Professor of Education Studies

Kristen Luschen

Hampshire College Professor Kristen Luschen
Kristen Luschen
Professor of Education Studies
Critical Social Inquiry
Mail Code DO
Kristen Luschen
Cole Science Center 107
Teaching at Amherst College from Fall 2019-Spring 2024.
Kristen Luschen, professor of education studies, received her B.A. and M.A. in sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She received her doctorate in cultural foundations of education and a certificate of advanced study in women's studies from Syracuse University.

Her research and teaching explores how cultural conceptions of youth shape school culture and policy and the experiences of young people in them. Professor Luschen's research has examined how adult female educators working within the umbrella of pregnancy prevention services at an urban school district struggled to provide access to services and sexuality education for all young people in their district.

Her current research examines how local educators in small schools struggle to meet the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act. Professor Luschen and her students have created a documentary, The Cost of Accountability: Teaching under the No Child Left Behind Act, which explores the experiences of these educators. She teaches courses in sociology of education, qualitative and feminist methodology, gender studies, and cultural studies of education. Her regular courses include:

CSI 120: Belonging in School


Large numbers of students, particularly Latino, African American, and Native American students, disengage from school every year. Often this is in the form of “dropping out.” There also is clear evidence, however, that school practices, policies, and personnel work to push these students out of schools. This course will examine the conditions of schooling that work to support students’ formal and informal disengagement with school. We will explore what schools and their community partners can do to reengage students in schooling. We will explore research and current models of schooling that address the cultivation of a sense of belonging and community in schools. In particular, we will examine programs and schools that forefront community engagement, dialogue, racial justice, and student participation.

CSI 154: Getting to College: Access, Awareness, and Community Partnerships

Why do some students think about college as the natural next step in their education, while others do not consider college as an available option? What are the various factors that influence college access and what types of resources and programming contribute to the inclusion and retention of first generation and underserved students in college and universities. This course will build upon the outreach efforts of the Critical Studies of Childhood, Youth, and Learning program (CYL) by acquainting students interested in education studies, youth mentoring and leadership, and youth development with the research on college access and retention. Students will explore the history of higher education with regard to educational access as well as the significance of early college awareness for students from underserved communities. Enrolled students will be required to participate in a semester-long community-based, college awareness project.

Recent and Upcoming Courses