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Sung-Woo
Cho, Ph.D.

Senior Associate, Social & Economic Policy

Sung-Woo Cho is a researcher who applies artificial intelligence to social policy decisions to enable data to benefit social-service recipients. He has more than 10 years of experience in workforce training and career pathways, community college systems and the administrative data these sources generate. He also designs and implements program evaluations.

Cho currently oversees the machine learning applications of the Descriptive and Analytical Career Pathways Study, a project funded by the US Department of Labor (DOL). The project uses data science to understand career pathways research and individuals’ employment trajectories. He oversees the impact evaluation and data analysis of DOL’s Disability Employment Initiative. Cho also directed the Miami Dade College Machine Learning Project, an effort that predicted college graduation rates with 93 percent accuracy.

Cho helped create and now oversees the Abt Data Science Fellowship, a company-wide initiative that trains Abt staff in machine learning programming and applies the training to current project work. He also helps spearhead initiatives to understand and disseminate applications using artificial intelligence.

Prior to Abt, he spent six years at the Community College Research Center at Columbia University, focusing on student progression and success. He has coauthored numerous research reports and academic journal articles, including a study on developmental education in community colleges that has been cited more than 1,200 times.

He has served as a lecturer in applied statistics at The George Washington University and in research writing at Columbia University.

Expertise

  • Artificial intelligence applications
  • Program evaluation
  • Research methodology
  • Community colleges
  • Workforce training

Key Projects

  • Descriptive and Analytical Career Pathways Study, US Department of Labor
  • Evaluation of the Disabilities Employment Initiative (DEI), US Department of Labor
  • Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE), Administration for Children and Families
  • Miami Dade College Machine Learning Project, Miami Dade College

Blog Posts

Publications

  • Martinson, K., Cho, S.W., Glosser, A., & Gardiner, K. (2018). Washington State’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program in three colleges: Implementation and early impact report, OPRE Report No. 2018-87. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Gardiner, K., Rolston, H., Cho, S.W., Fein, D. (2017). Pima Community College Pathways to Healthcare Program: Implementation and early impact report, OPRE Report No. 2017-10. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Cho, S. W. (2016). The tension between access and success: Challenges and opportunities for community colleges in the United States. In M. Shah, A. Bennett, & E. Southgate (Eds.), Widening higher education participation: A global perspective. Oxfordshire, UK: Elsevier Ltd.
  • Jaggars, S. S., Hodara, M., Cho, S. W., & Xu, D. (2015). Three accelerated developmental education programs: Features, student outcomes, and implications. Community College Review, 43, 3-26. 
  • Brunner, E., Cho, S. W., & Reback, R. (2012). Mobility, housing markets, and schools: Estimating the effects of inter-district choice programs. Journal of Public Economics, 96, 604-614.
  • Cho, S. W., Kopko, E., Jenkins, D., & Jaggars, S. S. (2012). New evidence of success for community college remedial English students: Tracking the outcomes of students in the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP). New York, NY: Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Research Center.
  • Jenkins, D. & Cho, S. W. (2012). Get with the program: Accelerating community college students’ entry into and completion of programs of study. New York, NY: Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Research Center.
  • Bailey, T. & Cho, S. W. (2010). Developmental education in community colleges. New York, NY: Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Research Center. Prepared for the White House Summit on Community Colleges.
  • Bailey, T., Jeong, D. W., & Cho, S. W. (2010). Referral, enrollment, and completion in developmental education sequences in community colleges. Economics of Education Review, 29, 255-270.
  • Zeidenberg, M., Cho, S. W., & Jenkins, D. (2010). Washington State’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program (I-BEST): New evidence of effectiveness. New York, NY: Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Research Center.
sung-woo cho