Dr. Pedro Villarreal III – STAR Fellow

Image result for pedro villarreal IIIDr. Pedro Villarreal III is affiliate/research associate at the Penn Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (Penn AHEAD) in the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania where he conducts research and writes reports on various topics of educational interest. Pete earned his Ph.D. with a major in Higher Education and a minor in Sociology focusing on Quantitative Methods from The Pennsylvania State University. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Texas-Pan American (B.A. and M.S.) and Baylor University (Ed.S.).

He has a research publication and grants program record authoring in various noteworthy educational journal outlets such as Research in Higher Education, Leadership and Policy in Schools, Education Law and Policy Forum, among others. He published a book entitled, Higher Education Policy in America: Foundations, Analysis, and Issues, and is currently authoring two more texts. He has been awarded or has participated in research/project grants totaling more than $800,000 including consulting for an international project on the legal education system in Colombia. The U.S. Department of State recommended award (as a PI) of a $381,803 grant project on an internationally relevant project on the Indonesian higher education system. Recently, he authored a report on the lessons learned about the funding systems and structures used in the US and UK systems of higher education.

In addition to his commitment to research and publication, he has illustrated a commitment to the service of graduate students at his previous institutions. He has served as chair, co-chair, or member on over 20 students’ dissertation committees. Given his research and methods expertise, he has also “informally” assisted many other students on their dissertation research. In addition to his service to students within his academic institutions, he has been an academic referee for journal articles, research and academic grant funding agencies, and academic conferences and symposia.

Finally, and most importantly, in the preceding decade as a member of the faculty, he has been tested as an instructor teaching well over 50 courses where he has employed a variety of teaching and instructional approaches. Pete enjoys teaching higher education finance, higher education policy, legal issues in higher education, international higher education, and research/methods courses.

Pete grew up in one of the poorest counties in the nation and is committed to understanding and advocating for higher education policies that address the issues relevant to minoritized populations, particularly students from low-income and poverty backgrounds. He studies how higher education policies and practices may serve to promote positive educational outcomes and greater equity within society.