Carrie Sampson

Assistant Professor
WEST Campus


Carrie R. Sampson is an assistant professor of educational leadership at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Her educational leadership, policy, and community organizing research has been published in Teachers College Record, Urban Education, Urban Review, and in the edited book "Law & Educational Inequality: Removing Barriers to Educational Opportunities." Her most recent research project focuses on the role of school boards addressing equity-oriented policies in the U.S. Mountain West. Professor Sampson's other ongoing research projects include the influence of school district reorganization on educational equity, the role of nonprofits in addressing issues of educational equity, and the use of online learning as a space for critical dialogues within doctoral programs. Professor Sampson also serves as a senior fellow for the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities.


  • Ph.D. Public Affairs (Educational Policy), University of Nevada-Las Vegas 2016
  • Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas 2013
  • M.S. Cultural Foundations of Education, Syracuse University, NY 2007 
  • B.S. Economics, University of Nevada-Reno 2004

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Guiding Research Questions:

  • How do democratic practices and politics impact educational opportunities for traditionally marginalized groups? 
  • How can we build community capacity and reframe leadership to expand educational opportunities for traditionally marginalized groups? 

Current Research Projects:

  • Dr. Sampson recently concluded a multiple-case study focused on three school boards located in the understudied region of the U.S. Mountain West Clark County School District (Nevada), Salt Lake City School District (Utah), and Tucson Unified School District (Arizona).  The purpose of the study was to understand how school boards addressed policies/practices for English learners.  Broadly, however, this work explored important issues of representation, democracy, and politics in education as it pertains to equity. 
  • In conjunction with a small research team, Dr. Sampson is developing a comparative case study on the politics and impact of school district reorgranization in the U.S. West.  Sampson is particularly interested how this type of restructuring affects educational equity and what happens to school districts and communities that are low-income and heavily populated by students of color and English learners. 
  • In collaboration with colleagues, Dr. Sampson is conducting a qualitative study focused on the impact of a non-profit organization aiming to provide leadership and college preparatory opportunities for high school students.  This study is designed to explore the macro and micro aspects of this educational organization, including students experiences and perspectives as well as the various institutional, political, economic, and social factors that influence this organizations outcomes. The central question of this study is: What is the role of a non-profit, community-based organization in expanding educational opportunities for first-generation, low-income students of color?


  • Diem, S., Sampson, C., & Browning, L. (2018). Reorganizing a countywide school district: A critical analysis of politics and policy development toward decentralization. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 26, 1. doi:
  • Sampson, C. (2017). So it ‘‘became White activists fighting for integration?’’ Community organizations, intersectional identities, and education reform. The Urban Review. 49(1), 72-95.
  • Horsford, S.D. & Sampson, C. (2014). Promise Neighborhoods: The promise and politics of community capacity building as urban school reform. Urban Education, 49 (1).
  • Horsford, S.D. Sampson, C., & Forletta, F.M. (2013). School resegregation in the Mississippi of the West: Community counternarratives on the return to neighborhood schools in Las Vegas, 1968-1994. Teachers College Record, 115 (11). 


Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
TEL 702Dynamic Contexts of Education
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
TEL 702Dynamic Contexts of Education
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
TEL 702Dynamic Contexts of Education
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
TEL 702Dynamic Contexts of Education