Research Associate

Cerna’s work at MDRC focuses on implementation research and site development at various community colleges across the country. He has been involved in several evaluation projects, including the Achieving the Dream initiative, the Student Support Partnership Integrating Resources and Education (SSPIRE), the Learning Communities Demonstration, and the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration. He has co-authored reports based on these projects, as well as presented on project findings at national research conferences and to project funders and stakeholders. Cerna serves as the project director for the Massachusetts Achieving the Dream evaluation, reporting on the progress that four Massachusetts colleges have made with implementing policies and practices aimed to benefit low-income and minority college students’ academic achievement and social engagement. Prior to joining MDRC, Cerna conducted research and evaluation for WestEd and for Bay Area Community Resources. Cerna is a doctoral candidate and obtained his master’s in education from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.