Ximena Franco, PhD, is an advanced research scientist at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has more than 15 years of experience in clinical and life-span developmental psychology and applied research. Most of this research experience has been with ethnically diverse children and families within clinic, school, and community settings. She is especially interested in the study of socio-emotional development of preschool-aged dual language learners (DLLs). Her work integrates children's educational and family environments and is aimed at developing culturally robust assessment and intervention strategies for early care and education teachers working with DLLs.
Dr. Franco is involved with various projects at FPG. She serves as a co-principal investigator on a study examining associations between language of instruction and young children's academic outcomes in Spanish-English dual language educational settings and Co-I on the Early Learning Network (ELN) study examining malleable factors associated with children's school readiness and achievement as they transition from pre-K to 3rd grade funded by IES. She served as Co-PI on the study Nuestros Niños Program: Promoting School Readiness for English Language Learners funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test the efficacy of a professional development intervention for teachers of DLLs in preschool programs.
Dr. Franco's work also involves policies and practices related to state quality rating and improvement systems for early childhood. She served as PI on the North Carolina Statewide Birth-5 Needs Assessment project. She served as the PI of a project to develop a comprehensive PreK Monitoring System for the Integrated Support for Learning with the Vermont Agency of Education and served as Co-PI on the evaluation of North Carolina's Quality Rating Improvement System.
Dr. Franco serves as a member of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Communications Advisory Board.