Rossier News

Julie Posselt named new director of CERPP

Higher education expert to lead USC Rossier’s Center for Enrollment, Research, Policy and Practice.

By Kianoosh Hashemzadeh Published on

The Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice (CERPP) has named Professor of Education Julie Posselt as its new executive director. 

CERPP’s mission is to foster equity in educational access, college admissions and outcomes. The center’s current activities include certifying admissions specialists through its Leadership in Enrollment Management program, convening an annual conference that brings together the nation’s thought leaders in college admissions and enrollment, operating the USC College Advising Corps (CAC) which reaches over 9,000 students in Los Angeles schools and conducting pioneering research on college admissions. 

“CERPP is a leader in positively shaping the direction of postsecondary access, and I wholeheartedly share its commitment to making the most of connections among research, policy, and practice,” said Posselt. “I am excited to contribute to their mission and build upon their current strategy,”

Professor of Practice Jerry Lucido founded the center in 2007 and served as its executive director until 2022. He is now a scholar-in-residence at the center. “From its inception, the Center has been fully dedicated to advancing equity in college enrollment and results through research, teaching, and service. Julie Posselt is the ideal scholar and leader to fulfill this mission and to take it to new levels of impact. I am thrilled that she has accepted this appointment,” said Lucido. 

Posselt, who was recently promoted to professor of education at USC Rossier, is also associate dean in the USC Graduate School and president of the Sociology of Education Association. Her work focuses on admissions at the graduate and undergraduate levels, equity and inclusion in STEM, and culture and wellbeing in higher education. A six-time NSF principal investigator, she is also an internationally recognized scholar of graduate and professional education. Her major awards in 2023 include the expansion of the Equity in Graduate Education Consortium with a $1.2 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation for a mixed methods study of admissions rubrics. Posselt will continue this work in partnership with the Pullias Center of Higher Education where she will remain a faculty affiliate.

A prolific author, Posselt has published research articles in numerous academic journals and has written two books, Equity in Science: Representation, Culture, and the Dynamics of Change in Graduate Education and Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping. She co-edited Higher Education Administration for Equity and Social Justice with USC Rossier professor Adrianna Kezar.

Under Posselt’s leadership, CERPP is anticipated to continue its current projects and programs and institutionalize successful research-practice partnerships that Posselt has created during her time at USC. “My team has been dedicated to making the social science of equity in higher education accessible and actionable, with a focus on what we can do in admissions, recruitment, and mentoring to support access and success. It’s a critical time for this work, and leading CERPP represents a natural extension of it.” As executive director, she looks forward to growing the Equity in Graduate Education Research Hub and creating a visiting scholars program.

“Julie Posselt is a highly respected thought leader in higher education and has published groundbreaking research on equity in graduate admissions and STEM. Under her tutelage, I know CERPP will continue its impressive on-the-ground work to make college attainable for thousands of young Angelenos as well as continue to conduct research that shapes the national conversation on enrollment policies and practices. We at USC Rossier congratulate Julie Posselt on her appointment,” said Pedro Noguera, dean of USC Rossier School of Education.

Posselt will begin the new appointment on February 1. 

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