Vanessa Coca

Senior Researcher

Vanessa Coca is a senior researcher in the Workforce Development program at AIR. Her primary responsibilities include directing, designing, and conducting research projects and activities related to postsecondary student success initiatives. Dr. Coca also provides coordination and thought leadership as part of the leadership team for the Postsecondary Practice Area Hub at AIR.

Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Coca was the director of research at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice, where she provided oversight and leadership over multiple research studies aimed understanding college students’ experiences with basic needs as well as evaluating innovative interventions aimed at addressing students’ basic needs.

Dr. Coca also has extensive experience conducting longitudinal, mixed-methods, experimental, and quasi-experimental research on issues of college readiness, access, and success. Moreover, her tenure at two research-practice partnerships, University of Chicago Consortium on School Research and the Research Alliance for New York City Schools, has made her adept at conducting research that informs and engages practitioners and policymakers.

Vanessa Coca

Ph.D., New York University School of Culture, Education and Human Development; M.P.P. and B.A., Public Policy, University of Chicago