Closing the Achievement Gap Dr. José Luis Santos, Vice President, Higher Education Policy and Practice, The Education Trust

Closing the Achievement Gap

The Education Trust is dedicated to closing the achievement gaps that separate low-income students and students of color from other youth. The organization fulfills its mission through a strategy that combines rigorous analysis and reporting of education data, on-the-ground technical support to educators working to improve results for students, and ardent advocacy at both the state and national level. The Trust is a widely respected voice for improvements in education at all levels, with an unmatched reputation for integrity and effectiveness that has earned the trust of funders, practitioners, and policymakers.

Dr. José Luis Santos was selected as the Vice President, Higher Education Policy and Practice at The Education Trust, and officially joined The Trust on August 4, 2014.

Dr. Santos recently served as an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education & Psychology at Pepperdine University, and was previously an assistant professor in the Higher Education and Organizational Change division at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. He was also an affiliated scholar of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA and an affiliated faculty member of the Chicano Studies Research Center. As a scholar, he wrote extensively on the economics and finance of higher education, including access and affordability for college students, especially Latinos and veterans.

As Ed Trust's Vice President of Higher Education Policy and Practice, José Luis will oversee all aspects of the organization's higher education work, which is focused on improving access, completion, affordability, and post-enrollment success for low-income students and students of color. His initial priorities will include pushing equity to the forefront of national higher education discussions, developing and advocating for stronger policies, creating useful tools for benchmarking institutional service to low-income students and students of color, and supporting partner organizations and practitioners.

"Student debt has spiraled out of control, college completion rates are devastatingly low, and there are still huge gaps in opportunity and postsecondary attainment for different groups of young Americans," said Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust. "While these issues seem daunting, change is within our reach - and José Luis is the right person to lead us in pushing for that change. His research experience, policy background, passion, and personal investment in higher education for underserved students make him uniquely qualified to lead our higher education team."