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Cheryl Bowen (McElvain), Ed.D.

Cheryl McElvain HS 2017
Cheryl Bowen (McElvain)

Senior Lecturer, Associate Chair, and Acting Director of MATTC

Cheryl Bowen (McElvain) earned an Ed.D. in international and multicultural education with an emphasis in second language acquisition from the University of San Francisco in 2005, and an M.A. in Language and Literacy from San Jose State University in 2001.

As a full time SCU faculty member, Cheryl teaches methodology classes and directs Santa Clara University’s MATTC teacher credential program.

Cheryl is interested in conducting local and international research investigating effective instruction for underserved immigrant youth and their families. Her research explores the academic and social effects of The Transactional Learning Community Model (McElvain, 2010) in various educational settings both in and out of the school setting. She is also interested in studying cognitive academic language proficiency skills and their influence on bilingual cognitive development in K-12 and adult learners. Her research projects have included work with Santa Clara University students, community housing foundations and nonprofit counseling agencies.

While she continues to pursue research opportunities that employ bilingual ethnographic fieldwork in high poverty schools, Cheryl also enjoy teaching graduate students who are interested in working with Spanish-speaking immigrant children living in marginal contexts. Participatory research projects that transform students on multiple levels are her passion therefore all of her classes are infused with projects that require real world social input.  

Cheryl lives in Los Gatos, California and enjoys intercultural learning experiences, wine making, and riding her bike. She is currently a board member of the International Peace Village Center in Rwanda and works with social enterprises locally and globally to prepare “men and women for others”.



Peer-reviewed journal articles

McElvain, C. (2017, In Review). The Glen Project: A transactional ecology model of school-based positive youth development. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.   

McElvain, C. & Smith, H. (Fall, 2016). Curiosité: Inquiry-based instruction and bilingual learning. Journal of Curriculum and Teaching, 5(2).

McElvain, C. (Spring, 2016). Los libros abecedario: Learning from the inside out. Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table, 2015(2), 1-18. 

McElvain, C. (Spring, 2015). The bridge project: Connecting home, school, and community for Mexican immigrant youth. The Journal of Latinos and Education, 14(3), 153-170. doi:10.1080/15348431.2014.973568

McElvain, C. (2010). Transactional literature circles and the reading comprehension of at-risk English learners in the mainstream classroom.  Journal of Research In Reading, 33(2), 178-205. [6-10 % acceptance rate]


Chapters and invited publications

McElvain, C. (2015, October 14). The bridge project: Connecting home, school and the community. Morgan Hill Life, 3(9), 13. 

McElvain, C. (2009). English learners reading in the transactional learning community. In J.L. McConnell-Farmer (Ed.), The education of young children: Research and public policy (pp. 47-64). Louisville, KY: Linton Atlantic Books, Ltd.


Conference papers

McElvain, C. (2017). Active project-based learning in diverse community settings. Paper contributed to the 2018 Project Based Learning Conference, Santa Clara, CA. 

McElvain, C. (2017). Advancing a transactional ecology model of school-based positive youth development programs for children. Paper contributed to the AERA 2018 Annual Meeting, New York, New York. 

Guadalupe Hall Room number: 246