RANDALL F. CLEMENS, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Administrative and Instructional Leadership at St. John's University's School of Education and Research Affiliate at the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the USC Rossier School of Education.
His research—incorporating perspectives from sociology and public policy—pertains to three interrelated themes: First, he focuses on how growing up in low-income neighborhoods influences pathways to college and career for Black and Latino male teenagers. Based on the findings from a neighborhood ethnography in South Central Los Angeles, he is preparing several manuscripts.
Second, Clemens explores the role of qualitative research to improve public policy. He published, (w/ W.G. Tierney), "Qualitative Research and Public Policy: The Challenges of Relevance and Trustworthiness." The two authors presented the findings of a follow-up article—“The Utility of Qualitative Research to Inform Public Policy”—at the 2014 Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education. In relation, he serves as an Emerging Education Policy Scholar at Thomas B. Fordham Institute and American Enterprise Institute; the program engages promising young scholars in order to maximize the impact of their research among multiple policy audiences.
And third, Clemens investigates innovative methods to design, conduct, and share qualitative research. He is authoring Using Social Media for Qualitative Research (forthcoming, w/ Sage).
Clemens teaches graduate courses related to administrative leadership, research design, and the social and cultural contexts of urban education. In the past, for example, he has taught EDU 7900, Qualitative Research Methods (syllabus), and EDU 5571, Administrative Leadership and Planned Change (syllabus).
He engages in service activities related to college access, readiness, and success. For four years, he participated as a mentor with I AM (Increasing Access via Mentoring), a program to improve college access among low-income students. He also mentors and advises graduate students.
Clemens received his Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy from University of Southern California, MSEd in School Administration and Supervision from Johns Hopkins University, and B.A. in English Literature from University of Maryland at College Park. Before becoming a researcher, he served as a high school English teacher in Prince George’s County Public Schools.
He contributes to www.21stcenturyscholar.org.