Show The Graduate Center Menu

Jason VanOra
Position: Professor
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center|Kingsborough Community College
Phone: (718) 368-5196
Office Hours: 500
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. (2008) & M.Phil. (2006), Graduate Center CUNY; M.A., Hunter College CUNY; B.A., State University of New York Purchase College
Training Area: Critical Social/Personality Psychology
Research Interests: Narrative, Study of Lives, Urban Education, Community College, Qualitative Research, Persons-in-Context
Jason VanOra's research addresses the ways in which narratives can be used to reveal both individual and collective struggles, resiliency, identity, and “wisdoms” among persons living within conditions of both marginalization and hope.  Jason's narrative research most often concerns the life stories of community college students and their attempts to transcend those structural barriers impeding their persistence in college.  Additional research projects concern the impact of various pedagogical innovations (multi-disciplinary learning communities, immediate feedback technology, and “civically engaged” psychology classes) on students’ mastery of course content and sense of belonging within community college. 
Selected Publications:
VanOra, J. (2014). Desperate to Achieve: Understanding the Lives, Struggles, and Identities of Community College Students Assigned to Developmental Classes. New York: AMS Press.
VanOra, J. & Schnee, E. (Under review).  Disappearing in Plain Sight: Developmental Education, Distance Learning, and the Covid-19 Pandemic.  Under review at Harvard Education Review 
VanOra, J. (2019).  “It’s like one step for me to go forward”: A longitudinal study of community college students’ perceptions on the value of developmental education.  Community College Enterprise, 25 (1), 59-76.
VanOra, J. (2019). The impact of learning communities on the experiences of developmental students in community college: A qualitative study. Learning Communities Research and Practice, 7(1), Article 2.  Available at:
VanOra, J. (2019). “I wanted to know more”: A narrative exploration of community college students’ goals and aspirations. The Qualitative Report, 24 (5), 1168-1180.  Available at
VanOra, J. (2016). "What does this have to do with psychology?”: Challenges and possibilities of civic engagement in Introduction to Psychology.  In E. Schnee, A. Better, and M. C. Cumming’s (Eds.) Civic Engagement Pedagogy in the Community College: Theory and Practice (pp. 95-113). New York: Springer Publishers.
Symister, P., VanOra, J., Griffin, K., & Troy, D. (2014).  Clicking in the community college classroom:  Assessing the effectiveness of clickers on student learning in a General Psychology Course. Community College Enterprise, 20, 10-24.
McCormack, T., Schnee, E., & VanOra, J. (2014).  Researching up: Triangulating qualitative research to influence the public debate of "on time" college graduation.  Teachers College Record, 116 (4), 1-35.
Schnee, E. & VanOra, J. (2012).  Student incivility: An engagement or compliance model?  MountainRise International Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 7, 1-19. 
VanOra, J. (2012).  The experience of community college for developmental students: Challenges and motivations.  Community College Enterprise, 18, 22-36.    
VanOra, J., & Ouellette, S. (2009).  Beyond single identity and pathology: Revealing multiple selves and authenticity in the narratives of two transgender women. International Review of Qualitative Research, 2, 89-115

Wells, B.E., Bimbi, D.S., Tider, D., VanOra, J., & Parsons, J.T.  (2006). Preventive health behaviors among lesbian and bisexually identified women.  Women and Health, 44, 1-13.
Parsons, J.T., VanOra, J., Missildine, W., Purcell, D.W., & Gomez, C.A.  (2004). Positive and negative consequences of serostatus disclosure among seropositive injection drug users.  AIDS Education and Prevention, 16, 459-475.
Parsons, J.T., Missildine, W., VanOra, J., Purcell, D.W., & Gomez, C.A. (2004).  HIV serostatus disclosure to sexual partners among HIV-Positive injection drug users.  AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 18, 457-469.