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Faculty & Research

Nancy Hoffman

Adjunct Lecturer on Education

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Degree:  Ph.D., University of California, (1971)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Office:  Gutman 417
Faculty Assistant:  Jeffrey Brisbin


Nancy Hoffman is a vice president and senior advisor at Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit based in Boston focused on improving educational and workforce outcomes for low-income young people and adults. She is currently co-lead with Professor Robert Schwartz of the Pathways to Prosperity State Network, a collaboration among eight states, Jobs for the Future, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The Network seeks to ensure that many more youth complete high school, attain a postsecondary credential with currency in the labor market, and get launched on a career while leaving open the prospect of further education. For a decade at JFF, Hoffman led JFF's Early College High School Initiative, a network of over 270 schools in 28 states blending high school and two years of college. She continues to work with states on aligning and integrating high school and college and developing new pathways to degree completion and careers. Hoffman's career spans many years of work in high schools and higher education. Prior to coming to JFF, she was a senior lecturer in education at Brown University and served as director of the President's Office and secretary of the Brown Corporation. Hoffman served as vice provost for undergraduate studies at Temple University and director of the University Honors Program, with faculty appointments in English and women's studies. She was the academic services dean at Harvard Graduate School of Education from 1988-1990. She also served as a program officer at the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education and a founder and faculty member of the College of Public and Community Service at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She has held teaching positions in English and comparative literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Portland State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of Massachusetts, Boston. For many summers, she co-convened the Academic Environment Unit of HERS Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration.Hoffman has served as as a consultant for the education policy unit of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Her most recent book, drawing on the OECD's Learning for Jobs initiative is Schooling in the Workplace: How Six of the World's Best Vocational Education Systems Prepare Young People for Jobs and Life (Harvard Education Press, 2011). She speaks and writes about high-quality vocational education in the United States and abroad.Hoffman holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California - Berkeley. Other recent publications include, Women's True Profession: Voices from the History of Teaching (2003), and, edited with Richard Kazis and Joel Vargas, Double the Numbers: Increasing Postsecondary Credentials for Underrepresented Youth (2004), and Minding the Gap: Why Integrating High School with College Makes Sense and How to Do It (2007), edited by Hoffman and Vargas with Andrea Venezia and Marc Miller. Hoffman serves on the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.

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