Thomas Brock, Research Professor and Director of Teachers College’s Community College Research Center, has been appointed for three years to the Advisory Committee for the Directorate for Education and Human Resources of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The role of the Advisory Committee is to provide advice, guidance, recommendations, and oversight concerning NSF's programs for education and human resource development. Its work includes: helping to set priorities for NSF research grant competitions; creating effective and efficient strategies for assessing the condition of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in the U.S.; evaluating program results; and conducting long-term strategic planning.
The Advisory Committee membership consists of 20-25 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education experts.
“Tom’s appointment is a reflection of the significant contributions he has made to science and is an important step in our efforts to enhance TC’s research profile,” said Carol Scheffner Hammer, TC's Vice Dean for Research and Professor of Communications Sciences & Disorders.
Brock is a nationally recognized higher education researcher who has nearly 30 years of experience in applied research in education and social welfare. On his watch, CCRC has received several major federal grants. This past summer, the Center received nearly $6.3 million from the federal Institute of Education Sciences (IES). One grant, led by Judith Scott-Clayton, is funding the first-ever, comprehensive study of the federal Work-Study program; the other, led by Brock, will support interdisciplinary doctoral training for selected Ph.D. students pursuing careers in applied research in post-secondary education at Teachers College.
In 2019, CCRC was awarded nearly $3 million from the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program to study how guided pathways reforms in community colleges can help students succeed in STEM programs and identify what works so other colleges can jumpstart their reforms. A second grant of $1.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) enabled CCRC to expand its research into English language learners in community colleges.
Prior to leading CCRC, Brock served as commissioner for the National Center for Education Research (NCER) at the federal Institute of Education Sciences (IES), a role in which he increased the center’s focus on postsecondary education and pushed researchers to investigate practical problems facing colleges and students in partnership with postsecondary institutions and college systems. He was also delegated the duties of the director of IES for more than a year.