Dr. Colleen A. Smith began her tenure as Coconino Community College’s Fifth President on February 1, 2016. The District Governing Board chose Dr. Smith because of her extensive experience as a community college administrator and CEO. That experience, coupled with her years as a full-time faculty member at Western Wyoming Community College provided her with a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of higher education leadership. She has a passion for the mission of the community college, and the students and communities served by that mission.
Throughout her career, Dr. Smith’s focus on the students and her collaborative leadership style have served as the driving force behind learning innovations and success initiatives that effectively implement policy changes and launch new programs. She has successfully negotiated partnerships with Universities and Public Schools to provide smooth transitions for students, as well as with local municipalities for the development of mutually beneficial training facilities. Her in-depth understanding of both the national and state higher education environment, as well as her CEO experience with budgets and facilities have all contributed to the realistic and results-oriented approach she brings to leadership in the comprehensive community college. Dr. Smith earned her Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University and both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Texas A&M Commerce (previously known as East Texas State University). She has presented for national conferences on various aspects of the assessment of student learning and has served as a consultant for a variety of colleges and universities throughout the United States and also in Canada.
In her spare time, Dr. Smith enjoys spending time with her family, reading, writing, hiking and camping.