My thesis served as a foundation for understanding the complex messaging of an educational program at a grand scale, and helped me to appreciate the perspectives of the many stakeholders involved in a successful initiative.
The thesis project is a publishable-quality document that is a secondary review or analysis of some area of the sociology of education literature, or a thesis based on original research, including a report of findings and a review of relevant scholarly literature. We encourage students to begin thinking about their area of specialization as soon as they enter to the program and to begin to formulate a thesis project by their second semester. This allows students to choose courses which are relevant to their thesis work.
All students do an oral presentation of their thesis work. We hold public sessions each year during which students deliver an oral summary of their thesis work and faculty and students have the opportunity to engage in a brief discussion of the work.
Recent MA Thesis Projects
- Jalen Ballard. Talk Should not be Cheap, but Action Provoking: A Literature Review of Educational Inequality in the US.
- Stewart Burns. Equity and Access in New York City's High School Choice Policy: A Quantitative Analysis of School Supply, Quality, and Distribution.
- Jessica Coffrin-St. Julien. Educating “Everybody Else’s Children:” Immigration and Education Policy in Arizona and Alabama.
- Shannon Deere. Local Accountability in the ESSA Era: Lessons from the California CORE Districts.
- Ismanuela Denis. School to Prison Pipeline: Criminalization of the Black Body.
- Casey Escola. Teaching Empathy, Uncovering the Need for Greater Emotional and Social Learning in Early Childhood Education.
- Catalina Figueroa-Iglesias. Teachers Matter: Building Equity and Quality in Education through Strong Educators.
- Noor Jones-Bey. Liminal. Labor: An Interview Study of Non-Credentialed Educators Working in Socio-Economically Segregated School Contexts.
- Dena Lagomarsino. Living in the Contradictions: LGBTQ Educators and Socially Just Pedagogies.
- Jessica Moskowitz. The Political Rhetoric of Universal Pre-K: Lessons from Boston and New York City.
- Uyen Nguyen. A Case STudy of the Role of Relationship in School Community.
- Leah Powers. Understanding Educational Inequality: Latino Students and Academic Achievement in the US.
- Nate Shalev. Finding the Unicorn Within: Re-Imagining LGBTQ Safe Space for Youth through Drag.
- DeAndra Smith. Climate Change and Education: Post-disaster Dissemination Policies.
- Alejandro Tinajero. Diverse High-Quality Pre-K in New York City. Implementing Diversity as a Component of High Quality Pre-K to Create Equity.
- Godwina Titus. Aspirations and Algorithms: Exploring Choice through NYC High School match Process for Low-Income Students of Color.
- Sara Trongone. Towards an Egalitarian Philosophy of Praxis: Exploring the Educative Moment in Ranciere's Politics.
- Holly Williamson. Confidence in American Education: A Longitudinal Analysis of Confidence Shifts Compared Across Social Class and Race.
I decided on the actual topic for my thesis while at a drag show. I realized that the space had aspects of what I hoped schools can feel like for students… exploring gender in ways that were both celebratory and critical. Having this expertise in the subject matter gave me the confidence to apply to later roles at Girls Who Code and Lesbians Who Tech + Allies (my current role).
I was hired by the University of Florida as a Research Assistant assisting the data collection team for Florida DOE’s educational policy initiative regarding some of the largest educational achievement gaps in the nation. Honestly, I think my thesis played a huge part in helping me land this job since I focused it on inequality and achievement among Latinx students specifically.