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Caroline Christopher

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Human and Organizational Development
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning

Caroline Christopher is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Human and Organizational Development. Dr. Christopher’s work focuses on investigating the efficacy of social and educational programs designed to improve outcomes for at risk youth. 

She is currently the principal investigator on three projects.  Dr. Christopher is part of a research practice partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning which is tasked with identifying problems of practice and engaging in action research to address issues affecting equity in access to high quality learning environments.  Related to this work, she received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct a cross-sectional study of the alignment of quality and content across grades Pre-K through 2. 

In addition, Dr. Christopher is pursuing design-based implementation research through a grant she received from the National Science Foundation.  The aim of this work has been assembling an interdisciplinary team of educators, administrators, policy experts, and engineers to develop a progressive web application (PWA).  This tool will provide guidance to instructional leaders in early education settings as they make data-driven decisions about how to work with teachers to promote positive classroom climate and engaging, high-quality instruction. 

She is also co-PI on the Nashville Longitudinal Study of Youth Safety and Wellbeing (PI: Maury Nation). In addition to pursuing the long-term goal of creating a multi-cohort longitudinal dataset to archive with ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research), this project involves partnering with Metro Nashville Public Schools in order to identify and answer research questions that will help the district make decisions about how to tackle existing issues related to student supports. 

Before coming to Vanderbilt, Christopher received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin and was awarded a T32 NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship through the Prevention Research Center at Arizona State University. During her postdoctoral training, Christopher worked with teams who develop, implement, and empirically evaluate prevention programs.