Darnell  Cole

Darnell Cole

Associate Professor of Education

PhD in Higher Education Administration & Education Psychology Indiana University Masters in Higher Education Administration Indiana University Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy University of North Carolina at Charlotte Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Contact info

darnellc@usc.edu(213) 821-4363Curriculum Vitae


Higher Education


Expert on college student experiences and performance, including those of African American, Latino, Muslim and Asian students

Darnell Cole


Dr. Darnell Cole is an Associate Professor of Education with an emphasis in higher education and education psychology. His areas of research include race/ ethnicity, diversity, college student experiences, and learning. Previously he served as an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Hawaii, Manoa (Honolulu). He was also a faculty member at Marquette University. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina, at Charlotte and received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is on the review board of the Journal of College Student Development.

He has published over 25 articles and book chapters and is featured in the major journals for higher education and other related fields including The Journal of Higher Education, Journal of College Student Development, NASPA Journal, Journal of Classroom Behavior, and Journal of Creative Behavior. His most recent article “Constructive Criticism: The Role of Faculty Feedback on African American and Hispanic Students’ Educational Gains” appears in the Journal of College Student Development.



The Center for Education, Identity and Social Justice at the USC Rossier School of Education was launched on Feb. 1, 2017, with Professors Shafiqa Ahmadi and Darnell Cole as co-directors. The Center facilitates productive and meaningful interactions among students, educators and community members. In particular, we examine how multiple identities such as religion, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation and disability intersect to foster shared values and democratic ideals. We envision socially just and inclusive educational environments, where students are prepared to be civically engaged citizens.

The mission and vision of the Center is 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 the Center’s initiatives will include aspects of each key element.

Professional Experience:

2017 Co-Director, Research Center for Education, Identity, and Social Justice (CEISJ)


2008 – 2011 Ph.D. Program Chair, University of Southern California (USC) Primary responsibility is research, teaching, and service.


2006 Associate Professor (Tenured, 2009)


2011 (Fall) Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Accreditation Team for Capacity Program Review (CPR).


Associate Professor (Tenured, 2006), University of Hawai`i at Mānoa (UHM) Primary responsibility is teaching, research, and service.


Designer and Co-director of the College Student Personnel Program

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


Honors and Awards:

2017 (Fall) Mentoring Award, USC Rossier School of Education

2016 (Fall) Outstanding Service, Cherished Hands Foundation

2014 – 2016 Scholar of Research in Residence, Centre for TransCultural Studies, Temasek Polytechnic Institute in Singapore

2011 (Fall) Visiting Scholar Award for the 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.

2002 Outstanding Service to the School of Education, Dean’s award.

Summer 2000 Best Teacher Award, Marquette University

1998-1999 Holmstedt Dissertation Award, Indiana University
Dissertation: Faculty-Student Interactions of African American and
White College Students: A Sociocultural Examination

Fellowship recipient for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Conference and Pre-Conference attendance entitled - “Embracing the Minority Scholar”. - 1998

1996 Selected to participate in the Doctoral Colloquium at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Annual Conference. - 1996

Selected as a delegate from Indiana University to attend the pre-conference seminar for the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). - 1995

1995 Recognized for excellence in the use of “Student Development Theory” during the Masters Case Study Challenge at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Annual Conference.



EDUC 681, " Research, Policy and Practice in Urban education"

EDUC 523, “Diversity”

EDHP 503, “Politics of Difference”

EDUC 657, “Social Foundation of Research”

EDUC 708, “Advanced Student Development Theory”

EDUC 503, “Curriculum, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education”

EDHP 657, “Management of Student Services in Higher Education”

Selected Publications

  • REFEREED JOURNAL ARTICLES  (co-author with students~)

    Cole, D., Kitchen, J. A., & Kezar, A. (2018). Examining a Comprehensive College Transition Program: An Account of Iterative Mixed Methods Longitudinal Survey Design. Research in Higher Education, 1-22.

     ~ Gehrke, S., & Cole, D. (2017). A Multi-Level Examination of the Relationship Between Student-Centered Faculty Teaching Culture and Spiritual Development in College. Journal of College and Character18(4), 225-245.

     ~Zhou, J., & Cole, D. (2017). Comparing international and American students: involvement in college life and overall satisfaction. Higher Education, 73(5), 655-672.

     ~Zhou, J., & Cole, D. (2016). Learning and Academic Self-Concept: Comparing International and American Students. Campus Support Services, Programs, and Policies for International Students, 77.

     ~Castellanos, M., & Cole, D. (2015). Disentangling the Impact of Diversity Courses: Examining the Influence of Diversity Course Content on Students' Civic Engagement. Journal of College Student Development, 56(8), 794-811.

     ~Cole, D., & Zhou, J. (2014). Diversity and Collegiate Experiences Affecting Self-Perceived Gains in Critical Thinking. The Journal of General Education, 63(1), 15-34.

    ~Cole, D., & Zhou, J. (2014). Do diversity experiences help college students become more civically minded? Applying Banks’ multicultural education framework. Innovative Higher Education, 39(2), 109-121.

     Cole, D., & Griffin, K. A. (2013). Advancing the Study of Student-Faculty Interaction: A Focus on Diverse Students and Faculty. In Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research (pp. 561-611). Springer Netherlands.

     Cole, D. (2011). Debunking Anti-intellectualism: An examination of African American Students' Intellectual Self-Concept. Review of Higher Education, 34(2), 259-282.

    ~Scholly, K., Katz, A. Cole, D., & Heck, R. (2010). Examining the Antecedents and Consequences of College Students’ High-Risk Sexual Health Behaviors. Journal of American College Health, 25(4), 176-185.

    Cole, D. (2010). The Role of Faculty Contact on Minority Students’ Educational Gains. Journal of the Professoriate, http://jotp.icbche.org/.

    Cole, D. (2010). The Effects of Student-Faculty Interactions on Minority Students’ College Grades: Differences between Aggregated and Disaggregated Data. Journal of the Professoriate, http://jotp.icbche.org/.

    Cole, D. & Ahmadi, S. (2010). Reconsidering Campus Diversity: An Examination of Muslim Students' Experiences. Journal of Higher Education, 81(2), 121-139

    ~Cole, D. & Espinoza, A. (2009). When Gender is Considered: Racial ethnic minority students in STEM majors. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 15, 263-277 

                Cole, D. (2008). Constructive Criticism: The Role of Faculty Feedback on African American and Hispanic Students’ Educational Gains. Journal of College Student Development, 49(6), 587-605. 

    ~Cole, D. & Espinoza, A. (2008). Improving the Academic Performance of Latinos in STEM Majors. Journal of College Student Development, 49(4), 285-300.

     Cole, D. (2007). Do Interracial Interactions Matter?: An examination of Student Faculty Contact and Intellectual Self-concept. Journal of Higher Education, 78(3), 248-272. 

    ~Orsuwan, M. & Cole, D. (2007).  The moderating effects of race/ethnicity on the experience of Asian American and Pacific Islander community college students.  Asian American Policy Review, 16, 61-86. 

    Burkard, A., Cole, D., Ott, M., & Stoflet, T. (2005). Entry-level competencies of new student affairs professionals: A delphi study. NASPA Journal, 42(3), http://publications.naspa.org/naspajournal/vol42/iss3/art2 .


         Cole, D., Bennett, C. & Thompson, J. (2003). Teacher education in a collaborative multicultural classroom: Implications for critical-mass-minority and all-minority classes at a predominantly White University. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 38(1), 17-28.

                Cole, D., & Ahmadi, S. (2003). Perceptions and experiences of Muslim women who veil on college campuses. Journal of College Student Development, 44(1), 47-66.

    Jones, L., Castellanos, J., & Cole, D. (2002). Examining the Ethnic/Minority Student Experience at Predominantly White Institutions: A Case Study. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 1(1), 19-39. [Note: The orders of names are incorrectly listed and actually should have been Castellanos, J., Cole, D., & Jones, L.].

     Anaya, G., & Cole, D.  (2001). Latina/o student achievement: Exploring the influence of student-faculty interaction on college grades.  Journal of College Student Development, 42(1), 3-14.

     Bennett, C., Cole D., & Thompson, J. (2000). Preparing teachers of color at a predominantly White university: A case study of project TEAM. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16(4), 445-64.

    Cole, D., Sugioka, H., & Yamagata-Lynch, L. (1999). Supportive classroom environments for creativity in higher education. Journal of Creative Behavior, 33(4), 277-293.

    Cole, D. (1995). Cost and quality in higher education: Finding the balance. Journal of the Indiana University Student Personnel Association, 2, 11-14.

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