James Rosenbaum

James E. Rosenbaum

Professor, Human Development and Social Policy
Professor , Sociology, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Faculty Fellow , Institute for Policy Research

2040 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-4100
Phone: (847) 491-3795


Education researcher James Rosenbaum is an expert on the college-for-all movement, college attendance and coaches, high-school-to-work transitions, and linkages among students, schools, and employers.

A specialist in research on work, education, and housing opportunities, Rosenbaum has published six books, including Bridging the Gaps: College Pathways to Career Success and After Admission: From College Access to College Success. His research has contributed to the design of award-winning community college reforms, federal and state policies, and programs to improve college access for low-income students.

For two decades, he conducted an extensive research project on the effects of relocating poor inner-city black families in public housing to subsidized housing in the white middle-class suburbs of Chicago. This quasi-natural experiment, known as the Gautreaux Program, has enabled him to study the effects of these moves on children's educational outcomes and job opportunities, as well as the social and economic effects on the mothers.

These studies encouraged the federal government to create its Moving to Opportunity (MTO) program, implemented by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Rosenbaum has testified before Congressional committees on several occasions. He is a member of the Technical Review Panel for the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) in the U.S. Department of Education.

Curriculum Vitae

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  • 2019 - Elizabeth G. Cohen Distinguished Career in Applied Sociology of Education Award
  • 2008 - The Senior Urban Education Fellowship
  • 2006 - Invited and Attended the Board of Trustees meeting



Year Degree Institution
1973 PhD, Sociology Harvard University
1968 MA, Sociology Harvard University
1966 BA, Culture and Behavior Yale University

Selected Publications

Rosenbaum, James, Ahearn, C. Rosenbaum, Janet. (September, 2017). Bridging the Gaps College Pathways to Career Success. The Russell Sage Foundation.

Rosenbaum, J. [James], C. Ahearn, J. Rosenbaum [Janet], and K. Becker. (2016). Beyond earnings and social reproduction. The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences: 2(1): 90-110.

Ahearn, C. J. Rosenbaum [James], and J. Rosenbaum [Janet]. (2016). The new college-for-all policy: What educators need to know about community college credentials. PhiDelta Kappan: 97(5): 49-53..

Rosenbaum, J. [James], C. Ahearn, and J. Rosenbaum [Janet] (2016). The community college option. Education Leadership: 73(6): 48-53.

Rosenbaum, J., K. Becker, K. Cepa, and C. Zapata-Gietl. (2015). Turning the question around: Do colleges fail to meet students' expectations. Research in Higher Education: 57: 519-43.

Zapata, C., J. Rosenbaum, C. Ahearn, and K. Becker. (2015). Connections between educational systems and labor markets. Handbook of the Life Course.

Rosenbaum. J. [James], J. Rosenbaum [Janet], J. Stephan, A. Foran, and P. Schuetz. (2015). Beyond BA blinders: Cultural impediments to college success. My 4-year degree was the longest 8 years of my life. The Cultural Matrix: Understanding Black Youth.

Rosenbaum, J.,Deil-Amen, R., Person A. (March, 2009). After Admission From College Access to College Success. The Russell Sage Foundation.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (December, 2008). Passing the Torch: Does Higher Education for the Disadvantaged Pay Off Across the Generations? A review. Teachers College Record.

Rosenbaum and Lisbeth Goble (2008). Questioning our assumptions about college requirements in Morton Schapiro and Michael McPherson, eds, College Success: What it Means and How to Make it Happen (pp. 107-118). Macmillan.

Rosenbaum, J.E. and Katie Weitz (2008). Inside the black box of accountability: How high-stakes accountability alters school culture and the classification and treatment of students and teachers in Alan R. Sadovnik, Jennifer A. O’Day, George Bohrnstedt, and Kathryn Borman, No child left behind and the reduction of the achievement gap (pp. 97-116). Routledge.

Rosenbaum, J.E. and Stefanie Deluca (2008). Does changing neighborhoods change lives? in David Grusky editor, David Grusky, ed. (pp. 393-399). Westview.

Rosenbaum, J.E. and Stefanie Deluca (2008). Escaping Poverty: Can Housing Vouchers Help?. Pathways: a magazine on poverty, inequality and social policy: 29-32.

Rosenbaum, J.E. and Stefanie Deluca (2008). What kinds of neighborhoods change lives. Indiana Law Review.

Lisbeth Goble, James Rosenbaum, Jennifer Stephan (2008). Do institutional attributes predict individuals' degree success at two-year colleges?. New directions for community colleges: 63-72.

Person, Ann E., and James E. Rosenbaum (2007). Student information problems in different college structures. Teachers College Record.

James E. Rosembaum, Ann Person (2007). Labor market linkages among two-year college faculty and their impact on student perceptions, effort, and college persistence in David Neumark, The School-to-Work Transition.

James E. Rosenbaum (2007). College for all: Do students understand what college demands? in Alan Sadovnik, Sociology of Education.

James E. Rosenbaum (2007). Prepared for what? Matching are rhetoric to reality. Education Week.

Clarence Page (September, 2006). What boys can become when they leave the 'hood. Chicago Tribune.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (September, 2006). Lifetime achievers: third annual awards to honor distinctive careers and public service, Alexander Polikoff. American Lawyer: 121.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (March, 2006). Getting an education in college success. Wall Street Journal: A2.

Rosenbaum, J. E. (2006). After Admission: From College Access to College Success. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press.

Rosenbaum, J.E., Person, A. (2006). Chain enrollment and college enclaves: Benefits and drawbacks for Latino college students in Orfield, G. Horn, C.L., Flores, S. (eds.), New Directions for Community Colleges: Community Colleges and Latino Educational Opportunity (pp. 51-60). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Rosenbaum, J.E., Person, A. (2006). Educational outcomes of labor market linking and job placement for students at public and private two-year colleges. Economics of Education Review: 412-29.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (2006). Key to success in community college. College Board web site.

Rosenbaum, J.E. & Deil-Amen, R. (June, 2005). The social prerequisites of success. Career education review.

Rosenbaum, J.E., DeLuca, S. & Tuck, T (2005). New capabilities in new places: Low income black families in suburbia in Xavier deSouza Briggs, The Geography of Opportunity: Race and Housing Choice and Metropolitan America Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.

Rosenbaum, J.E., Keels, M., Duncan, G.J., Deluca, S., Mendenhall, R (2005). Fifteen years later: Can residential mobility programs provide a long-term escape from neighborhood segregation, crime and poverty?. Demography.

Rosenbaum, J.E (2005). Review of "Workforce Intermediaries for the 21st-century" (Robert P. Giloth). Social Service Review.

Rosenbaum, James E. (2001). Beyond College for All. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

Selected Presentations

Rosenbaum, J.E., Wilson, T., Baker-Keffer, E. (December, 2008). Community Colleges and Workforce Development. Atlantic Magazine Executive Meeting on Workforce Development. Tom Wilson, CEO Allstate insurance, Elizabeth Baker Keffer, VP of Atlantic Monthly. Presided by Terence Smith, PBS. Chicago, IL.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (December, 2008). Workforce Development and Poverty. Employment and Training Session, Illinois Poverty Summit, co-sponsored by IPR. IL.

Rosenbaum, J. E. (September, 2008). Residential Mobility and Permanent Escapes from Poverty: The Long Term Results from the Chicago Gautreaux Program. The Integration Debate: Competing Futures for American Cities Greg Squires & Chester Hartman Routledge. Conference in Chicago at The John Marshall Law School. Chicago, IL.

Jennifer L. Stephan, Lisbeth J. Goble, James E. Rosenbaum) (August, 2008). Transparency barriers to college for low-income students: Beyond aspirations and student deficiencies. Paper presented Annual Meeting of American Sociological Assn. Boston, MA.

Rosenbaum J, and Lisbeth J. Goble (August, 2008). Do Institutional Attributes Predict Individuals’ Degree of Success?. Paper presented Annual Meeting of American Sociological. Boston, MA.

Rosenbaum, J. E. (August, 2008). Thematic Session: Societal and Institutional Mechanisms Underlying the School-Work Transition. Session Organizer and Moderator Annual Meeting of American Sociological Assn. Boston, MA.

Rosenbaum (July, 2008). Housing choice and access to opportunity. testimony to National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, chairmen: Jack Kemp and Henry Cisneros, former Secretaries of US Dept of Housing and Urban Development. Chicago, IL.

Rosenbaum, J. E. (April, 2008). What kinds of neighborhoods change lives? The Fair Housing Act After 40 Years: Continuing the Mission to Eliminate Housing Discrimination and Segregation. Indiana Law School. Indianapolis, IN.

Rosenbaum, J. E. (March, 2008). Ways community colleges can improve labor market entry for disadvantaged young adults. Planning Conference for a new Program on Community Colleges. Gates Foundation. Presider: Hilary Pennington. Seattle, WA.

Rosenbaum, J. E. (January, 2007). Advisory meeting on high school preparation for college and workforce. Education Week. Washington, D.C.

Rosenbaum, J. E., Viadero, D. (January, 2007). Housing experiment for poor found to lack school payoff. Education Week.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (2007). Institutional Characteristics and Degree Completion Across Student and College Type. Chicago.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (2007). Can Educational Research Affect Educational Policy?. Chicago.

Rosembaum, J.E. (2007). How Do College Type and High School Grades Interact to Affect Degree Completion?. Chicago.

Rosenbuam, J.E. (2007). How Two-Year Colleges Affect the Youth Life Stage. Chicago.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (2007). Institutional Job Placement: Can It Avoid Reproducing Social Inequalities?. Chicago.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (2007). After Admission: From College Access to College Success Sociology of Education. Chicago.

Rosenbaum, J. E. (December, 2006). Program design elements and their impact on important outcomes. Presentation to Conference on Causal inference in neighborhood based research. University of Chicago, Chicago Center for health and Social Sciences. Chicago, IL.

Rosenbaum, J. E. (November, 2006). The impact of research on social policy: how can we improve the usability of research?. Presentation to the Spencer foundation. Chicago, IL.

Rosenbaum, J. E. (November, 2006). Report on research studying CPS post-secondary coach program. Presentation to post-secondary Education Department, CPS. Chicago, IL.

Rosenbaum, J. E. (October, 2006). Community colleges: promises and possibilities for Chicago. City Colleges of Chicago Symposium, Chicago Civic Association. Chicago, IL.

Rosenbaum, J. E. (October, 2006). Poorly understood patterns of college experience: Directions for survey research. Presented at a conference on improving national survey research. University of Chicago, NORC. Chicago, IL.

Rosenbaum, J. E. (September, 2006). How does education research best travel, where should it go, and how can we keep it from causing trouble on its travels? . Improving Education Journalism: Helping Ideas Travel, The Spencer Foundation. Chicago, IL.

Rosenbaum, J. E., DeLuca, S. (September, 2006). Residential mobility effects on mothers and children: comparisons of different programs. National Housing Conference,event-Chicagopresentations06. Chicago, IL.

Rosenbaum, J. E. (March, 2006). Where do we go from here?. Presented at the conference, Gautreaux at 40: race, class, housing mobility, and neighborhood revitalization. commemorating 40th anniversary of Chicago's landmark public housing desegregation case. Northwestern University School of Law. Evanston, IL.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (December, 2005). Ways Chicago public schools could improve the school-work transition. Presentation to senior staff of Mayor Richard Daley, fifth floor, City Hall. Chicago, IL.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (October, 2005). Impact of sociology of education research on understanding of pedagogical practices. Presented at Sociology of Education Program, Notre Dame University. South Bend, IN.

Rosenbaum, J.E. & White, K.W. (August, 2005). Inside the black box of accountability: Stratification mechanisms affecting resource allocation, student classification, and school culture. Paper presented to the Conference on No Child Left Behind, American Sociological Assn. Philadelphia, PA.

Rosenbaum, J.E. & Stephan, J.L. (August, 2005). College Degree Completion: Institutional Effects and Student Degree Likelihood. Paper presented to the Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Assn. Philadelphia, PA.

Rosenbaum, J.E. & Person, A. (August, 2005). Educational Outcomes of Job Contacts and Placement Services for Students at Public and Proprietary Two-Year Colleges. Presented at ASA Paper Session "Colleges and Their Consequences." Discussant: David Bills. Philadelphia, PA.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (June, 2005). Clarifying high school goals and student incentives: research findings and practical steps for high schools. Presentation to the governing board of Learning Point (North Central Regional Educational Laboratory). Oak Brook, IL.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (May, 2005). Educational opportunity in American society: a research agenda for studying transitions. Presented at the conference on Research on Improving High Schools, Institute for Educational Sciences. Washington, DC.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (May, 2005). Educational opportunity in American society: a research agenda for studying transitions. Institute for Educational Sciences. Presented at the conference on Research on Improving High Schools. Washington, DC.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (April, 2005). Designing Environments so Low-Income Families Acquire New Capabilities. Presented at the working neighborhoods workshop, Architecture Research Institute. Oakland, CA.

Rosenbaum, J.E & Deil-Amen, R. (March, 2005). Innovative procedures for improving student degree completion. Presentation to Committee of Presidents of Illinois Community Colleges. Springfield, IL.

Rosenbaum, J.E. (March, 2005). Conference on reducing financial barriers to higher education. Russell Sage Foundation/Spencer Foundation, organized by Eric Wanner and Michael McPherson. New York City, NY.

Rosenbaum, J.E. & Wong, M. (March, 2005). A Longitudinal Analysis of The Educational Attainment Process: How do Colleg Plans and Effort in High School Affect Educational Outcome?. American Educational Research Association (Paper session). Montreal, Canada.

Rosenbaum, J.E. Research findings that question our assumptions about college requirement. Evanston.


Mechanisms for Improving Labor Market Entry of Disadvantaged Students in Community Colleges

Research Interests

High schools, community colleges, youth transitions to work and adulthood. School and college reform and restructuring. Sociology of education.


Professional Service

Year Organization Position Description
2008 US Department of Education, National Assessment of Career and Technical Education Member Independent Advisory Panel; 2006-2011
2008 Technical Review Panel (TRP) for the design of the National High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) Member for the US Dept of Education
2008 Panel survey of public housing residents in the Plan for Transformation, NORC, University of Chicago Advisor 2006-2009
2008 Consortium for Chicago School Research, 2006 Adjunct Researcher One of the only researchers outside Univ. of Chicago with such a status
2006 US Department of Education Independent Advisory Panel National Assessment of Career and Technical Education
2006 Spencer Fellowship Selection Committee, Spencer foundation Member
2006 Panel survey of public housing residents in the Plan for Transformation, NORC, Advisor University of Chicago
2006 high school preparation for college and workforce Advisor Education Week
2006 Consortium for Chicago School Research Adjunct Researcher
2005 Spencer Foundation Pre-Doctoral Spencer Fellows Selection Committee 2004 - 2006
2005 Sociology of Education Section, American Sociological Association Chair
2005 Learning Point Governing Board Talk to Learning Point Governing Board Includes Secretaries of Education for 5 Midwest states

Community Service

October, 2008 - October, 2008 Pro-Bono consulting, Brian Fabes, CEO, Civic Consulting Alliance. Oct 1, 2008

Advising to CPS, school to careers program, Jill Wine-Banks, director. Melissa Gordon, Lois Richards
March, 2008 - February, 2008 Advisor, Program Ideas for New Anti-Poverty Initiatives, Chicago Community Trust, Clint Mabie,Executive Director, James Lewis, Ph.D.Senior Program Officer. Mar 20, 2008.
December, 2008 - 2008 Pro-Bono consulting, Bill Tisdale, CEO, Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council
2008 - 2008 Advising to CPS, Postsecondary School Program, Greg Darneider, director.
2008 - 2008 Advising to CPS, education to careers program, Jim Peterson Partnership Development Manager.
December, 2008 - Present Task force leader for the Illinois Poverty Summit, on Workforce, Education, and Training,
Appointed to two different national commissions and advisory roles on several educational policy activities in Chicago.

Last Updated: 2019-02-18 15:22:23