OCCRL Staff and Affiliates

Jason Keist



51 Gerty Dr., Rm. 116
Champaign, IL 61820

Jason Keist

Adult Learning and Workforce Education Research Associate in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh

Jason's research focuses on the experiences of student-parents at 2-year public institutions. More specifically, Jason is interested in how low-income adult students with children successfully navigate community colleges (classrooms & student services). Ultimately, Jason would like to shed light onto how these institutions can best support adult learners with dependents from entry to credential/transfer, as well as assist adult learners in learning college success strategies and accessing related support services. Before starting his career in education, he trained as a social worker. During his MSW practicum, he was awarded a Consolidated Social Service Grant through the city of Urbana to create a youth program entitled the Indy Media & Arts Lab, housed within the Independent Media Center (Urbana). He started his career as an educator in 2010 as an Adult Education GED prep. instructor at Parkland College. During that time, he gained experience in student advising, program development and supervision (Early School Leaver Transition Program), college/career prep. instruction, and teaching computer basics to adult learners. He eventually landed a tenure-track position as a Sociology and Social Work faculty member at Parkland College.


  • Ph.D. student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.S.W., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • B.A., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Research Areas

  • Adult Education
  • Social Mobility (inter- and intragenerational)
  • Education Equity
  • Intersections of race, class, and gender
  • Meritocracy


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