Smith, Cindra


Dr. Cindra Smith consults regularly for community colleges in California, as well as in the United States and Canada. She has conducted over 200 workshops for more than 80 governing boards and leadership teams. Her focuses include facilitation, board development, goal setting, and professional development evaluation. Other consulting work in the past five years has included interim vice president for the Collaborative Brain Trust; external program evaluator for the California Leadership Alliance for Student Success (funded by the Irvine and Hewlett Foundations), and contributing to publications for the Community College League of California and Association of Community College Trustees. She served as Director of Education Services for the Community College League of California from 1988 through 2007, which is a non-profit association representing the 112 colleges in California. At the League, Dr. Smith directed professional development programs for community college trustees, administrators and faculty; her work included developing curriculum for conferences and seminars, as well as model training materials for governing boards.

She has authored or edited numerous works on board governance, including Trusteeship in Community Colleges: A Guide to EffectiveGovernance, published by the Association of Community College Trustees. Other publications include California’s Trustee Handbook, Fiscal Responsibilities, Assessing Board Effectiveness, Policy Analyses Related to Student Success in California Community Colleges, and the monograph, Great Teachers Seminars: Why They Work¸ used by Great Teachers seminars nationally.

In addition to her work with the League, she has been a Special Consultant, Trustee Education for the Association of Community College Trustees. She has also taught in the Community College Faculty Preparation Certificate program offered at California State University, Sacramento.

Smith also has experience in community college student services, instruction, and program development. She served as Dean of Counseling and Student Development at Sacramento City College and as a counselor and instructor at Lake Tahoe Community College, where she helped open the college and initiated many programs and services. She started her career in education as an academic advisor at the California State University, Chico and taught psychology at Butte Community College in Oroville.

Smith earned a B. A. in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an M. A. in Psychology from the California State University, Chico. In 1997, she earned her doctorate in Educational Administration from the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin, which included an internship at the Dallas County Community College District. Her doctorate work included research on the Policy Governance® model and she is a graduate of John Carver’s Policy Governance Academy.

She is passionate about community colleges and the importance of their contributions to society.