Elsa Macias

Elsa Macias
University of Southern California
Research Analyst

Education: Ph.D. Policy Analysis, Arizona State University

Areas of Expertise: Research-based initiatives to recruit and retain women in STEM, evaluation of NSF-funded programs focusing on STEM issues, qualitative research methods, and academic achievement of underrepresented populations.

Dr. Elsa Macias is a research analyst specializing in the areas of education technology, science education, and information technology policy. She has an extensive background in K-16 education, including curriculum development and professional development, assessing program development and management, and providing training and facilitation.

She consulted with NCWIT to create its Latina microsite (http://www.ncwit.org/latinas-information-technology), and she has served on the Social Science Advisory Board for several years. Dr. Macias has conducted several evaluations of computer and adult literacy programs, as well as leading research on educational opportunities for Latino students. She was the Co-PI on an NSF-funded project to investigate pathways and barriers to information technology careers for Latino students.

Dr. Macias was previously at the Center for Urban Education (CUE) in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, where she was also Associate Research Professor. She focused on data-based decision making, equity in student outcomes, organizational learning and change, and diversity in higher education. Specifically, she was responsible for helping colleges and universities to increase their effectiveness in improving student learning outcomes, particularly for traditionally underrepresented students. In that role, she worked with presidents/chancellors, provosts, department chairs, and professors at more than a dozen colleges and universities to assess the quality and productive capacity of their programs and structures to increase their institutional effectiveness. This included advising senior leadership on the means to address state and federal accountability demands for educating students.

Prior to that, Dr. Macias held a long tenure at the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI), a think tank at the Claremont Colleges and at the University of Southern California, where she oversaw the research agenda on information technology policy and established a national reputation as an expert on the diffusion of technology into diverse populations. She conducted research on the technology workforce pipeline for Latinos, educational technology policy, community technology centers, online content needs, and the general communication and information needs of Latino and African American communities.

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