Erik Ruzek, PhD

Senior Research Scientist

Erik Ruzek’s research focuses on how classroom and school processes shape student engagement, motivation, and learning. As an educational psychologist, his work emphasizes the measurement of students' subjective experiences of their classrooms and school.  He combines student-reported experiential data with classroom observations, teacher reports, and direct assessments to identify the essential features of teacher-student and student-peer interactions that engage and motivate students. 

Dr. Ruzek also has conducted research on early childhood education. He is co-investigator of a longitudinal study of preschool through early elementary school funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. His most recent work in this area includes the development and validation of a motivation survey for preschool through second grade students.

Before joining NWEA, Dr. Ruzek was a research professor in the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, which is housed within the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. He earned a PhD in educational policy and social context from University of California, Irvine, CA. Prior to getting his PhD, he was a college admissions counselor for different University of California and California State University campuses.