Mark E Engberg

Professor; Associate Dean

What I do

Professor of Higher Education and Associate Dean

Professional Biography

Mark E. Engberg, Ph.D., is a Professor of Higher Education and Associate Dean at the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver. He received master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University and doctoral degree in Higher Education from the University of Michigan. His research examines access and opportunity in American Higher Education, the educational benefits of diversity, and the development of global learning among college students.


  • Ph.D., Education , University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 2004
  • MA, Counseling Psychology , Northwestern University, 1998
  • BA, Economics , University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 1991

Professional Affiliations

  • American Educational Research Association
  • Association for the Study of Higher Education


Throughout my career as a researcher, educator, and social justice activist, I have strived to improve educational access and opportunity in postsecondary education for underrepresented racial/ethnic minority and low-income students. As income inequality continues to grow in American society coupled with the growing civil unrest related to racial profiling, police brutality, contemporary neoliberalism, and skyrocketing costs associated with obtaining a college degree, I find myself deeply troubled, and at times quite overwhelmed, by the systemic forces that continue to reproduce social inequality in American society. Yet, I feel simultaneously compelled to act—to make a difference—by investigating and interrogating these forces through scholarship that seeks to uncover, dismantle, and improve those structures that are irreconcilably understood as both engines of opportunity and vehicles of social reproduction.

In examining the importance of access and opportunity across the secondary-postsecondary nexus, my research agenda focuses on two-interrelated threads: The first thread investigates how individual- and institutional-level factors influence students’ pathways to postsecondary education, with a particular focus on racial/ethnic minorities and low-income students. The second thread focuses on understanding the educational benefits of diversity and how different curricular and co-curricular interventions influence a range of skills and dispositions necessary in today’s increasingly diverse and global society. Thus, I approach the issue of access by examining the resources and structures necessary to promote access at the secondary level as well as how increased access contributes to student learning and development at the postsecondary level.


  • Examining Sex and Ethnoracial Differences in Graduate School Enrollment
  • Utilizing domestic off-campus experiences to improve college access.