Tolani Britton

Tolani Britton uses quasi-experimental methods to explore the impact of policies on students’ transition from secondary school to higher education, as well as access and retention in higher education. Recent work explores whether the disproportionate increase in incarceration of Black males for drug possessions and manufacture increased gaps in college enrollment rates by race and gender over two time periods- after the passage of the Anti-Drug Act from 1986 - 1993 and after the passage of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act from 1995 - 2000.

Prior to earning her doctorate, Professor Britton worked as a high school math teacher and college counselor in New York City public schools and as a policy analyst for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France. Her scholastic credentials include a Master of Arts in Economics from Tufts University, a Master of Arts in French Cultural Studies from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Arts in both Economics and French Literature from Tufts University.

Professor Britton received an AERA Division L (Educational Policy and Politics) Early Career Award and a CIES Ernest D. Morell African Diaspora Emerging Scholar Award in 2022. She is a 2021 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. She also received a Russell Sage Foundation Pipeline Grant for Emerging Scholars in 2020 and was a 2016 National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellow. 

Publications and Reports

Britton, T. (2022). “College or bust … or both. The effects of the Great Recession on college enrollment for Black and Latinx young adults.” Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness. https://doi.org/10.1080/19345747.2022.2054885

White, T., Bristol, T., & Britton, T. (2022). “Teacher perceptions of efficacy in Social and Emotional Development: Teacher preparation, school working conditions, and professional learning communities.” Urban Education. https://doi.org/10.1177/00420859221114875

Britton, T., Rall, R., & Commodore, F. (2022). “Our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams: An investigation of the institutional factors relating to the survival of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” Journal of Higher Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2022.2082786

Hernandez, J.*, Murillo, D.*, & Britton, T. (2022). “From surviving to thriving: How Latinx students with conviction histories use their hustle to navigate college.” American Behavioral Scientist. https://doi.org/10.1177/00027642211054827

Britton, T. (2021). “Educational opportunity and the carceral system: Sentencing policies and Black men’s college enrollment.” Review of Black Political Economy. https://doi.org/10.1177/00346446211036763

Britton, T., Commodore, F., & Rall, R. (In press). “And still I rise: A theory of institutional resilience at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” Journal of Negro Education.

Britton, T. & Moreno Luna, A*. (2021). “The impact of state drug laws on high school completion and college enrollment for Latino young men.” American Behavioral Scientist. https://doi.org/10.1177/00027642211054825

Britton, T.  (2021). “Does locked up mean locked out: The effects of the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act on college enrollment.” Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41996-020-00073-y

Huerta, A. & Britton, T. (In press). “The nexus of carcerality and access and success in postsecondary education.” American Behavioral Scientist. https://doi.org/10.1177/00027642211054820

Britton, T. & Spencer, G. (2020). “Individualized learning plans: Do students who fail to plan, plan to fail.” Teachers College Record, 122(5): 1 - 36. (Equal authors). https://doi.org/10.1177/016146812012200509

Britton, T., Symns, M., Paul, V. (2020). “Early birds: An exploration of Early College Initiative High Schools in NYC and college persistence.” Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, Practice. https://doi.org/10.1177/1521025120924782

Britton, T. (2019). “The Best Laid Plans: Post-secondary Educational Expectations and College Enrollment in Massachusetts.” Journal of Higher Education, 90(6): 940 - 964. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2019.1590294

Mabel, Z. & Britton, T. (2018). “Leaving late: Understanding the extent and predictors of college late departure.” Social Science Research, 69: 34-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2017.10.001

Reports and Editorials

Britton, T. (June 2022). Dual enrollment: Increasing college access and success through opportunities to earn college credits in high school. MDRC.

Britton, T. (January 31, 2022). The canary in the coal mine for college enrollment. Barron’s.

Britton, T. (December 22, 2021). Black and brown kids belong in school: Stop suspending some kids unfairly. New York Daily News.

Bristol, T., Shirrell, M., & Britton, T. (October 11, 2021). How does student-teacher affect suspensions for students of color. Brookings Brown Center Chalkboard.

Britton, T., Friedmann, B., Adan, S. (2021). Higher Learning Inside: The Demographic Makeup of Incarcerated Persons Taking Postsecondary Courses in California. Report prepared for UC Davis Wheelhouse Center for Community College Leadership and Research. 

Presentations

Britton, T., Shirrell, M., & Bristol, T. (2022). “The association between demographic matching of secondary teachers and students and postsecondary access and persistence.” Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference (2022) and the Institute of Education (IOE) at University College London. 

Wang, S., Liu, L., Britton, T., & Abebe, R. (2022). “Intended and unintended impacts of machine learning for education.” Paper presented at The Research Conference on Communications, Information, and Internet Policy (2021). Winner 

Britton, T., Luna, A. (2021).“The Impact of Drug Laws on College Enrollment for Latinx Young Men.” Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference (2021).

Britton, T. (2020). “The association between demographic matching of guidance counselors and students’ postsecondary access and persistence.” Paper presented at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Annual Conference (2020).

Britton, T., Brown, V., Cheliah, B., Syms, M. (2019). “College Now…or later: The impact of dual enrollment on college enrollment for NYC public school students.” 

Britton, T., Brown, V., Cheliah, B., Syms, M. (2019). “College Now…or later: The impact of dual enrollment on college enrollment for NYC public school students.” Paper presented at the Association for Education Finance and Policy Annual Conference (2019).

Britton, T.  (2018).  “Educational opportunity and the Criminal Justice system: The Effects of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 on Black male students’ college enrollment.” Paper presented at the Association for Education Finance and Policy Annual Conference (2018).

Britton, T. (2017). “Locked up and locked out: The effects of the 1986 Anti-Drug Laws on college enrollment.” Paper presented at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Annual Conference (2017).

Britton, T. (2017). “Locked up and locked out: The effects of the 1986 Anti-Drug Laws on college enrollment.” Paper presented at the Association for Education Finance and Policy Annual Conference (2017).

Britton, T. & Spencer, G. (2016).  “Individualized learning plans: Do students who fail to plan, plan to fail.” Paper presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Conference (2016).

Mabel, Z. & Britton. T. (2016).  “Leaving late: Understanding the extent and predictors of college late departure.” Paper presented at the Association for Education Finance and Policy Annual Conference (2016).

Britton. T. (2015).  “The best laid plans of high school students in Massachusetts: Expressed versus revealed preferences for college enrollment.” Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference (2015).

Britton. T. (2015).  “Did the PLUS loans policy change decrease college enrollment for Black students?” Paper presented at the Association for Education Finance and Policy Annual Conference (2015).

Britton. T. (2014).  “College or bust …or both. Has the Great Recession changed the probability of college enrollment for Black and Latino students.” Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference (2014).

Degrees

  • EdD, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • MA, Columbia University
  • MA, Tufts University
  • BA, Tufts University

Curriculum Vitae

Contact

Office #4113

School of Education
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