University of South Florida
College of Arts and Sciences
Contribute to our future
Office: CPR 237
Phone: (813) 974-2893
Fax: (813) 974-6455
Email: wtyson (at) usf.edu
Dr. Tyson’s research examines interpersonal and structural influences on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational and career pathways out of high schools, community colleges, and four-year universities. Through this research, Dr. Tyson examines how education facilitates life course transitions among students from various backgrounds.
Dr. Tyson’s current research focuses on school-to-work and work-to-school pathways of individuals enrolled in community college technician education programs in preparation for the 21st century high-technology workforce. He is the Principal Investigator of PathTech LIFE (NSF #1501999, $933,617), a national survey administered to 3,216 students enrolled technician education AS/AAS degree or certificate programs or coursework in 96 participating community colleges from January 2017 to June 2018. This research seeks to better understand factors that influence matriculation and progress toward completing coursework, certificates, and degrees. The primary focus is on how traditional and non-traditional age students balance work-family-school obligations.
PathTech LIFE is a follow-up to Successful Academic and Employment Pathways in Advanced Technologies (NSF #1104214, $1,196,790) or “PathTech.” PathTech Tampa Bay was a collaboration with Tampa Bay area high schools, community colleges, and technology small businesses to better understand high school career and technical education as well as pathways into AS/AAS degree programs and into the local manufacturing and technology workforce.
Dr. Tyson is also the Principal Investigator of the forthcoming PathTech LISTEN: Mixed Methods Longitudinal Investigations of Students in Technician EducatioN (NSF #1801163, $799,858). PathTech LISTEN seeks to advance knowledge of pathways into and out of technician education by conducting longitudinal interviews and a follow-up survey with PathTech LIFE respondents. This project attempts to better understand (1) factors that motivated students to pursue technician education, (2) how students faced academic and personal challenges while enrolled, and (3) post-enrollment educational and employment outcomes.
In total, Dr. Tyson has been awarded $3.9 million in external funding as a principal investigator and co-principal investigator and an additional $3 million as senior personnel. Dr. Tyson teaches courses in race and ethnicity, sport in society, and sociology of education.
Ph.D., Duke University, 2004