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About Ryan S. Wells

Ryan Wells is Director of the Center for Student Success Research and Professor of higher education. He primarily investigates questions of college access, equity, and success for underrepresented and/or under-researched groups. Topics for recent research include the ways that socioeconomic status, disability, and geographic location are related to college success. He has received funding from the Spencer Foundation, National Science Foundation, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, Ford Foundation, AccessLex Institute, Association for Institutional Research, and Massachusetts Campus Compact. His research has been published in top journals such as The Journal of Higher Education, Teachers College Record, Research in Higher Education, and American Journal of Education. He has also received awards for his research from the Northeastern Education Research Association, the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and the Association for Institutional Research (AIR).

View Wells' CV from the link below.


Present Professor - Department of Educational Policy, Research & Administration, College of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Curriculum Vitae


2020 - Present Developmental education for college students with learning and attention disabilities: A benefit or detriment for persistence?
Spencer Foundation
2018 - Present Examining Collective Impact in a Community-University Partnership to Broaden Girls' Participation in Science from Middle School to High School Graduation
National Science Foundation
2018 - 2019 Graduate and professional education for students with disabilities: Examining access to STEM, medical, and legal fields
AccessLex Institute
2018 - 2019 Mapping the Ecology of College-Going and Within-College Support for Students with Intellectual and Other Disabilities
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
2013 - 2015 Development of La Red Inter-Americana para la Investigación, Integración y Desarrollo en Educación Superior (RIIDES) (Inter-American Network for the Study and Improvement of Higher Education).
Ford Founcation
2009 - 2010 Building Partner Capacity through Community-Based Research
Massachusetts Campus Compact
2009 - 2010 The incongruity between education expectations and enrollment behaviors: The effects of gender and social capital over three decades
Association for Institutional Research
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Honors and Awards

  • Institute for Social Science Research, ISSR Scholar, UMass Amherst (2016-2017)
  • Center for Research on Families, Family Research Scholar, UMass Amherst (2011-2012)
  • Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), Young Academic Fellowship (2011)
  • Mentor of the Year – College of Education, UMass Amherst (2016)
  • Woollatt Distinguished Paper Award, NERA (2009) (with Catherine Manly)


  • Secondary Data Analysis in Educational Research
  • Higher Education Finance Policy
  • Access & Equity in Higher Education
  • Research in Higher Education

Contact Information

N172 Furcolo Hall
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003