Dr. Amanda Nolen, a professor in the School of Education, is a skilled scholar who demonstrates wide-ranging expertise. She uses complex longitudinal national data sets with sample sizes in the tens of thousands and small-scale qualitative case studies examining the nuances of processes in context.
Her research focuses on teacher preparation, the K-12 college pipeline, and methodology where she applies new methods to old problems. Using empirical methodology, she examined how young adult fiction and non-fiction can be used in the classroom to increase student engagement and performance.
Nolen is the recipient of two Gene Campbell Research Grants to study the characteristics of teacher preparation. Nolen presented a paper at the American Educational Research Association in 2013 describing a statewide data collection initiative she chaired at the behest of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. The data explored the unusually high retention rate of Arkansas teachers early in their career, the results of which were widely published and presented.
Nolen also explored how to increase college access. She studied factors that significantly increase the likelihood students will successfully navigate the pipeline to higher education. She has also conducted research focused on students with disabilities, students diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, and home-schooled students.
Nolen strives for a balance of rigor and relatability. She is a skilled researcher sensitive to social and political contexts who can navigate empirical issues.
She received a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Educational Psychology from Baylor University and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of North Texas.