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James M. Ellis

Assistant Research Scientist

James M. Ellis

Dr. James M. Ellis’s research investigates relationships between education pipeline experiences and racial-ethnic and low-income student pathways to college enrollment and degree completion. His’ scholarship examines the nexus between college readiness program participation, developmental approaches to college readiness, social support from peers and adults and racism and discrimination in education settings. Dr. Ellis utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to carry out his research program and has methodological expertise in quantitative and qualitative methods and designs. He regularly collaborates with education practitioners to conduct his research.

He was a lead research investigator with the Finish Line Project a U.S. Department of Education First in the World grant. This research examined first-generation college student persistence, academic outcomes and participation in university retention programs at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. His future program of research includes examining the intersectionality of racial and socioeconomic identity and its influence on college persistence among Black and Latinx male undergraduate students.

Research Interests/Focus

K-20 education and career pathways of low income and racial minority students, education pipeline intervensions, racism and discrimination in secondary and postsecondary settings, program evaluation, and underrepresented students’ college preparation, access, and success


Year Degree   School
2015 PhD Education (CSHPE) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2007 MSW Interpersonal Practice/Children & Youth University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2006 BSW Social Work University of Washington, Seattle

Ellis, J. M., & Helaire, L. J. (in press). A theory of reasoned action approach to examining academic help-seeking behaviors among adolescents in a college readiness program. The Urban Review.

Powell, C. S., Morton, T., Demetriou, C., & Ellis, J. M. (in press). A model for the CRT-informed approach to student success in higher education. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice.

Demetriou, C., Ellis, J. M., Huerta-Bapat, C., & Powell, C. (in press). A little becomes a lot: Advancing a model of microaffirmations for student success.

Elliott, W., Chowa, G., Ellis, J. M, O’Brian, M., & Chen, Z. (2019). Combining children's savings accounts programs with scholarship programs: Effects on math and reading scores. Children and Youth Service Review, 102, 7-17.

Ellis, J. M., & Helaire, L. J. (2018). The effects of adolescent self-regulated learning on engagement in a college access program: An exploratory study. AERA Open, 4(1), 1-17.

Ellis, J. M., Powell, C. S., Demetriou, C. D., Huerta-Bapat, C., & Panter, A. T. (2018). Examining first-generation college student lived experiences with microaggressions and microaffirmations at a predominately White public research university. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Elliott, W., Starks, B., Seefeldt, K., & Ellis, J. M. (2018). Children's savings account programs provide parents with the opportunity to plan and talk about college with their children and others. Sociology Mind, 8, 345-365.

Ellis, J. M. (2016). An interview with Dr. Angela Locks: Understanding the complexities of the college-going process. In P. A., Pasque, M. P Ting, N., Ortega, & J. C., Burkhart. (Eds.), Transforming Understandings of Diversity in Higher Education: Demography, Democracy, and Discourse.

Ellis, J. M., Rowley, L., Nellum, C. J., & Smith, C. (2015). From Alienation to Efficacy: An examination of racial identity and racial academic stereotypes among black male adolescents. Urban Education, 53(7), 899-928.

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