photo of Dr. Joe Ferrare


Joseph Ferrare, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation
145C Taylor Education Building
(859) 257-9884

Joseph Ferrare joined the faculty at UK in 2014 from Western Washington University. Prior to his doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he spent three years as a research analyst in Seattle, WA working in the areas of education, labor, and environmental policy. In addition to his primary position in EPE, he also holds secondary appointments in the Department of Sociology and Martin School of Public Policy.

Professor Ferrare’s work is focused on understanding how social inequalities are created within the education system, and the policies and practices that can ameliorate these inequalities to facilitate upward social mobility. His research explores this focus through the following basic questions: (1.) How do patterns of social inequality emerge and change over time through students’ K-20 education attainment trajectories? (2.) To what extent do education policies diminish or exacerbate these patterns? and (3.) What are the conditions through which education policies aimed at addressing inequality emerge and change over time? These research interests cover a wide variety of policy applications, including student achievement, college access, high school to college transitions, and postsecondary persistence and degree attainment. To address these areas of research, Ferrare’s work frequently draws upon social network analysis, statistical modeling, and a variety of field-based methods.

Professor Ferrare’s teaching commitments include the following graduate courses: Sociology of Education (EPE/SOC 661), Social Policy Issues & Education (EPE 602), Advanced Quantitative Methods (Social Network Analysis) (EPE/EDP 711), Survey Research Methods (EPE 619), and Seminar in Educational Policy Studies (EPE 773). He also teaches an undergraduate UK Core course, Education in American Culture (EPE 301), and regularly facilitates summer workshops in affiliation with the LINKS Center for Social Network Analysis in the Gatton School of Business and Economics.

See Professor Ferrare’s personal website for more information about publications, courses, and projects.


Research categories: PolicyResearch MethodsQuantitative and Psychometric Methods, Charter Schools, School Choice