Pitzer College Alumnus Thomas Brock ’83 named Commissioner of the National Center for Education Research

Thomas Brock '83
Thomas Brock ’83

Claremont, Calif. (January 11, 2013) — Pitzer College alumnus Thomas W. Brock ’83 has been named commissioner of the National Center for Education Research (NCER), one of four centers of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) that supports research designed to address education issues in the US.

“I am pleased to have Tom join the IES senior leadership team as the commissioner of the National Center for Education Research,” IES Director John Q. Easton said. “His breadth of research knowledge and experience in the postsecondary realm will serve IES well as we continue to advance and support top-notch research aimed at finding solutions to important education problems. The other Center commissioners and I look forward to working closely with Tom.”

From 2004 until being named NCER Commissioner, Brock served as director of the Young Adults and Postsecondary Education Division at Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC). He led MDRC’s higher education projects, focusing primarily on finding ways to increase academic achievement, persistence and completion among low-income college students. Some of these projects included Opening Doors, an evaluation of instructional reforms, enhanced student services and scholarship programs at community colleges; Achieving the Dream, a national initiative to help community colleges make better use of data to improve instruction and services; and Completion by Design, an initiative to increase community college graduation rates by creating greater structure and support for students.

Under the IES-funded National Center for Postsecondary Research, Brock oversaw evaluations of learning communities and summer enrichment programs for students in need of developmental education. Before joining MDRC, Brock served as an evaluation officer at the Wallace Foundation, where he managed a portfolio of research and evaluation grants in education, youth service and the arts, in addition to developing survey instruments and research protocols. Brock has written or co-authored numerous journal articles and publications on postsecondary education.

Brock holds a BA in anthropology from Pitzer College, a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University, and a PhD in social welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was has served on the Pitzer Alumni Association Board since 2005 and was the recipient of the 2008 Pitzer College Distinguished Alumni Award.


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