Foundation. Professor Roderick has been recognized for excellence in teaching by the Crown Family School and was was honored in 2004 by the Chicago Sun-Times as one of “Chicago’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” 


Selected Publications

Roderick, Melissa, Vanessa Coca, Eliza Moeller, and Thomas Kelley-Kemple (2013). From High School to the Future: The Challenge of Senior Year in Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL.
Consortium on Chicago School Research

Roderick, Melissa (2012). Drowning in Data but Thirsty for Analysis: Commentary on Interventions to Promote Data Use, Teachers College Record Volume 114 Number 11, 2012. 

Farrington, Camille. Melissa Roderick, Elaine Allensworth and Jenny Nagaoka (2012). Teaching
adolescents to become learners: The role of non-cognitive factors in shaping school performance, a critical literature review, Chicago, IL. Consortium on Chicago School Research

Coca, Vanessa, David Johnson, Thomas Kelly-Kemple and Melissa Roderick (2012) Working to my potential: The postsecondary experiences of Chicago Public School students in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Chicago, IL. Consortium on Chicago School Research

Roderick, Melissa, Jenny Nagaoka, and Vanessa Coca (2011) “Potholes on the road to college: High school effects in shaping urban students’ participation in college application, search and
enrollment.” Sociology of Education July 2011 84: 178-211.

Roderick, Melissa and Ginger Stoker (2010) “Bringing rigor to the study of rigor: Evaluating the efficacy of Advanced Placement as a strategy for increasing college preparation in urban schools” in Judith Meece and Jacquelynne Eccles. Schooling Effects on Children: Theory, Methods, Applications

Roderick, Melissa, Jenny Nagaoka and Vanessa Coca (2009) College readiness for all: The Challenge forUrban High Schools. The Future of Children. 19,1: 185-210.

Roderick, Melissa, Jenny Nagaoka, Vanessa Coca and Eliza Moeller (2009) Making hard work pay off: Challenges on the road to college for students in Chicago Public Schools’ academically advanced programs Chicago, IL: Consortium on Chicago School Research.


Click here to download a copy of Melissa Roderick’s CV.