April Crawford, Ph.D.Associate Professor and Director of Strategic Initiatives & Program Implementation

April Crawford, PhD is an associate professor and serves as the director of strategic initiatives and program implementation at the Children’s Learning Institute at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). She has been with CLI for more than 15 years. In this role, she conducts research and oversees implementation of CLI’s statewide initiatives focusing on early childhood education and literacy, including the Texas School Ready project, the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office, Reach Out and Read-Texas, and CLI Engage, the online platform serving more than 35,000 early childhood teachers, specialists, and administrators in Texas. Dr. Crawford serves as the principal investigator for several current research projects at CLI. She directly oversees statewide implementation of the nationally recognized Texas School Ready project, which serves approximately 1,500 teachers and 25,000 children annually. Along with other faculty members, she provides grant writing and project management support to further the mission of CLI and expand our programs.

Dr. Crawford developed several research-based performance assessment tools and measures for use by pre-k teachers participating in the Texas School Ready project, including the Classroom Observation Tool (COT), the Classroom Environment Checklist (CEC), and the Administrator Classroom Observation Tool (A-COT).  She served as the lead author of the Texas Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners and Administrators. Dr. Crawford was appointed to the Texas Early Learning Council in 2019 by Governor Greg Abbott.

Dr. Crawford earned her doctorate degree from the University of Houston in political science and public policy.


  Curriculum Vitae
April Crawford, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director of Strategic Initiatives & Program Implementation
713-500-3740
April.Crawford@uth.tmc.edu
April Crawford, Ph.D.