P Daniel Chen

P Daniel Chen

P Daniel Chen


Associate Professor

Higher Education Accountability and Institutional Effectiveness; Assessment of Student Learning and Student Success; Ethics and Spirituality in Higher Education; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education

P. Daniel Chen is the Director and Associate Professor of the Higher Education Program at George Mason University. Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Florida State University, Master of Science in Counseling from the University of North Texas, and Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Chung Yuan Christian University in Taiwan. After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Chen completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University Bloomington. Before joining George Mason University, Dr. Chen was an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Higher Education Program at the University of North Texas.

As a scholar, Dr. Chen's research focuses on understanding the effects of institutional policies and practices, socio-economic and political forces, and individual factors on college student development and learning outcomes. He employs an interdisciplinary approach to study higher education accountability, institutional leadership, student development, and learning outcomes from psychological, sociological, and economic perspectives.

Dr. Chen also has vital interests in ethics and spirituality in higher education and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.

As a teacher, Dr. Chen enjoys teaching quantitative research courses and courses related to college students. In addition, Dr. Chen has mentored more than a dozen students to complete their doctoral dissertations.

Dr. Chen has served on the editorial board for the Journal of College Student Development (2012-18), Journal of College and Character (Associate Editor, 2010-2017), and Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary (2019-present). Additionally, he has served as a member of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Executive Director Search Committee (2018) and the Fiance Chair (2017-20) and Secretary (2021-22) of the Council for the Advancement of Higher Education Programs at ASHE.

Dr. Chen resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, a son, and two daughters. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, DIY home improvement, reading about history and astronomy, learning new technologies, and watching movies and sports.

Selected Publications

Chen, P. D., Tull, A. (2023). Partners or foes: The relationship between academic affairs and student affairs and its impact on institutional outcomes. Student Affairs on Campus, 6(1), 18-36.

Huang, Z., Kougianos, E., Ge, X., Wang, S., Chen, P. D., & Cai, L. (2021). A systematic interdisciplinary engineering and technology model using cutting-edge technologies for STEM education. IEEE Transactions on Education, 64(4), 390-397. https://doi.org/10.1109/TE.2021.3062153

Bush, V. B., & Chen, D. (2020). Creating a campus conversation about ethics. In A. M. Hornak (Ed.), Ethical and legal issues in student affairs and higher education (pp. 43-55). Charles C Thomas. https://www.ccthomas.com/details.cfm?P_ISBN13=9780398093105

Long, A. N., Chen, P. D. (2019). Admissions criteria as predictor of first-term success at a chiropractic institution. Journal of Chiropractic Education. doi:10.7899/JCE-18-16

Dickson, T., Chen, P. D., Taylor, B. (2019). Impact of funding allocation on physical therapist research productivity and DPT student graduates: An analysis using panel data. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 24, 269-285. doi:10.1007/s10459-018-9864-8

Simon, J. F., Chen, P. D., & Cho, A, R. (2018). Linking planning, ownership, governance, and execution: Fundamental steps in building an effective data culture. In K. Powers & A. E. Henderson (Eds.), Cultivating a data culture in higher education. New York, NY: Routledge.

Chen, P. D., & Mathies, C. (2016). Assessment, evaluation, and research. New Directions for Higher Education, 175, 85-92. doi:10.1002/he.20202

Chen, P. D., & Haynes, R. M. (2016). Transparency for whom? Impacts of accountability movements for institutional researchers and beyond. New Directions for Institutional Research, 166, 11-21. doi:10.1002/ir.20127

Keller, J., Bower, B. L., & Chen, P. D. (2015). Investigating instructional methods in community college developmental mathematics. MathAMATYC Educator, 7(1), 4-13, 56.

Chen, P. D., & Simpson, P. A. (2015). Does personality matter? Applying Holland’s typology to analyze students’ self-selection into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics majors. Journal of Higher Education, 86(5), 725-750.

Chen, P. D., Ingram, T. N., & Davis, L. (2015). Bridging student engagement and satisfaction: A comparison between Historical Black Colleges and Universities and predominantly White institutions. Journal of Negro Education, 83(4), 565-579.

Expanded Publication List

Chen, P. D., & Cragg, K. (2012). Multilevel modeling: Applications to research on the assessment of student learning, engagement, and developmental outcomes. New Directions for Institutional Research, 154, 95-109. doi:10.1002/ir.20016

Chen, P. D. (2011). Finding quality responses: The problem of low-quality survey responses and its impact on accountability measures. Research in Higher Education, 52(7), 659-674. doi:10.1007/s11162-011-9217-4

Chen, P. D., Lambert, A. D., & Guidry, K. R. (2010). Engaging online learners: The impact of web-based learning technology on college student engagement. Computers & Education, 54, 1222-1232. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2009.11.008

McCormick, A. C., Pike, G. R., Kuh, G. D., & Chen, P. D. (2009). Comparing the utility of the 2000 and 2005 Carnegie classification systems in research on students’ college experiences and outcomes. Research in Higher Education, 50(2), 119-214. doi:10.1007/s11162-008-9112-9

Chen, P. D., Gonyea, R. M., Sarraf, S. A., BrckaLorenz, A., Korkmaz, A., Lambert, A. D., Shoup, R., & Williams, J. M. (2009). Analyzing and interpreting NSSE data. New Directions for Institutional Research, 141, 35-54. doi:10.1002/ir.285

Chen, P. D., Kuh, G. D., & Gonyea, R. M. (2008). Learning at a distance: Engaged or not? Innovate Journal of Online Education, 4(3). Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1058&context=innovate

Nelson Laird, T. F., Chen, D., & Kuh, G. D. (2008). Classroom practices at institutions with higher-than-expected persistence rates: What student engagement data tell us. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 115, 85-99. doi:10.1002/tl.327

Kuh, G. D., Chen, D., & Nelson Laird, T. (2007). Why teacher-scholars matter: Some insights from FSSE and NSSE. Liberal Education, 93(4), 40-45.

Chen, P. D. (April, 25, 2007). Demystifying nonresponse error in student survey. NASPA NetResults. Retrieved from http://www.naspa.org/membership/mem/nr/article.cfm?id=1582

Chen, P. D., Dalton, J. C., & Pamela, C. C. (2006). How colleges differ in their efforts to promote moral and ethical development in college. Religion & Education, 33(2), 47-63.
SJR = 0.115 (Scimago, 2006)

Makela, J. P., Chen, P. D., & Sample, J. A. (2003). Career choice: Building self-knowledge. In E. Biech (Ed.), The 2004 Pfeiffer annual: Consulting (pp. 27-33). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

McClinton, M., & Chen, P. D. (2002). Measures of religiosity [Review of the book Measure of religiosity]. Journal of College and Character.

Chen, P. D. (2002). Inward bound: Reflection on a student spirituality conference. Journal of College and Character.

Grants and Fellowships

2020 PI. Virginia Dual Enrollment Cost Study. Virginia Department of Education. $49,656.

2014 Co-Principal Investigator (PI). What does direct evidence via card swipe tell us about student engagement and retention? A study of the engagement research index project. NASPA Channing Briggs Research Grant. $1,000.

05/11-08/11 PI. A typological approach to understanding and promoting spiritual development in higher education. University of North Texas Junior Faculty Summer Research Fellowship. $5,000.

05/09-08/09 PI. A comparative study of student success among science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) transfers from community colleges in five states. University of North Texas Junior Faculty Summer Research Fellowship. $5,000.

Courses Taught

HE610 Research Methods in Higher Education

HE624 Finance and Fiscal Management in Higher Education

HE685 Practicum

HE711 Policy Studies in Higher Education

HE797 Higher Education Capstone


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University Bloomington
Ph.D., Higher Education, Florida State University
M.S., Counseling, University of North Texas
B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan

Recent Presentations

Chen, P. D., DeSenti, K., L., Yasin, T. M., & Cooper Ellis, A. J. (2022, April 23). A case study of dual enrollment policies and expenses in Virginia. Paper presented at the 2022 American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual conference, San Diego, CA. https://doi.org/10.3102/IP.22.1882316

Tapia-Fuselier, N., & Chen, P. D. (2019, November 16). Doing “soul” work: Understanding the experiences of undocumented student resource center professionals. Paper presented at the 2019 Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) annual conference, Portland, OR.

Chen. P. D., & Tull, A. (2018, November 16). Partners or foes: Working relationships among chief academic and student affairs officers and their impact on institutional outcomes. Paper presented at the 2018 Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) annual conference, Tampa, FL.

Chen. P. D., & Tull, A. (2018, March 5). Partners or foes: Working relationships among chief academic and student affairs officers and their impact on student outcomes. Paper presented at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) annual conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Hazelwood, A., & P. D. Chen, (2017, November 8). Where are the sistas coming from: An exploration, critique and curation of pedagogy for Black women. Paper presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) annual conference, Houston, TX.

Jackson, A., & P. D. Chen, (2017, July 20). Competencies and qualifications of administrators who manage programs serving students with intellectual disabilities. Paper presented at the Association on Higher Education and Disability annual conference, Orlando, FL.

Razo, D., & Chen, P. D. (2016, November 11). Working with sexual misconduct cases: A phenomenological study of student conduct administrators’ work life. Paper presented at the ASHE annual conference, Columbus, OH.

Herrera, C., & Chen, P. D. (2015, November 7). Expanding the notion of campus climate: The effect of religion and spirituality on the perception of campus climate. Paper presented at the ASHE annual conference, Denver, CO.