Dr. Darnell Cole is a Professor in Education of Higher Education and Education Psychology at the University of Southern California in the Rossier School of Education. He also serves as Co-Director of the Research Center for Education, Identity and Social Justice. His research areas span K12 & Higher education and focus on race/ ethnicity, diversity, student-faculty interactions, learning, and college student experiences. He has published over 50 research articles, book chapters, and reports. He also co-edited a book with Shafiqa Ahmadi on “Islamophobia in Higher Education: Combating Discrimination and Creating Understanding.” Dr. Cole has also accrued over $13M in research grants and contracts. His scholarship is featured in the major journals for higher education and other related fields, including the Journal of College and Character, Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Journal of Higher Education, Journal of Negro Education, Research in Higher Education, and Review of Higher Education.
Fulbright Specialist (2019 – Present), U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and World Learning. University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.
Faculty Scholarly Recognition (2019), University Club, Amy King Dundon-Berchtold University Club of USC at Stoops Hall
Mentoring Award (2017), USC Rossier School of Education
Outstanding Service (2016), Cherished Hands Foundation
Scholar of Research in Residence (2014-16), Centre for TransCultural Studies, Temasek Polytechnic Institute in Singapore
Visiting Scholar Award (2011) for Wisconsin's Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Weilab), Wisconsin's Center for Educational Research (WCER), UW-Madison's Letters and Science Center for Academic Excellence, UW-Madison's Office of Diversity and Climate, and The Greater Urban League, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Outstanding Service (2002) to the School of Education, Dean’s Award, Marquette University
Best Teacher Award (2000), Marquette University
Holmstedt Dissertation Award (1999), Indiana University
Dissertation: Faculty-Student Interactions of African Americans and
White College Students: A Sociocultural Examination
EDUC 681, "Research, Policy, and Practice in Urban Education"
EDUC 523, “Diversity”
EDHP 503, “Identity & Diversity” (“Politics of Difference”)
EDUC 657, “Social Foundation of Research”
EDUC 708, “Advanced Student Development Theory”
EDUC 503, “Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning in Higher Education”
June 2020-Present Fulbright Specialist- Distinguished Visiting Scholar at University of Technology Sydney in Australia.(COVID Delay)
2022 – Present Professor
2021 – Present Rossier Faculty Chair, University of Southern California (USC) Primary responsibility is to lead Rossier Faculty Council, School-wide Faculty Meetings, and Serve as Faculty Senator to USC Faculty Senate.
2017 – Present Co-Founder & Co-Director, Research Center for Education, Identity and Social Justice
2006 – 2021 Associate Professor (Tenured, 2009)
2008 – 2011 Ph.D. Program Chair, University of Southern California (USC)
2011 (Fall) Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Accreditation Team for Capacity Program Review (CPR).
2003 – 2006 Associate Professor (Tenured, 2006), University of Hawai`i at Mānoa (UHM)
2002 – 2003 Designer and Co-director of the College Student Personnel Program in the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership, School of Education, Marquette University (MU)
Coordinator of Educational Leadership’s Program Redesign Department of Educational Policy and Leadership, School of Education, Marquette University (MU)
Coordinator of Graduate Programs in Educational Leadership Department of Educational Policy and Leadership, School of Education, Marquette University (MU)
Assistant Professor, Marquette University (MU) Department of Educational Policy and Leadership, School of Education
The Center for Education, Identity and Social Justice (RossierJustice) at the USC Rossier School of Education was founded by Professor Shafiqa Ahmadi on Feb. 1, 2017, and launched with Professors Shafiqa Ahmadi and Darnell Cole as co-directors. In RossierJustice, we explore how multiple identities, such as religion, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability intersect to foster shared values and democratic ideals. We examine and investigate student, staff, and faculty experiences within K12 and Higher Education institutions to inform and transform policies and practices that facilitate transformation in classrooms, campus environments, and institutions. We envision socially just and inclusive educational environments where students are prepared to be civically engaged citizens.
The mission and vision of the RossierJustice are based on three key elements:
- Rigorous primary and secondary research
- Policy, practice, curriculum development, and training informed by research
- A commitment and engagement to social justice through activities and events.
All of RossierJustice’s initiatives will include aspects of each key element.
Prof. Cole has published over 50 research articles, book chapters, and a co-edited book; he has also accrued over $13M in research grants and contracts.
Selected Research Grants (2021-2022):
Department of Education. LA Promise Fund, South LA Black Student Programming. USC Evaluation and Assessment Plan (Evaluators: Darnell Cole, Christopher Newman & Shafiqa Ahmadi)
LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) Black Student Achievement Plan (BSAP). Evaluation and Assessment, RAND and University of Southern California (Principal Investigators: Darnell Cole, Shafiqa Ahmadi, & Alice Huguet)
John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation Grant Award with support from the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Youth Development Department, City of Los Angeles, University of Southern California (Principal Investigator: Darnell Cole, Christopher Newman, & Shafiqa Ahmadi)