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Lisa R. Lattuca

Director, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education; Professor, Marsal Family School of Education; Professor, College of Engineering


(734) 647-1979


Room 2117 D
610 E. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

Lisa R. Lattuca is Professor of Higher Education in the School of Education, and also holds a faculty appointment in Integrative Systems and Design in the College of Engineering.  She studies curriculum, teaching, and learning in college and university settings, with a particular focus on how curricular, instructional, and organizational conditions, as well as disciplinary cultures, shape students’ educational experiences and learning outcomes.  Her research most often focuses on engineering and STEM education contexts, and often focuses on learning in interdisciplinary programs and settings.

Specifically, Dr. Lattuca has published research on the structure and impact of interdisciplinary major programs on undergraduate learning, and on the development of undergraduate engineers’ interdisciplinary competence.  She is co- principal investigator of a National Science Foundation-funded study, Defining and Assessing Systems Thinking in Diverse Engineering Populations, which seeks to understand and characterize systems thinking processes across the continuum of expertise. The project will result in an empirically tested, scenario-based assessment tool grounded in this empirical work.  Two of her recent research projects, funded by the National Science Foundation and Helmsley Foundation, examined undergraduate students’ educational experiences and learning outcomes in science and engineering majors.  Earlier in her career. Lattuca was co-principal investigator for two NSF-funded studies that benchmarked undergraduate engineering programs’ buy-in to curricular and instructional reforms advocated in the National Academy of Engineering’s “Engineer of 2020” reports. These studies examined how educational and organizational practices affected students’ design and problem-solving skills, interdisciplinary and contextual competencies. She was also previously project director and co-principal investigator of a national study that investigated the impact of the implementation of outcomes-based accreditation criteria on engineering programs and student learning. 

In addition to journal articles and book chapters on these topics, Dr. Lattuca is the co-author of Shaping the College Curriculum: Academic Plans in Context  (with Joan Stark); and author of Creating Interdisciplinarity: Interdisciplinary Teaching and Research among College and University Faculty. She serves as a senior associate editor of the Journal of Engineering Education and has or is serving on the editorial boards of the Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, Higher Education, the American Journal of Education, The Journal of General Education, and AERA Open.

Dr. Lattuca earned her PhD from the University of Michigan, a master’s from Cornell University, and a bachelor’s degree from Saint Peter’s University. She previously held faculty positions at Penn State and Loyola University.



Number Course Name Location Days
EDUC 471
Topics in Higher and Postsecondary Education

An introductory seminar focused on current issues and topics in higher education.  Accordingly, the topic and instructor may vary each time the seminar is offered. This seminar is primarily targeted for upper-division undergraduates and master’s level graduate students.

EDUC 792
Methods in Educational Research: Qualitative

Prerequisites: Doctoral standing or permission of instructor.
Surveys qualitative methods of inquiry as they are currently used in the study of the contexts, processes, and effects of education. Introduces students to elementary statistics, exploratory data analysis, research design, and/or interviewing, narrative and argument analysis, and interaction and setting analysis.

EDUC 622
Proseminar in Higher Education

Orients entering doctoral students to the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Acquaints graduate students with the study of higher education as an interdisciplinary field of study that bridges practice, theory, and empirical research. Enhances students’ abilities in the areas of critical reading, critical thinking and analysis, writing, and inquiry.

Selected Publications

 "Learning Experiences that Support the Development of Expert Engineering Practice."

Litzinger, T. A., Lattuca, L. R., Hadgraft, R., & Newstetter, W. (2011). Journal of Engineering Education (Special Centennial Issue) 100 (1), 1–29.

"In the Eye of the Beholder: Defining and Studying Interdisciplinarity in Engineering Education."

Lattuca, L. R. & Knight, D. (2010). Proceedings of the 117th Annual Conference & Exposition of the Association for the Study of Engineering Education, Louisville, KY. (Winner, Best Paper, Educational Research and Methods Division, ASEE.)

"Developmental Networks and Learning: Toward an Interdisciplinary Perspective on Identity Development during Doctoral Study." 

Baker, V. L. & Lattuca, L. R. (2010). Studies in Higher Education, 35 (7), 807-827.

"Tightening Curricular Connections: CQI and Effective Curriculum Planning."

Harper, B. J. & Lattuca, L. R. (2010). Research in Higher Education, 51 (6), 505-527.  DOI 10.1007/s11162-010-9167-2.

"Academic Environments in Detail: Holland’s Theory at the Subdiscipline Level."

Lattuca, L. R., Terenzini, P. T., Harper, B. J., & Yin, A. C. (2010). Research in Higher Education, 51 (1), 21-39. DOI 10.1007/s11162-009-9144-9.

"Measuring the Impact of Professional Accreditation on Student Experiences and Learning Outcomes."

Volkwein, J. F., Lattuca, L. R., Harper, B. J., & Domingo, R. J. (2007). Research in Higher Education, 48 (2), 251-282. 

"More than meets the eye: Curricular and programmatic effects on student learning." 

Lambert, A. D., Terenzini, P. T., & Lattuca, L. R. (2007). Research in Higher Education, 48 (2), 141-168.

"Shaping the College Curriculum: Academic Plans in Context (2nd edition)"

Lattuca, L.R. & Stark, J. S. (2009). San Francisco: Jossey Bass. 

"Advancing Faculty Learning through Interdisciplinary Collaboration."

Creamer, E. G., & Lattuca, L.R. (Eds.) (2005). New Directions for Teaching and Learning, No. 102. San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.  

"Creating Interdisciplinarity: Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching among College and University Faculty."

Lattuca, L. R. (2001). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.