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Patricia Marin - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Patricia Marin Patricia Marin

Assistant Professor of Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education | Michigan State University


Higher education policy expert, focusing on issues of inclusion and equity for underrepresented students



Patricia Marin's research interests focus on higher education policy and issues of inclusion and equity for underrepresented students. In particular, her work examines issues of diversity, affirmative action and college access. In her current work, Marin is studying the changing nature of Hispanic Serving Institutions and research use within the law.

Industry Expertise (4)

Public Policy



Writing and Editing

Areas of Expertise (3)

College Access

Affirmative Action

Diversity in Higher Education

Education (3)

University of Maryland: Ph.D., Higher Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

University of Vermont: M.Ed, Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration

University of Pennsylvania: B.A., Spanish

News (5)

New Research Shows Broader Definitions Needed For Hispanic-Serving Institutions

MSU Today  online


Marin is an assistant professor in the Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education, or HALE, program at MSU. She coined the term Hispanic-Serving Research Institution, with Priscilla Pereschica, in earlier research to reflect the growing number and types of institutions serving Latinx students. “We must continue to expand the existing HSI narrative to acknowledge the range of what these institutions do and how they serve their students,” she said.

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MSU Scholar Can Discuss Affirmative Action In Colleges

MSU Today  online


“In its most recent affirmative action case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that colleges and universities can consider race and ethnicity among the many factors they use to admit a diverse class of students,” said Marin, assistant professor in the College of Education. “This ruling, and others before it, have provided guidance to higher education institutions interested in providing educational benefits to all of their students.

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Michigan’s affirmative action ban still stands, despite court ruling

Michigan Radio  online


“The Supreme Court opinion now allows institutions within state who are not banned from using race, to do so – but since Michigan is already under that ban by its own Constitution, the Supreme Court’s decision doesn’t change that,” says Patricia Marin, assistant professor of higher, adult, and lifelong education at Michigan State University’s College of Education.

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Supreme court's affirmative action comments are 'dead wrong' experts say

The Guardian  online


That claim ignores the “complexity” of what students bring to higher education that allows them to be successful, said Patricia Marin, assistant professor at Michigan State University’s education department. “Ultimately, institutions aren’t served by admitting students who cannot do well,” Marin told the Guardian. “So admissions officers need all the tools they can to admit a successful class of students – and a holistic review that includes race/ethnicity as one among many factors is essential for them to admit a class that allows the institution to achieve its educational mission.”

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Ed. Dept. Report Lists Alternatives To Race Use in College Admissions

Education Weekly  online


With the future of affirmative action in college admissions in doubt, the Department of Education last week began publicizing race-neutral alternatives that aim to bring about diversity through class rank, socioeconomic status, and other means.

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Journal Articles (3)

Shaping Educational Policy Through the Courts: The Use of Social Science Research in Amicus Briefs in Fisher I

Educational Policy

Catherine L Horn, Liliana M Garces, Karen Miksch, John T Yun, Patricia Marin

2018 Different from more traditional policy-making avenues, the courts provide an antipolitical arena that does not require broad agreement from various constituents for policy enactment. Seeking to guide court decisions on these policy issues, individuals and organizations have filed amicus briefs that increasingly include social science to support their arguments. The Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin Supreme Court case presents an ideal example to study the use of social science evidence in amicus briefs to shape educational policy. Findings from this study identify differences in the use of social science research that suggest many ways in which our current understanding of the efforts of actors to shape educational policy via the highest court in the nation is incomplete. This study also highlights why developing this understanding could be extremely useful to both the creation of educational policy and the use of antipolitical approaches to change such policy.

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Use of extra-legal sources in amicus curiae briefs submitted in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

Education Policy Analysis Archives

Catherine L Horn, Karen Miksch, Liliana M Garces, John T Yun, Patricia Marin

2018 As the political arena becomes increasingly polarized, the legal arena is playing a more important role in the creation of education policy in the United States. One critical stage in the legal process for such efforts is at briefing where “amici curiae,” or friends-of-the-court, may introduce additional arguments for the court to consider through the filing of amicus curiae briefs. To explore the use of extra-legal sources by amici, we focus on the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin and ask the questions: 1) What are the types, and relative use by amici, of extra-legal sources cited in the briefs submitted in Fisher I? and 2) What is the relative use of extra-legal sources cited in amicus briefs by supporting party and by category of amici? Our findings reveal the wide-range of extra-legal sources used in amicus briefs, and that the type of extra-legal sources incorporated may be associated with who the amici are and which party they support. Ultimately, we discuss potential reasons for the differences observed in the use of extra-legal sources and offer recommendations to more effectively engage in the policy briefing process.

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Becoming an Hispanic-Serving Research Institution: Involving Graduate Students in Organizational Change

Association of Mexican American Educators Journal

Priscilla Pereschica, Patricia Marin

2017 The changing demographics of higher education have led to an increase in the number and type of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). As research universities continue to see a rise in the enrollment of Latino/a students, a better understanding of the implications of this change within the existing institutional context will be essential to best serve this growing community of students. We position our study within a tradition of organizational culture theory that points to the importance of organizational actors’ interpretations, perspectives, and actions in order to understand an organization’s general behavior and change. By acknowledging the importance of graduate students within research universities, we focus on their perspectives at an Emerging Hispanic-Serving Research Institution (HSRI) and ask, “What are the organizational culture implications of an HSI designation for a research university?” Our analysis revealed four important themes: communicating institutional pride as an HSRI, engaging the benefits of an HSRI, operationalizing a serving mission, and involving graduate students as institutional actors at HSRIs. Institutional recommendations that follow from our findings include providing clear communication regarding HSI status, objectives, and commitment; assessing the campus climate; and increasing graduate student involvement as key leaders within HSRIs.

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