Ellen Altermatt

Contact Information

Education and Evaluation Associate
Science Education Resource Center
Carleton College
(507) 222-5343

Professional Experience

I joined the SERC Evaluation Team in January 2019. I have over 20 years of experience conducting basic and applied educational research and teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. My basic research program has focused on understanding the factors that impact the academic outcomes, including the "non-cognitive" outcomes, of K-16 students. My applied work has focused on conducting formative and summative evaluations for programs in higher education, K-12, and outside of school time (OST) settings. Some of my most recent work has been in service to the Center for Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS), the Polar Literacy Initiative, the LACOL QLAB Project, and the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Data Labs Project. Areas of expertise include:

  • designing and conducting correlational, experimental, and quasi-experimental studies;
  • developing and validating survey measures, including measures for collecting intensive longitudinal data (e.g., "daily diary" data);
  • data reduction;
  • performing and coding classroom and OST observations;
  • conducting and coding interviews with individuals and focus groups;
  • collecting and manipulating data from a variety of local, state, and federal databases;
  • wrangling and visualizing data in SPSS and R;
  • analyzing data using both qualitative and quantitative techniques including narrative analysis, ANOVA, regression, mediation analysis, meta-analysis, propensity score matching (PSM), social network analysis (SNA), and multilevel modeling (MLM).


Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Developmental Psychology (Quantitative Psychology)
M.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Educational Psychology


Harvard EdX PH125.1x: Data Science. R Basics
Harvard EdX PH125.2x: Data Science. Data Visualization in R
Harvard EdX PH125.6x: Data Science. Data Wrangling in R
Harvard EdX PH125.7x: Data Science. Linear Regression in R
DataCamp: Intermediate R; Introduction to the Tidyverse; Reporting with R Markdown; Data Manipulation with dplyr; Network Analysis in R; Introduction to Regression in R; Hierarchical and Mixed Effects Models in R

Employment History

Science Education Resource Center (SERC)
Carleton College
January 2019 - Present

St. Olaf College
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Psychology
February 2021 - May 2021

Hanover College
Professor, Department of Psychology
September 2015 - December 2018

Indiana Youth Institute
Program Evaluation Consultant
June 2015 - August 2018

Hanover College
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
September 2008 - August 2015

Hanover College
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
September 2003 - August 2008

Michigan State University
Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
September 2001 - August 2003

Teaching Experience

Academic Service Learning, Adulthood and Aging, Adult Development, Advanced Research Methods, Basic Principles in Psychology, Child and Adolescent Development, Cognitive Development Across the Lifespan, Developmental Psychology, First-Year Seminar, Nature and Nurture, Seminar in Educational Psychology, Psychological Development, Psychology of Gender, Psychology of the Family, Research Practicum, Research Seminar, Social and Personality Development, Social Development Across the Lifespan

Selected Publications and Presentations

Eblen-Zayas, M., Altermatt, E., Muller, L. J., Leamon, J., & Richard, S. (2020). Supporting student quantitative skills across introductory STEM courses: faculty approaches and perceived needs, 2020 PERC Proceedings [Virtual Conference, July 22-23, 2020], edited by S. Wolf, M. B. Bennett, and B. W. Frank, doi: 10.1119/perc.2020.pr.Eblen-Zayas.

Beane, R., Altermatt, E. R., Iverson, E. R., & Macdonald, R. H. (2020). Design and impact of the workshop for early career geoscience faculty. Journal of Geoscience Education. DOI: 10.108/1089995.2020.1722787

Altermatt, E. R. (2019). Academic support from peers as a predictor of academic self-efficacy among college students. Journal of College Student Retention. Advance Online Publication. DOI: 10.1177/ 1521025116686588

Altermatt, E.R., Dine Young, S., & Tuttle, K. K. (2018, June). The promises and perils of assessing grit and other non-cognitive skills. Presented at the annual meeting of the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium, Spokane, WA.

Altermatt, E. R. (2017). Grade-level declines in perceived academic support from peers: A moderated mediation analysis. Journal of Early Adolescence, 37, 760-773.

Altermatt, E. R. (2017). Academic competence perceptions moderate the effects of peer support following academic success disclosures. Social Development, 26, 921-936.

Altermatt, E. R., & Gawronska, M. (2017, September). Ardent about AVID: A community-based participatory research approach to evaluating a college-readiness program. Presented at the annual meeting of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, Birmingham, AL.

Altermatt, E. R., Dischinger-Smedes, G., & Busch, I. (2017, April). Support from peers following everyday academic challenge and success disclosures predicts college students' academic self-efficacy. Presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychology Association, Chicago, IL.

Altermatt, E. R., & Painter, J. K. (2016). I did well. Should I tell? Gender differences in children's academic success disclosures. Sex Roles, 74, 46-61.

Altermatt, E. R. (2015). Predicting day-to-day changes in students' school-related affect from daily academic experiences and social interactions. Journal of Experimental Education, 83,218-235.

Ryan, A. M., Altermatt, E. R., North, E. A., & McKellar, S. (2015, April). Teacher practices, classroom peer ecology, and student engagement. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

Altermatt, E. R. (2012). Children's achievement-related discourse with peers: Uncovering the processes of peer influence. In A. Ryan and G. Ladd (Eds.), Peer Relationships and Adjustment at School (pp. 109-134). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Altermatt, E. R. (2011). Capitalizing on academic success: Students' interactions with friends as predictors of school adjustment. Journal of Early Adolescence, 31, 174-203.

Altermatt, E. R., & Ivers, I. (2011). Friends' responses to children's disclosure of an achievement-related success: An observational study. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 57,429-454.

Altermatt, E. R. & Broady, E. F. (2009). Coping with achievement-related failure: An examination of conversations between friends. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 55, 454-487.

Krantz, J. H., Dine Young, S., Altermatt, T. W., Altermatt, E. R., & Mamberg, M. H. (2008). Encouraging undergraduate research: Hanover College's psychology major. In S. F. Davis, M. Ware, R. Miller, & R. Rycek (Eds.), Promoting, Developing, and Sustaining the Undergraduate Research Experience in Psychology (pp. 78-80). The Society for the Teaching of Psychology.

Altermatt, E. R. (2007). Coping with academic failure: Gender differences in students' self-reported interactions with family members and friends. Journal of Early Adolescence, 27, 479-508.

Altermatt, E. R., & Kenney-Benson, G. A. (2006). Friends' influence on school adjustment: A review of three perspectives. In A. V. Mitel (Ed.), Trends in Educational Psychology (pp. 137-153). New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Altermatt, E. R., & Pomerantz, E. M. (2005). The implications of having high-achieving versus low-achieving friends: A longitudinal analysis. Social Development, 14, 61-81.

Krantz, J. H., Dine Young, S. Altermatt, E. R., & Altermatt, T. W. (2004, April). Integrating research into the curriculum to foster intellectual development regardless of the career path. Presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Guzick, D. T., Dorman, W. J., Groff, T. S., Altermatt, E. R., & Forsyth, G. A. (2004). Fostering social interest in schools for long-term and short-term outcomes. Journal of Individual Psychology, 60, 361-378.

Altermatt, E. R., & Kim, M. E. (2004). Can anxiety explain sex differences in college entrance exam scores? Journal of College Admission, 183, 6-11.

Altermatt, E. R., & Pomerantz, E. M. (2003). The development of competence-related and motivational beliefs: An investigation of similarity and influence among friends. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 111-123.

Pomerantz, E. M., Altermatt, E. R., & Saxon, J. L. (2002). Making the grade but feeling distressed: Gender differences in academic performance and internal distress. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 396-404.

Altermatt, E. R., Pomerantz, E. M., Ruble, D. N., Frey, K. S., & Greulich, F. K. (2002). Predicting changes in children's self-perceptions of academic competence: A naturalistic examination of evaluative discourse among classmates. Developmental Psychology, 38, 903-917.