THE QTEL TEAM
Senior Program Associate
Elsa Billings serves as a Senior Program Associate in WestEd’s Teacher Professional
Development Program. Billings works on the Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL) Initiative where she provides professional development to teachers seeking to improve their instructional practices and increase educational access and success for their English language learners (ELLs). Her focus is on designing and conducting professional development for teachers, instructional leaders and site administrators on the implementation of quality learning opportunities for ELLs, with a special emphasis on the elementary grade levels.
Billings brings extensive experience and expertise in the area of educating ELLs. Prior to joining WestEd in 2016, Billings’ professional experience included serving as the ELL Co-Advisor for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO); as a professor in the College of Education at San Diego State University; and, as a consultant for Stanford University’s Understanding Language Initiative. Her career in the field of education started as a bilingual elementary teacher.
Billings has published numerous book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals. Her corpus of work includes investigations of the pedagogical practices in serving ELLs in the classroom, and the ways that technological innovations can support teaching and learning.
In addition to her research and work in the classroom, Billings provides leadership in the area of educating ELLs through service at the state and national levels. Billings served as Elementary Chair for the California Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (CATESOL), as Chair of the Hispanic Research Issues Special Interest Group within the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and as a previous participant leader with the Latino Legacy Weekend.
Billings earned a Ph.D. in Language, Learning, and Policy from Stanford University. She also holds an M.A. in Language, Literacy, and Culture, and an M.A. in Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation with a minor in Organizational Behavior, both from Stanford University.