Hope College’s Dr. Temple Smith explores college-aged populations and the impact of childhood poverty on aspirations. Dr. Smith is dedicated to mentoring undergraduate students and addressing systemic educational inequities among college populations.
Smith is an assistant professor of sociology and social work. She attended Michigan State University, where she received her B.A. and PhD in sociology. She examined college student financial strain, depression and academic performance and was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Her research connects empirical findings to influence collegiate culture and practices. Smith’s most recent publications appear in the “Journal of Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care.” Her current research focuses on the issues of childhood poverty along with opportunity construction and academic performance.
Smith explored these topics of impact in her presentation, “Higher Learning: Poverty, Ac cess and Education.” Smith con fronts the weight of heightening prices of college tuition, inadequate secondary school preparation and overwhelming student loan debt as factors that de crease motivation to attend college. Fellow administrators and scholars have similar findings to Smith, as college is becoming optional to some and students lose educational aspirations in the midst of the taxing system.
Her lecture is part of the Continuum Scholars Faculty Development Program. The program is devised of pretenured faculty taking approaches on theological perspectives in a wide range of education related areas. The goal of the program is to create dialogue among the faculty and community on topics of faith, vocation and research.
Smith confronted the alarm ing issues because one the few options for affected youths to escape cyclic poverty is through higher education.
Smith discussed the threatening social factors of decreasing motivations for college and taking steps to reshape educational possibilities. She shared her personal story and Christian faith. Smith’s motivation for her research comes from her experiences with poverty and under standing some of her students’ experiences.
Smith desires to create new pathways in the educational system for students. She approaches changes to the educational system to create a more friendly and possible leeway to college.