University of La Verne Names Kimberly White-Smith Dean of LaFetra College of Education

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The University of La Verne announced Dr. Kimberly A. White-Smith as the newly-appointed dean of the recently named LaFetra College of Education.

Dr. Kimberly White-Smith

I look forward to working in collaboration with LaFetra College of Education faculty and administration to develop exceptional educators and leaders who can positively impact students, families and communities.

The University of La Verne announced Dr. Kimberly A. White-Smith as the newly-appointed dean of the recently named LaFetra College of Education. Dr. White-Smith joined the campus this month and fills the role previously held by Interim Dean Barbara Poling.

“We are honored to welcome Dr. White-Smith to the University of La Verne community,” said President Devorah Lieberman. “Her exceptional academic credentials make her the ideal choice to lead the LaFetra College of Education. Dean White-Smith will continue to further the University of La Verne’s expertise in the field of education and our 125-year heritage of preparing highly qualified and exemplary teachers.. We are especially proud of our teachers’ and educators’ success in serving traditionally under-resourced schools and communities.”

Dr. White-Smith most recently served as Associate Dean of the College of Educational Studies and Director of the Donna Ford Attallah Educator Development Academy at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. Her tenure at Chapman University, beginning in 2004, included increasingly responsible administrative positions within the College of Educational Studies, where she was also a Professor of Education. She received her doctorate in learning and instruction from University of Southern California; her dissertation focused on teaching and leadership in high performing, low-income, high minority elementary schools.

“Dr. White-Smith’s accomplishments as a teacher-scholar, her alignment with the University’s mission and values, as well as her vision for educating California’s highly diverse public school demographic, make her the ideal choice to lead the LaFetra College of Education,” said Provost Jonathan Reed.

The new dean said she is honored to take on what she called an extraordinary opportunity.

“I look forward to working in collaboration with LaFetra College of Education faculty and administration to develop exceptional educators and leaders who can positively impact students, families and communities. The University of La Verne is uniquely positioned to support the need for teachers in urban centers and to be a leader in preparing teachers to succeed in their communities,” Dr. White-Smith said.

Raised in Inglewood, Calif., Dr. White-Smith was a first-generation college graduate. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Berkeley and her Master’s Degree from Teacher’s College at Columbia University in New York. Dr. White-Smith is the author of numerous scholarly articles on teaching and learning, and among other professional organizations, she is a member of the American Educational Research Association and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.. In 2015, she was awarded the Martin Luther King Legacy Award from Chapman University.

About LaFetra College of Education
In May 2016, University of La Verne’s College of Education and Organizational Leadership was renamed LaFetra College of Education in recognition of a $10 million gift from Anthony LaFetra, a successful Southern California businessman and member of the University of La Verne Board of Trustees. The LaFetra College of Education (LFCE) includes undergraduate programs in education as well as several masters’ degrees and a doctorate degree (Ed.D.). Operating under four guiding principles – caring, excellence, leadership, and diversity – LFCE has established institutes that foster dialogue in the fields of child development, educational policy, and school reform. Nearly 1,400 students enrolled in these programs Fall 2015.

About the University of La Verne
Founded in 1891 and located 35 miles east of Los Angeles, the University of La Verne is a private, nonprofit, comprehensive institution founded on four core values: lifelong learning, ethical reasoning, civic and community engagement, and diversity and inclusivity. The University of La Verne serves nearly 8,400 students on the historic La Verne location as well as across 10 Southern California regional campuses. Four colleges – LaFetra College of Education, College of Business and Public Management, College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Law – provide 51 undergraduate degree programs, 17 master’s degrees and four doctoral degrees.

U.S. News and World Report named the University of La Verne the top institution in the state the last three years for having the best online undergraduate programs. The same organization also named the university No. 1 in California in its 2015 Best Colleges for Veterans report. That same year, preLaw magazine awarded the College of Law an A+ rating and ranked it the No. 3 law school in the nation for diversity.

Students attending the University of La Verne represent the changing demographics of the State of California and the future demographics of the entire country. More than 40% of the University’s students are the first in their families to attend college. Additionally, 55% of students are from underrepresented populations (43.7% Hispanic, 5.8% African-American, 5.2% Asian, .4% American Indian/Alaskan Native). Nearly all (93.7%) University of La Verne undergraduate students receive institutional financial aid, $45 million of which the University of La Verne provided in 2015-16.

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