Dr. Will Jordan's recent scholarship has focused on conducting empirical research to enhance program and policy development for improving the conditions of education in urban schools. In recent years, he has engaged in a variety of research projects on issues such as high school and postsecondary collaborations, the connection between school leadership content knowledge in mathematics and instructional quality, and interventions to improve failing comprehensive high schools. His primary interests and expertise fall in the areas of sociology of education, urban education, high school reform, resiliency among adolescents of color, and at-risk students.

Courses Taught




EDAD 8635

Current Issues and Policies


EDAD 8635

Education Policy Analysis


EPSY 8627

Introduction to Research Design and Methods


URBE 5630

Special Seminar in Urban Education


Selected Publications


  • Sutherland, D., Ponnock, A.R., Jordan, W.J., Kuriloff, P., & Hoffman, B. (2021). Sustainable Teaching: Three urban teachers make a case for teacher education 3.0 Teaching and Teacher Education, 99. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2020.103271

  • Kuriloff, P., Jordan, W., Sutherland, D., & Ponnock, A. (2019). Teacher preparation and performance in high-needs urban schools: What matters to teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 83, pp. 54-63. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2019.04.001

  • Kaimal, G. & Jordan, W.J. (2016). Do incentive-based programs improve teacher quality and student achievement? An analysis of implementation in 12 urban charter schools. Teachers College Record, 118(7).

  • Jordan, W.J. & Plank, S.B. (2013). Talent loss among high-achieving poor students. In Schooling Students Placed at Risk: Research, Policy, and Practice in the Education of Poor and Minority Adolescents (pp. 83-108). doi: 10.4324/9781410605597-12

  • Sanders, M.G. & Jordan, W.J. (2013). Student-teacher relations and academic achievement in high school. In Schooling Students Placed at Risk: Research, Policy, and Practice in the Education of Poor and Minority Adolescents (pp. 65-82). doi: 10.4324/9781410605597-11

  • Jordan, W.J. (2010). Chapter 5: Defining equity: Multiple perspectives to analyzing the performance of diverse learners., 34 (pp. 142-178). doi: 10.3102/0091732X09352898

  • Cooper, R. & Jordan, W.J. (2009). Leadership challenges in k-12 urban education: Prospective African American administratorsā€™ views on educating African American students and closing the achievement gap. In The SAGE Handbook of African American Education (pp. 205-222). doi: 10.4135/9781412982788.n12

  • Jordan, W.J., Cavalluzzo, L., & Corallo, C. (2006). Community college and high school reform: Lessons from five case studies. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 30(9), pp. 729-749. doi: 10.1080/01411890500207530

  • Balfanz, R., Legters, N., & Jordan, W. (2004). Catching Up: Effect of theTalent Development Ninth-Grade Instructional Interventions in Reading and Mathematics in High-Poverty High Schools. NASSP Bulletin, 88(641), pp. 3-30. doi: 10.1177/019263650408864102

  • Cooper, R. & Jordan, W.J. (2003). Cultural issues in comprehensive school reform. Urban Education, 38(4), pp. 380-397. doi: 10.1177/0042085903038004003

  • Jordan, W.J. & Cooper, R. (2003). High school reform and black male students: Limits and possibilities of policy and practice. Urban Education, 38(2), pp. 196-216. doi: 10.1177/0042085902250485

  • Jordan, W.J., Cooper, R., & Risk, B.C.f.R.o.n.t.E.o.f.S.P.A.t. (2002). Cultural Issues Related to High School Reform: Deciphering the Case of Black Males. Retrieved from

  • Jordan, W.J. (2001). At-Risk Students during the First Year of High School: Navigating Treacherous Waters. Retrieved from

  • Jordan, W.J. & Cooper, R. (2001). Racial and Cultural Issues Related to Comprehensive School Reform: The Case of African American Males. Retrieved from

  • Plank, S.B. & Jordan, W.J. (2001). Effects of information, guidance, and actions on postsecondary destinations: A study of talent loss. American Educational Research Journal, 38(4), pp. 947-979. doi: 10.3102/00028312038004947

  • Plank, S.B., McDill, E.L., McPartland, J.M., & Jordan, W.J. (2001). Situation and repertoire: Civility, incivility, cursing, and politeness in an urban high school. Teachers College Record, 103(3), pp. 504-524. doi: 10.1111/0161-4681.00125

  • Jordan, W.J., McPartland, J.M., Legters, N.E., & Balfanz, R. (2000). Creating a Comprehensive School Reform Model: The Talent Development High School with Career Academies. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 5(1-2), pp. 159-81. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk. Retrieved from

  • Jordan, W.J., Nettles, S.M., & Risk, B.C.f.R.o.n.t.E.o.f.S.P.A.t. (1999). How Students Invest Their Time Out of School: Effects on School Engagement, Perceptions of Life Chances, and Achievement. Report No. 29. Retrieved from

  • Jordan, W.J. & Nettles, S.M. (1999). How students invest their time outside of school: Effects on school-related outcomes. Social Psychology of Education, 3(4), pp. 217-243. doi: 10.1023/A:1009655611694

  • Jordan, W.J. (1999). Black high school students' participation in school-sponsored sports activities: Effects on school engagement and achievement. Journal of Negro Education, 68(1), pp. 54-71. doi: 10.2307/2668209

  • Jordan, W.J., Plank, S.B., & Risk, B.C.f.R.o.n.t.E.o.f.S.P.A.t. (1998). Sources of Talent Loss among High-Achieving Poor Students. Report No. 23. Retrieved from

  • McPartland, J., Jordan, W., Legters, N., & Balfanz, R. (1997). Finding safety in small numbers. Educational Leadership, 55(2), pp. 14-17.

  • Plank, S.B., Jordan, W.J., & Risk, B.C.f.R.o.n.t.E.o.f.S.P.A.t. (1997). Reducing Talent Loss. The Impact of Information, Guidance, and Actions on Postsecondary Enrollment. Report No. 9. Retrieved from

  • Jordan, W.J. & Univ., P.P. (1996). Role Transitions: A Review of the Literature. Retrieved from

  • Gadsden, V.L., Smith, R.R., & Jordan, W.J. (1996). The promise of desegregation: Tendering expectation and reality in achieving quality schooling. Urban Education, 31(4), pp. 381-402. doi: 10.1177/004208599603100403

  • Jordan, W.J., Lara, J., & McPartland, J.M. (1996). Exploring the causes of early dropout among race-ethnic and gender groups. Youth and Society, 28(1), pp. 62-94. doi: 10.1177/0044118X96028001003

  • Jordan, W.J., Students, B.C.f.R.o.n.E.S.f.D., & Others, A. (1994). Exploring the Complexity of Early Dropout Causal Structures. Retrieved from


  • Vahlenkamp, F.F. & Jordan, W.J. (1984). A comparative analysis of linguistic complexity in two forms of jury charges. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 12(1), pp. 1-16. doi: 10.1080/00909888409365243

  • Jordan, W.J., Street, R.L., & Putman, W.B. (1983). The effects of relational and physical distance on lexical diversity. Southern Speech Communication Journal, 49(1), pp. 80-89. doi: 10.1080/10417948309372590

  • CODY, M.J., WOELFEL, M.L., & JORDAN, W.J. (1983). DIMENSIONS OF COMPLIANCEā€GAINING SITUATIONS. Human Communication Research, 9(2), pp. 99-113. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.1983.tb00686.x

  • Street, R.L. & Jordan, W.J. (1981). Lexical diversity and rhetorical interrogatives as adaptations to communication environments: A research note. Communication Quarterly, 29(4), pp. 276-282. doi: 10.1080/01463378109369416

  • Schneider, M.J. & Jordan, W. (1981). Perception of the communicative performance of Americans and Chinese in intercultural dyads. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 5(2), pp. 175-191. doi: 10.1016/0147-1767(81)90007-9

  • Cody, M.J., McLaughlin, M.L., & Jordan, W.J. (1980). A multidimensional scaling of three sets of compliance-gaining strategis. Communication Quarterly, 28(3), pp. 34-46. doi: 10.1080/01463378009369373

  • POWERS, W.G., JORDAN, W.J., & STREET, R.L. (1979). LANGUAGE INDICES IN THE MEASUREMENT OF COGNITIVE COMPLEXITY: IS COMPLEXITY LOQUACITY? Human Communication Research, 6(1), pp. 69-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.1979.tb00292.x

  • Powers, W.G. & Jordan, W.J. (1978). Uncertainty as a function of grammatical class size. Communication Quarterly, 26(3), pp. 57-60. doi: 10.1080/01463377809369304

  • Erickson, K.V., Cheatham, T.R., & Jordan, W.J. (1978). Demographic Characteristics Of Nonrespondents To Speech Communication Survey Research. Communication Quarterly, 26(2), pp. 35-40. doi: 10.1080/01463377809369291

  • JORDAN, W.J. & POWERS, W.G. (1978). VERBAL BEHAVIOR AS A FUNCTION OF APPREHENSION AND SOCIAL CONTEXT. Human Communication Research, 4(4), pp. 294-300. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.1978.tb00715.x

  • JORDAN, W.J. & McLAUGHUN, M.L. (1976). THE METAPHORICAL DIMENSION IN DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE. Human Communication Research, 2(2), pp. 182-191. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.1976.tb00710.x

  • Jordan, W.J. & McLaughlin, M.L. (1976). The effect of sex-role ambiguity on impressionformation processes inindividuals and groups. Western Speech Communication, 40(1), pp. 32-39. doi: 10.1080/10570317609373883

  • Jordan, W.J. & McLaughlin, M.L. (1976). Figurativeness as an independent variable in communication research. Communication Quarterly, 24(4), pp. 31-37. doi: 10.1080/01463377609369235

  • Jordan, W.J. (1971). Toward a psychological theory of metaphor. Western Speech, 35(3), pp. 169-175. doi: 10.1080/10570317109373700