Associate Dean for Research and Administration
College of Health and Human Sciences
Northern Illinois University
Topics of Expertise: Childcare (Providers and Systems) / Public Policy / Work & Family
Rachel A. Gordon is Associate Dean for Research and Administration and Professor of Health Studies in the College of Health and Human Sciences at Northern Illinois University. She has a B.S. in psychology from Pennsylvania State University and an MPP and PhD in public policy from the University of Chicago. She received pre-doctoral training in demography and post-doctoral training in work-family research at the NORC Research Centers as well as through the Workshop on Cluster-Randomized Trials in Education at Northwestern University.
Gordon’s research broadly aims to measure and model the contexts of children and families’ lives, often using longitudinal data sets. She has examined numerous contextual and social factors that affect children and families, including the use of child care and preschool quality measures for high-stakes policy purposes, the health outcomes of child care and maternal employment, the implications of teenagers’ looks for their social and academic achievement, the association between community context and child well-being, the relationships between youth gang participation and delinquency, the causes and consequences of grandmother co-residential support for young mothers, and the evaluation of an innovative job program for young couples.
Her most recent intellectual pursuits advance a) understanding regarding the cost, quality, and adaptability of educational products whose creation and use are publicly funded, and b) developing cost-effective continuous measure improvement approaches that center equity by engaging multiple stakeholders in culturally sustaining co-creation.