Vanessa Coca is an IES-PIRT Research fellow at the Research Alliance for New York City Schools. Vanessa brings strong experience with quantitative research methods; she is particularly well versed in quasi-experimental designs. Her work focuses on college access, choice, and completion for traditionally underrepresented college students. She is currently collaborating with other researchers and district leaders to develop better early warning and college readiness indicators for high school students, and to identify supports that help students succeed in higher education.
Before joining the Research Alliance, Vanessa worked at the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR), where she contributed to a series of highly regarded reports on Chicago Public School students’ transitions to college (see list to the right). At CCSR, Vanessa developed a commitment to research that incorporates a wide range of perspectives and is accessible and useful to broad audiences. As a first-generation college goer herself, Vanessa is interested in understanding barriers to college success as well as the potential of high schools and institutions of higher learning to foster social mobility.
Vanessa received an M.P.P. and a B.A. from the University of Chicago. She is a doctoral candidate in the Sociology of Education program at NYU Steinhardt.