Ashford-Ashworth tapped for new role at EMCC


East Mississippi Community College is pleased to announce that Dr. Nikita L. Ashford-Ashworth is joining the college as the district director of advising, retention and student success.

Ashford-Ashworth’s primary responsibilities will be to direct and coordinate academic advising for students across all campuses while promoting student success and enhancing institutional retention efforts. She will work with the enrollment management, student affairs and instructional departments to review and grow retention and student success initiatives with the goal of improving student experiences and outcomes.

“I am excited about the transition,” Ashford-Ashworth said. “My first priority will be to get an understanding of how everything works at EMCC and see where we can make improvements. We want to go from being transactional to relational and proactive in our advising. We also want to develop a college-wide retention strategy that promotes student success.”

Her first day of work on campus will be April 6. She will divide her time between the college’s Golden Triangle and Scooba campuses.

“We are excited to have someone of Dr. Ashford-Ashworth’s caliber join our EMCC family,” Vice President of Instruction Dr. James Rush said. “We believe her experience and active involvement with national academic advising and retention associations is invaluable and she will be transformational in leading EMCC in approving academic advising practices, cultivating student success and growing retention efforts.”

Among other things, Ashford-Ashworth is a member of the Global Community for Academic Advising, the National Academic Advising Association and the Association for Student Conduct Administration. 

She has a long history in higher education, most recently serving as the director of advising and academic support at Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis. There she worked in various roles, including that of interim vice president of student affairs and enrollment management and director of student activities, to name a couple.

Ashford-Ashworth earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Mississippi State University; a Master of Business Administration from Belhaven College; and a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership at the University of Phoenix. She also completed 18 credit hours in education at the University of Memphis.

She and her husband, Edward M. Ashworth, enjoy traveling, sight-seeing and spending time with family.

Ashford-Ashworth, who is a graduate of Starkville High School, still has family in the area and her brother, nephews and uncle are graduates of EMCC.

 “This will be like a homecoming for me,” she said. 

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