Barbara Schneider is the John A. Hannah Chair and Distinguished Professor in the College of Education and Department of Sociology at Michigan State University. Dr. Schneider is the principle investigator of the College Ambition Program (CAP), a study that tests a model for promoting a STEM college-going culture in two high schools that encourages adolescents to pursue STEM majors in college and occupations in these fields.

She worked for 18 years at the University of Chicago, holding positions as a Professor in Sociology and Human Development and as a senior researcher at NORC. Currently she continues to hold an appointment as a senior fellow at NORC, where she is the principal investigator of the Center on Advancing Research in Communication in Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

She uses a sociological lens to understand societal conditions and interpersonal interactions that create norms and values that enhance human and social capital. Her research focuses on how the social contexts of schools and families influence the academic and social well being of adolescents as they move into adulthood.

Professor Schneider has published 15 books and over 100 articles and reports on family, social context of schooling, and sociology of knowledge. She recently was the editor of Sociology of Education. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University.