Key Professional Appointments

Associate ChancellorResponsible for campus diversity issues, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1994 - 1999

Assistant, Associate ProfessorDepartment of Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983 - 1992

ProfessorDepartment of Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992 - 

ProfessorDepartment of Sociology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992 - 


Ph.D., Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1982

M.S., Sociology, George Washington University, 1974

B.S., Sociology, Union College, Barbourville, KY, 1966

Awards, Honors, Associations

Spencer Resident Fellow2006 - 2007

Senior Specialist2003 - 2004

Visiting Scholar2002 - 2003

Visiting Chair in Higher Education2000 - 2000

Outstanding Scholar1999 - 1999

Research & Service

My past research has focused on: 1) Educational Inequality: school desegregation effects (K-12, postsecondary), benefits and consequences, social organziation of school, status attainment research, co- and extracurricular activities, comparative education; 2) Race and Ethnicity: social stratification and mobility, equality of opportunity; and 3) Complex Organization/Social Change/Policy.

I am principal investigator for an Educational Reform Project focused on understanding the role of race, ethnicity, class and gender in school reform. I have also recently served as an expert witness on a court appointed panel in Vaughns, et. al. v. Bd. of Educ. of P.G. Co., MD.

I will be seeking funding for a major project on school desegregation, focused on educational consequences. I will return to theoretical writing on policy issues, their origins and evolution.


Trent, W., Trent, W.. Comparing 'Swirling' in STEM and non-STEM fields. 2010

Trent, W.. The Limits and Posibilities of Mentoring

Trent, W., Trent, W.. School Desegregation: The Long View

Trent, W.. School Desegregation: Examining the Evidence on Persisting Barriers to Quality Education...

Trent, W. (2008) RESOURCES, ASSETS AND STRENGTHS AMONG SUCCESSFUL DIVERSE STUDENTS; Understanding the Contributions of the Gates Millenniun Scholars Program. Readings in Equal Education AMS Press, Inc. Press: New York

Trent, W. (2008) Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: High School Racial Composition and Becoming a GMS Scholar; the Implications of Strategin Recruitment.  William T. Trent, Dawn Owens Nicholson and Mary E. M. M. AMS Press Inc: New York

Trent, W., Orr, T. (2007) The transition to college: Lessons from the disciplines [Special issue] The Teachers College Record

Trent, W., Gong, Y. (2006) Achieving justice and equality in U. S. higher education: An exemplary program to increase the participation of underrepresented students of color. International perspectives on diversity in higher education: Challenges and prospects Elsevier: Oxford, UK

Trent, W., Lee, H., Nicholson, D. (2006) Perceptions of financial aid among students of color: Examining the role(s) of self concept, locus of control and expectations American Behavioral Scientist

Trent, W., Orr, M., Ranis, S., Holdaway, J. (2006) Transitions to college: Lessons from the disciplines Teachers College Record

Green, D., Trent, W. (2005) The public good and a radically diverse democracy. Higher education and the public good Josey Bass: San Francisco

Trent, W., Gong, Y., Owens-Nicholson, D. (2004) The relative contribution of high school origins to college access. REE

Beatty, A., Neissere, U., Trent, W., Heubert, J. (2001) Understanding dropouts: Statistics, strategies, and high-stakes testing National Academy Press: Washington, D.C..

Trent, W., Braddock, J. (1992) Extracurricular activities in secondary schools. In M. C. Alkin (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Research (6th ed.) pp. 476-481.. Macmillan: New York

Trent, W. (1991) Student affirmative action in higher education: Addressing underrepresentation. The racial crisis in higher education Southern University Press: Albany, NY

Trent, W. (1991) Focus on equity: Race & gender differences in degree attainment 1975-76; 1980-81. College in black and white: African American students in predominantly white and historically black public universities Southern University Press: Albany, NY

Trent, W., Braddock, J., Henderson, R. (1985) Trends in Black enrollment and degree attainment. Desegregating America's colleges and universities: Title VI regulation of higher education Teachers College Press: New York


Principal InvestigatorUrban Initiative, U.S. Department of Agriculture (Urban & Metropolitan Affairs Office, ACES Extension Program), 10/1/2005 12:00:00 AM - 9/30/2006 12:00:00 AM

Principal InvestigatorUnder-represented Minorities in the Academy: Understanding the Career Attainment Process, U.S. Department of Education, 9/21/2001 12:00:00 AM - 9/20/2006 12:00:00 AM

AdvisorIllinois Transition Project, Illinois Education Research Council, 9/1/2003 12:00:00 AM - 8/30/2006 12:00:00 AM

Principal InvestigatorData Analysis & Interpretation from 2002 Longitudinal Study, Illinois Education Research Council (Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville), 3/15/2004 12:00:00 AM - 6/30/2004 12:00:00 AM

Principal InvestigatorIllinois Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 2002, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 7/1/2004 12:00:00 AM - 12/31/2004 12:00:00 AM

Principal InvestigatorUnderstanding The Academic Career Aspiration and Attainment of Underrepresented Students, Campus Research Board, 2/23/2000 12:00:00 AM - 


Member2011 - 2014

consulting contributor2010 - 2010

Presenter2010 - 2010

Presenter2010 - 2010

Senior faculty2008 - 2010

Chair2008 - 2010

Research Advisory Committee Member, Gates Millenium Scholars Program2001 - 2010

Collaborator for a Local funding effort2009 - 2009

member and reviewer2006 - 2009

PIC Facilitator. Member of Court Appointed Monitoring Team for Champaign, IL Unit 4 Consent Decree2003 - 2009

Member2008 - 

Member, Research Planning Committee2003 - 2008

Member2005 - 2007

ASA Spivak Committee member2006 - 2006

Committee member2006 - 2006

Committee Member2002 - 2006

Meber2003 - 2005

Member2001 - 2004

Advisor2002 - 

Co-chair1999 - 2002

member1997 - 2002

Member1996 - 2002

AERA - IES, AIR, ETS- Fellowship Committee2000 - 


Sociology of Education Education as a social process in various cultures and historical periods, emphasizing current systems in Westernized countries. Course Information: Same as SOC 420. 2 or 4 undergraduate hours. 2 or 4 graduate hours. Differential credit will be based on additional assignments and requirements as specified by instructor. Prerequisite: SOC 100; or six hours of anthropology, social geography, political science, or sociology.

Access to Higher Education Explores current practices, conditions, and policies shaping access to college at the undergraduate level. The course is based in a sociological approach to understanding conditions of access to higher education. Provides an opportunity to examine and discuss current research on class, race, gender, institutional policy, and individual factors that are known to impact participation in higher education. Particular attention is given to stratification in higher education including but not limited to: the historical and legal context of access; points of access; pathways to higher education; and the effects of various policies and programs. Course Information: Same as EOL 579. Prerequisite: EOL 570 and EOL 571, or equivalent; or consent of instructor.

William Trent

Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership



368 Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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