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Amy Stich

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Associate Professor of Higher Education

As a sociologist of education and qualitative researcher, Amy Stich is interested in issues of inequality of educational access, opportunity, and outcome relative to social class and race. Her independent research, supported by a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, examines the structure and social consequences of postsecondary tracking. 

Stich has published widely in academic journals including Sociology of EducationBritish Journal of Sociology of EducationAmerican Educational Research JournalUrban Education, and Review of Educational Research. She is the author of Access to Inequality: Reconsidering Class, Knowledge, and Capital in Higher Education  (Lexington Books) and the co-editor of The Working Classes and Higher Education: Inequality of Access, Opportunity, and Outcome (Routledge). Stich serves as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the British Journal of Sociology of Education and the Editorial Review Board of The Journal of Higher Education.

Stich received her PhD from the University at Buffalo where she was also a postdoctoral research associate on a longitudinal ethnographic study of student transitions from high school to college, supported by the National Science Foundation. Prior to joining the Institute of Higher Education, Stich was an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology, and Foundations at Northern Illinois University.

Curriculum Vitae:
  • Ph.D., University at Buffalo
Research Interests:

Dr. Stich's primary interests of scholarly inquiry are in sociology of education, qualitative methodologies, sociology of higher education, and social theory.


Stich, A. E., Research Fellow. Reducing Inequities in Postsecondary Debt Repayment through a Multi-Sector Research-Practice Partnership. William T. Grant Foundation, (Co-Sponsors: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Spencer Foundation), $650,000 (UGA Sub-award, $72,410).

Webber, K.L. PI, & Stich, A.E., co-PI. The Effect of Geographic Locale on Access to Work-Related Experiential Activities. National Science Foundation, $690,027.


Stich, A. E. (2020). Beneath the White Noise of Postsecondary Sorting: A Case Study of the “Low” Track in Higher Education. The Journal of Higher Education.

Whatley, M. & Stich, A. E. (2020). From exclusive to inclusive: A mixed-methods investigation of study abroad participation and practices. The Journal of Higher Education.

Cipollone, K., Stich, A. E. & Weis, L. (2020). STEM for All: Student Identities and The Paradox of STEM Democratization. Teachers College Record, 122(2), 1-67.

Stich, A.E. (2018). Stratification with honors: A case study of the “high” track in higher education. Special Issue of Social Sciences (Guest Editors: Simon Marginson and Vikki Bolivar), 7(10), 1-17.

Stich, A.E. & Freie, C. (Eds.). (2016). The working classes and higher education: inequality of access, opportunity, and outcome. New York: Routledge.

Stich, A. (2012, 2014). Access to inequality: reconsidering class, knowledge, and capital in higher education. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Cipollone, K. & Stich, A.E. (2017). Shadow capital: the democratization of college preparatory education. Sociology of Education, 90(4), 333-354.

Stich, A.E. & Cipollone, K. (2017). In and through the urban educational ‘reform churn’: The illustrative power of qualitative longitudinal research. Urban Education.

Stich, A.E. & Reeves, T.D. (2016). Massive open online courses and underrepresented students’ access to higher education in the United States. The Internet and Higher Education, 32, 58-71.

Weis, L., Eisenhart, M., Cipollone, K, Stich, A., Nikischer, A., Hanson, J., Ohle, S., & Dominguez, R. (2015). In the guise of STEM education reform: opportunity structures and outcomes in inclusive STEM-focused high schools. American Educational Research Journal, 52(6),1024-1059.

Stich, A.E., & Colyar, J.E. (2013). Thinking relationally about studying ‘up.’ British Journal of Sociology of Education, 36(5), 729-746.

Courses Regularly Taught:
Of note:
  • 2016 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow
News Featuring Amy Stich

IHE faculty, staff, alumnus, and students attended the 17th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Breakfast honoring the legacy of Dr. King and celebrating the work of area peacemakers. The inspirational annual event is coordinated through a partnership of…

​As part of UGA's Certificate in Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) for university faculty and staff, Amy Stich will teach a course on first-generation college students on Wednesday, November 6. 

Amy Stich delivered a keynote address at the British Sociological Association’s International Bourdieu Study Group Conference on Friday, September 27 at Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England.

In addition to the large group of IHE faculty and students who presented papers at the AERA conference in Toronto (April 5-8), Noble Jones (PhD 2018) received the 2019 Outstanding Dissertation Award from AERA's Division J, and Associate Professor Tim Cain…

Two new faculty members, Amy Stich and Gregory Wolniak, explore the impact of higher education.

The Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia will welcome two new faculty members in the fall.

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