Carolina Milesi

Carolina Milesi is a senior research scientist in the Education and Child Development Department at NORC. She has more than 15 years of experience conducting rigorous quantitative analysis and evaluation of a wide range of educational issues at various levels of education, including early childhood, college, and graduate education. She has published studies of socioeconomic inequality in access to and persistence in post-secondary education, the gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and disparities in the labor force status of science and engineering doctorate holders. She has also evaluated the effect of educational conditions and programs, such as the effect of class size on student achievement and the effect of a large, federal research program that supported basic research in STEM education on knowledge building and researchers’ productivity.

For almost a decade, Milesi has served in various leadership roles in the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE). The NSECE is a national study of child care supply and demand conducted in 2012 and 2019, sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has led analysis of the utilization and availability of early care and education, overseen quality control for production of data files and documentation for public and restricted-use access, and supported NSECE data users through training and technical assistance.

In addition to her extensive expertise using and producing large-scale databases, Milesi has experience collecting, processing, and analyzing other types of data, such as bibliometric data, data from college transcripts, and data collected via the Ecological Momentary Assessment or Experience Sampling Method (EMA/ESM), which involves repeated measurement of individuals’ behaviors and experiences in real time and in their natural environments. She recently led and published results of a National Science Foundation-funded study of gender differences in college students’ persistence in computer science, based on ESM data collected using smartphone technology several times a day over the course of a week. She is expanding the use of ESM to other research areas, such as a projected funded by the National Institute of Justice that aims to investigate the overlap and sequencing of victimization and perpetration events through daily measurement of interpersonal conflicts. 

Milesi has received research grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the American Educational Research Association. Her work has been published in Teachers College Record, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Social Science and Medicine, and LGBT Health, among others.