Educational Policy, Foundations & AdministratiVe studies

Graduate School of Education

Dr. Michael J. Smith

Assistant Professor


Michael J. Smith, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Portland State University

Graduate School of Education

Educational Policy, Foundations, and

Administrative Studies







Professor Michael J. Smith joined the EPFA faculty in Fall of 2005.† He is pa member of the Postsecondary,† Adult and Continuing Education (PACE) Program faculty.


Michael is the child of two United States Air Force enlistees.† He lived in at least eight places as a child.† He attended high school in Lancaster, Calif., where he later† enrolled in community college.† After earning an Associate of Arts degree from Antelope Valley College, he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) . Michael worked for 11 years in the field of college admissions for LMU and for Claremont McKenna College (CMC).


After six years with CMC Michael earned a Masterís degree from the University of Michiganís Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, under the direction of Professor Sylvia Hurtado.† He returned to CMC for two more years then left to pursue doctoral studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).† As a doctoral student he taught undergraduate service learning courses and was a very happy Starbucks barista!† In 2002 he earned his doctorate under the tutelage of Professor Patricia McDonough and presented his dissertation research on how sociological forms of capital shape the college choice experiences of African American parents.


From 2002 to 2004† Professor Smith taught as a lecturer for UCLAís undergraduate education program and conducted postdoctoral research sponsored by the University of California All Campus Consortium for Research on Diversity (UC/Accord).† Last year he served as a postdoctoral assistant to the Chair of Education while teaching classes to undergraduates at UCLA and at Santa Monica Community College.†


A recently completed study from his combined postdoctoral years explored the interaction of African American single mothers and their college bound high school daughters using a tri-generational approach.†

Mailing address:

Graduate School of Education


Portland State University
PO Box 751
Portland, OR† 97207-0751

Contact Information

615 SW Harrison

Office 506-A ED

Phone: 503-725-9722
Fax: 503-725-3200