Carol McElvain is a senior research scientist in the Education and Child Development department at NORC. McElvain brings more than 20 years of federal, state, district, and foundation education experience and project management skills to NORC. She is well-known for translating the best research into practical tools, training, and materials in ways that are approachable and credible to improve education equity for students most in need.
McElvain is currently the project manager of the Bureau of Indian Education Distance Learning Study, where she leads the task to determine the current state of distance learning at Tribally Controlled and Bureau Operated Schools around the country, and prepare a plan to help those schools reach best practices in distance learning.
She has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and management in school and community development with an emphasis on building successful systems of change. She is nationally recognized for her expertise in organizational leadership and systems building and is a professional speaker, trainer, and policy advocate for a wide variety of audiences nationally, with a special emphasis on connecting community resources in an asset-based and holistic manner.
Major portions of her work have been with underserved communities in the Chicago, New York, and the San Francisco areas. She has national experience as a coalition builder and resource developer for burgeoning communities- and statewide empowerment efforts, including Promise Neighborhoods, 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs, the Mott Foundation-sponsored national network of Statewide Afterschool Networks, and refugee resettlement. McElvain is admitted to practice law, but is not currently active in Illinois and Wisconsin.
McElvain is the primary co-author of all four editions of "Beyond the Bell: A Toolkit for Creating Effective Afterschool and Expanded Learning Programs" while at AIR.
She was named one of the "Most Influential in Research and Evaluation" by the National Afterschool Association in 2018.