Dr. Tara Abbott

Tara Abbott

Interim Director of the Higher Education Administration Program; Visiting Assistant Professor
School of Education
Department of Educational Foundations & Leadership

412 A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.2592


Ph.D. Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy with a Concentration in Education Research, Assessment, and Program Evaluation from Seton Hall University
M.A. Organizational Leadership in Higher Education from Rider University
B.S. Management with Concentration in Economics from the Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Tara Abbott (Ph.D. Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy with a Concentration in Education Research, Assessment, and Program Evaluation from Seton Hall University) joined the Duquesne University School of Education as the Interim Director for the M.S. Higher Education Administration program. A passionate higher education scholar, her research interests include higher education funding and finance, measuring the impact of student debt, and exploring equity in higher education access and outcomes. Most recently, Dr. Abbott served as a Visiting Assistant Professor for the Point Park University School of Education.  She taught research methods and academic writing courses, chaired and served on doctoral dissertation committees, and was named one of the university's 2021 Social Impact Scholars. Additionally, she also taught statistics and research methods courses in the Psychology Departments at Chatham University as well as Point Park University. Before earning her doctorate, Dr. Abbott served as the Director of Fundraising and PR for a $15+ million nonprofit organization providing programs and services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Personally, Dr. Abbott lives in the south hills of Pittsburgh with her husband and two young daughters. She is an ardent advocate for public libraries and serves as the board president of her local community library. In her spare time she enjoys all things outdoors, running, live music, reading, watching Penn State football, and spending time with family and friends.

Courses Taught

Foundations of American Higher Education

Data-Driven Decision Making in Higher Education

Higher Education Administrative Practicum

Capstone in Higher Education

Qualitative Research Methods

Advanced Qualitative Research Methods