Maria Claudia Soler

Nonresident Fellow

Maria Claudia Soler is a strategic thinker with a proven track record conducting research, developing project strategy, and overseeing project execution in a variety of areas in higher education.

Her experience centers on domestic and international policies and programs around access and success in postsecondary education as well as the transition from higher education to the labor force. Maria Claudia’s current portfolio at ACE includes projects around race and ethnicity in higher education; diversity, equity, and inclusion; student success; and internationalization on U.S. campuses.

Before joining ACE, Maria Claudia worked at the Community College Research Initiatives at the University of Washington and at the Office of Community College Research and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign where she authored and co-authored data notes, policy reports, book chapters, and research papers on community college bachelor degree policies and programs, transfer policies, multi-institutional attendance patterns, and career and technical education.

Maria Claudia also conducted policy research at the Institute of Higher Education Policy and worked as a consultant for Development Services Group examining the effects of college aid programs. Prior to that, she spent almost four years working in Latin America developing the admission and development programs at Lumni, a company that provides financial aid to students through Income Share Agreements in Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Chile.

In addition to her role at ACE, she is an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University where she has taught the “Community College” course. She has been published in the Journal of Education Finance, the Journal of Vocational Education & Training, New Directions for Community Colleges, New Directions for Institutional Research, and International Association of Universities Horizons. She also has been quoted in Inside Higher Ed, Higher Ed Dive, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and University World News.

Maria Claudia is from Bogotá, Colombia and has lived in four countries, including Germany and the U.K. She brings her intercultural perspective and evidence-based approaches to facilitate institutional transformation in higher education. She resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband and their two daughters.

Maria Claudia holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership focused in Higher Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign; an M.A. in International Education Policy Analysis from Stanford University; and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology and B.A. in psychology from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.