Hi! I’m Elizabeth and this is my blog. I started this blog because I wanted a place to jot down thoughts about education in the U.S. I’m a believer in a P-20 education system, meaning I especially like to think about how P-12 education policy influences higher education and vice versa. This blog includes my takes on P-12 education policy, higher education policy, college access and success for low-income students, and assessment in higher education. Sometimes I write to contribute to a public conversation about current topics in education and other times I write to help me formulate ideas for my research. These are just my thoughts and opinions and don’t speak for my employer. If you’re looking for a more formal introduction, read my professional biography below.
Dr. Elizabeth Smith joined the University of Tulsa in July 2016 to lead the Yale National Initiative, a partnership between TU, Tulsa Public Schools, and Yale University to improve teaching in high-poverty, urban schools. In fall 2017, she was appointed Chair of the Department of Education and currently leads the department and teacher preparation programs at TU.
Through her previous work with the Yale National Initiative, she was charged with establishing the Teachers Institute for Tulsa, a teacher professional development model refined over the past 40 years at Yale. Through the Teachers Institute, TU faculty facilitate seminars for about 50 Tulsa teachers on four topics of the teachers’ choosing related to STEM and Humanities or Social Sciences. By the conclusion of the seminars, teachers have written a curriculum unit to implement in their classroom; units are then published by TU and Yale and disseminated around the world for other teachers to use.
Prior to joining TU, Dr. Smith’s professional experience includes overseeing assessment and accreditation at a private liberal arts university and developing a student leadership program at a community college. She spent 11 years at the University of Arkansas and four years within the College of Education and Health Professions where she led a state-funded program to promote collaboration between the University and public schools in the region. In this role, she created programs to improve school-university partnerships that are now being replicated throughout the state. Dr. Smith began her career recruiting students to attend college from largely low-income, first-generation, and rural backgrounds and extended this work through a federal TRiO grant program to ensure first-generation, low-income students had access to personalized college-going resources.
A graduate of the WASC Assessment Leadership Academy and site visitor for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), Dr. Smith enjoys traveling around the United States to support the improvement of educator preparation programs. During her career, she has authored or co-authored successful local, state, and national grants to support her work, totaling nearly three-quarters of a million dollars. Dr. Smith maintains an active research agenda on education policy, P-20 education partnerships, and assessment in higher education, with her work recently featured in the School Community Journal and Intersection.
Dr. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership, and Doctorate in Public Policy: P-20 Education Policy, all from the University of Arkansas.