Ashley A. Smith

Ashley A. Smith, Reporter, covers community colleges, for-profit schools and non-traditional students for Inside Higher Ed. She joined the publication in 2015 after covering government and K-12 education for the Fort Myers News-Press in Florida for three years. Ashley also covered K-12 and higher education for three years at the Marshfield News-Herald in Wisconsin. She has interned with The Flint Journal, USA Today and the Detroit Free Press. Ashley grew up in Detroit and is a 2008 graduate of Michigan State University. 

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Most Recent Articles

March 22, 2019
In the aftermath of closure, Argosy University graduate and doctoral students have difficulty transferring to new universities.
March 20, 2019
The California Community Colleges Board of Governors agreed Monday to end the use of placement exams in the system. The board was required to make the change because of a new state law that took effect in January 2018. The bill requires the community college system to be compliant by this fall. The new law mandates that colleges rely on high school course work, high school grades and grade point averages to assess students' abilities.
March 14, 2019
State lawmakers, advised by Robert Shireman, want to fill what they call a void in federal leadership by enforcing regulations on for-profit institutions and recently converted nonprofit colleges.
March 12, 2019
States are embracing undocumented immigrant students as colleges expand tuition-free programs.
March 8, 2019
Faculty members at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College presented a petition of no confidence in President Laurence Frank to the district Board of Trustees and demanded he be removed from the position. Los Angeles Community College District chancellor Francisco Rodriguez said he retains confidence in Frank, according to the Los Angeles Times.
March 7, 2019
In her first state budget, released Tuesday, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer proposed a tuition-free community college plan that would cost up to $100 million a year, according to the Detroit Free Press. The plan would be designed as a "last-dollar program" and would start in 2021 and include a $2,500 scholarship for eligible students who attend a four-year college. A last-dollar plan means it would cover financial aid for students after all other federal aid and grants were applied to a student's tuition bill.
March 6, 2019
Shawnee Community College president Peggy Bradford is stepping down from her position in June, according to The Southern Illinoisan.
March 4, 2019
In a possibly unprecedented case, Argosy University fails to distribute millions in federal aid to students as its campuses are on the brink of closing.
February 28, 2019
The influential presidents of two of the country's largest and most prominent community colleges are stepping down.
February 25, 2019
Community colleges are realizing that addressing racial and income equity are the missing pieces to improving completion rates. And Achieving the Dream wants to help them eliminate that inequity.


April 21, 2017
April 21, 2017 -- Inside Higher Ed's annual Survey of Community College Presidents finds institutional leaders dealing with declining enrollments and concerns over the future of their profession. The survey was conducted in conjunction with Gallup. A copy of the report can be downloaded here. On May 10 at 2 p.m. Eastern, Inside Higher Ed editors Scott Jaschik and Paul Fain presented a free webinar on the results. To view the recording of the webinar click here. To download the slide deck, click here. The Inside Higher Ed survey of presidents was made possible in part by advertising from Ellucian, InsideTrack, Jenzabar, Pearson and VitalSource.  
November 18, 2016
Graduates who earned certificates at public institutions have larger salaries, but there is wide variation between programs even at the same institutions.
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