Dr. J. Montana Cain is the proud founder of JMC Consulting Firm, LLC. She believes that marginalized communities deserve high-quality programs and that those programs are led by organizations committed to equity. JMC Consulting Firm, LLC provides a full-range of evaluation services to help organizations measure impact and scale success through an approach that centers equity, collaboration, and action.
Dr. J. Montana Cain pairs her decade of evaluation experience with more than a decade of experience as an educator at both the secondary and postsecondary level. As an evaluator, her mission is to ensure that communities, especially the most marginalized, receive the high-quality programs that they deserve.
Her professional journey started as a secondary Spanish teacher, where she worked in racially, economically, and geographically diverse communities in Brookline, MA, Newburgh, NY, and Fayetteville, NC. The disparities she witnessed called her to question the educational system, specifically issues of equity regarding the outcomes and experiences of young people. These questions drive her professional journey and her commitment to addressing inequities through research and evaluation and building the capacity of others to engage in these critical conversations and practices. At the post-secondary level, Dr. Cain taught Advanced Assessment Techniques and Social Justice in Education to pre-service teachers and Cross-Cultural Counseling to pre-service counselors. She has also been invited as a guest speaker in graduate courses on topics such as survey methodology, equity-oriented teaching, and critical quantitative best practices.
In her work, Dr. Cain prioritizes collaboration, use, and equity to ensure that all stakeholder voices are included, findings are deemed actionable, and issues of race equity are uncovered and therefore addressed. Prior to joining Creative Research Solutions, she worked as the Senior Manager of Research and Evaluation at the Forum for Youth Investment’s David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. There, she supported the advancement of the youth development research agenda by managing multiple research and evaluation projects focused on leveraging continuous quality improvement and other strategies toward changing the odds that children and youth are ready for college, work, and life. Her key responsibilities included project management, measure development, data management, and building processes and systems to support data collection and use.
Dr. Cain has worked in the field of public health with Children’s Trust of South Carolina and education with the University of South Carolina’s Research, Evaluation, and Measurement Center and policy with the Education Policy Initiative at Carolina (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Through those experiences she developed an expertise in the full range of evaluation activities which includes design, coordination, monitoring, analysis, and reporting for a variety of clients. She has a specialization in applied psychometrics, instrument development, and survey methodology, which she leverages in her work. She designed and conducted the initial validation studies for the Multicultural Teacher Capacity Scale. Along with her colleagues, she developed the Globally Competent Teaching Continuum which is currently used internationally.
Dr. Cain earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology, measurement, and evaluation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; her master’s in second language acquisition from the State University of New York at New Paltz; and her bachelors in Spanish and psychology from Wellesley College. She is an active member of the American Evaluation Association serving on the leadership boards of the Multiethnic Issues in Evaluation; Organizational Learning and Evaluation Capacity-Building; and Nonprofits and Foundation Topical Interest Groups. Her published works can be found in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Community Psychology, Journal of Social Work Education, and the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy.