Peter Smith

With his national and global experience spanning over 45 years, Dr. Peter Smith is widely acknowledged as a "one-of-a-kind" leader and innovator in adult and lifelong learning. Peter designed, launched, and successfully secured state funding for the Community College of Vermont in 1970, beginning at the age of 24. The college was designed around the needs of rural adults who had neither the time nor the money to attend college. Today, the Community College of Vermont serves more Vermonters than the rest of the Vermont State Colleges system collectively or the University of Vermont. It acts as the "front door" to both the state college system and the University. As the founding president of California State University, Monterey Bay in 1995, Peter introduced two semesters of service learning as a graduation requirement in an outcomes-based academic program, which is still in practice at the university today. As Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO, Peter went global. He supported the effort to "globalize" open educational resources, making access to high quality content free and simple around the world. For his leadership in this and subsequent "open" efforts, Peter was awarded the "Leadership Award for Open Education Excellence" by the global Open Education Consortium in 2015. And, early in 2017 he was elected to their Board of Directors. Continuing his tradition of disruptive innovation at Kaplan University, Peter established the first on-line assessment program for prior experiential learning, enriching the lives of thousands of learners who benefited from the program. And, as his crowning achievement there, Peter founded his third institution, the Open College at Kaplan University, which operates to this day.


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