Debra Smith, PhD.

Director, Program Evaluation & Research Group

Debra Richardson Smith, Ph.D. is Director of the Program Evaluation and Research Group (PERG) and faculty member in the Educational Leadership Ed.D. program at Endicott College.

As PERG’s director, she oversees the group’s work and collaborates on research and evaluation studies in formal and informal education settings. Debra’s experience in education over three decades includes teaching in a variety of contexts from pre-school to graduate school; program, curriculum and assessment design; and research and evaluation. She was the founding director of the Collaborative Inquiry and Development Group at the University of Southern Maine where she led several research projects focused on teachers’ deepening understanding of students’ learning through assessment and collaborative inquiry, and professional collaborations to address issues of equity in PK-12 settings. Equity in education continues to be the main thread in her work. Her recent research has focused on student parents in higher education, and arts integration to support literacy development in elementary and middle schools.

Along with Joan Karp and Elizabeth Osche, she is co-author of the several research studies and evaluation reports focused on college students with children, with funding from the WK Kellogg Foundation, ASCEND at the Aspen Institute, the US Department of Education, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Ascend at the Aspen Institute.

For more information about PERG visit:

Publications & Projects

The Family Friendly Campus Toolkit Website (for easily downloadable individual tools and forms)

Full Toolkit – Downloadable PDF

Baccalaureate Student Parent Programs and the Students They

Full Report

Fact Sheet: Student Parents at Four-Year Colleges and Universities

Fact Sheet: Student Parent Programs at Four-Year Colleges and Universities