Tom Swiderski | tswid@live.unc.edu | @tswid59 |CV

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Public Policy at UNC Chapel Hill studying US higher education. I use quantitative methods to examine the effects of education policies, especially those affecting the transition out of high school. I draw on interdisciplinary social science theories to understand impacts on young peoples’ capacity to flourish, including effects on education, career, and civic outcomes, as well as on social and educational inequality. I currently focus on policies that require or encourage high school students to engage in college-level and college-preparatory activity.

I have co-authored two peer-reviewed studies, one (forthcoming at Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis) examining participation and performance in Tennessee’s Statewide Dual-Credit program; the other (published in Social Science Research) estimating the effects of North Carolina’s Early College High Schools on youths’ likelihood of voting and experiencing criminal conviction. In my dissertation, I conduct three studies of college-prep policies that have been widely implemented across US states, including: statewide SAT/ACT testing; math and science course graduation requirements; and additional work on Early College High Schools.

Previously, I worked as a Social Research Specialist at UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute, where I supported partner-driven evaluations of local education, government, and other social service programs. I earned an MSW from UNC Chapel Hill in 2016, and a BA in Psychology from Boston College in 2013.