Charles Smith, Ph.D.

Charles Smith

Director of Research



His professional passion has been to help vulnerable children and adults fully engage in what education settings have to offer – so that those settings do not make the already difficult lived experiences even more difficult. Charles has pursued this aim, as an adult educator and researcher, by building tools and systems that both improve lower quality settings and/or help recognize already excellent ones. He has led a program of innovation – the Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI) and the Program Quality Assessments (Youth, School-Age, SEL) - from design “bench” to scaled “bedside” at two field leading organizations, the HighScope Educational Research Foundation (1999-2005) and the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality at the Forum for Youth Investment (2006-20017). At QTurn LLC (2018-2024), he provided quality coaching services to grow trauma-responsive practices in school-based afterschool programs in the Flint, Michigan region; and in the United Kingdom (UK), and supported YMCA of the UK (George Williams College) to develop a suite of SEL measures for program quality and child skills in the youth provision sector.

Charles Smith obtained his degrees from Wayne State University in the City of Detroit where he studied the history of the 19th century welfare state, education policies for K-12 civics education and adult learning; and worked on the Youth Urban Agenda Project. His first careers, starting childhood, were as a farm laborer, dairy herd manager and carpenter. According to Gallup Strengths Finder, his most advanced leadership skills are: Strategic, Learner, Relator, Achiever, and Belief. Additional digital details can be found at LinkedIn [(99+) Charles Smith | LinkedIn] and publications are available on Research Gate [Charles SMITH | Managing Consultant | PhD | Research profile (]. Charles' interests include gardening, advocacy around climate change and child labor; and conducting music as he participates in Detroit’s music subcultures.