Rising leader tapped to drive innovation

YPSILANTI, MI, June 29, 2017 — HighScope Educational Research Foundation welcomes Iheoma Iruka, PhD, as Chief Research Innovation Officer and Director of the Center for Early Education Evaluation (CEEE). In this role, Dr. Iruka will lead research strategy to generate new knowledge in the field of early childhood education.

“Iheoma is an extraordinary researcher with the passion to drive significant advancements across the early childhood sector,” said Cheryl Polk, PhD, HighScope President. “Under Iheoma’s leadership, we’re confident in our ability to extend HighScope’s legacy into the future.”

Dr. Iruka joins HighScope from the University of Nebraska, where she led research at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute as Director of Research and Evaluation. She previously held the role of Associate Director at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Iruka brings to HighScope and the CEEE a deep understanding of policy and programmatic solutions to provide children with equitable opportunities to meet their potential.

“I’m excited to join the team and build on HighScope’s important work,” said Dr. Iruka. “We will focus on new research that will continue to improve early learning experiences and empower educators and policymakers to close opportunity and achievement gaps.”

Dr. Iruka earned a doctorate in applied developmental psychology from the University of Miami. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Temple University. Dr. Iruka is a current member of several national boards and committees, including Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) and National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI).

Read Dr. Iruka’s full biography.

About The Center for Early Education Evaluation

The Center for Early Education Evaluation (CEEE) is the independent research and evaluation division of HighScope. Driven by the belief that early access to high-quality education sets children on a trajectory to success, the CEEE focuses on systematic research-based and research-informed evidence that supports the implementation of practices and policies that improve outcomes for children, families, and communities. Specifically, CEEE prioritizes research that advances the knowledge base related to key factors that prevent or reduce opportunity and, subsequently, achievement gaps; and research that examines HighScope’s curricula, assessments, and trainings to improve early learning experiences and settings.

About HighScope

HighScope Educational Research Foundation is an early childhood leader in pursuit of a world where all children have the opportunity to develop socially, emotionally, and cognitively so they have satisfying, productive lives. HighScope supports the development of young children from birth through age eight by developing and providing quality, research-based, high-quality curricula, assessments, professional learning, and other supports in the context of families and their communities.

HighScope’s roots extend back to the Perry Preschool Project (1962–1967). Launched in Ypsilanti, Michigan and led by Ypsilanti Schools psychologist David Weikart and Perry Elementary School principal Charles Eugene Beatty, the Perry Preschool Project was one of the first early childhood programs in the United States intentionally designed to increase school success for preschool children living in poverty. Today, HighScope’s work can be found in classrooms throughout the United States and in educational settings around the globe.


Media Contact:
Tara Baliat
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