Shanta M. Smith

  • Associate Professor of Clinical Education

Research Concentration

  • K-12 Education Policy


  • Amplifying Student Agency, Equity and STEAM • Culturally Responsive Radical Self-Care • Culturally Sustaining Professional Learning for Black Women Educational Leaders
Shanta M. Smith

Contact Information


Shanta M. Smith, EdD, is an associate professor of clinical education for the Master of Arts in Teaching program at USC Rossier. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Science degree in education from the University of New Haven, a sixth-year diploma in educational leadership from Southern Connecticut State University and a Doctor of Education degree in educational and organizational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her appointment at USC Rossier, she served as a public school educator for over 22 years. She was the principal of two STEAM magnet schools, an assistant principal, a math instructional coach, a middle school math teacher, a middle school writing teacher, an elementary school teacher, a Freedom School Servant Leader and an adjunct faculty member. In each of these roles, she implemented culturally responsive, student-centered instructional and leadership practices that recognized the funds of knowledge of students and families and improved student outcomes. Her service on multiple district-level diversity, equity and inclusion leadership teams led to marked improvements in recruiting highly qualified teachers of color in high-needs schools. Moreover, she is an executive board member of the National Association of Black STEM Teachers, whose primary thrust is to advance integrative STEM education for students and enhance STEM faculty development. Her professional commitments align with her research interests which include amplifying student agency, equity and STEAM; culturally responsive radical self-care; and culturally sustaining professional learning for Black women educational leaders. She has penned articles on self-care in scholarly journals and newspapers and delivered presentations throughout the nation sharing her research on culturally responsive radical self-care. 

Courses Taught

EDUC 673: Applications of Elementary Mathematics, Science and Physical Education – Pedagogy A

EDUC 671: Contexts for Educational Equity, Access, and Agency