Get to Know: Corinne Asher loves teaching because it changes lives
HFC business instructor Corinne Asher says she has "made it to the top" by teaching at Henry Ford College.
"I am definitely living the dream! Community colleges change lives!” she said. “I am honored to be a part of helping students achieve their dreams. Like many of HFC’s students, my parents were immigrants to the United States. My sister and I were the first in our family to attend college. Not having any guidance, I made a lot of mistakes when it came to picking classes, whether or not to change my major, and other common college-related decisions. My goal is to help students in any way that I can, so they can avoid making the same mistakes I did.”
The youngest of two of daughters, Asher lives in Royal Oak with Lester, her husband of nearly 42 years. They have two daughters, Michelle and Abby. Their eldest daughter Michelle attended HFC for two years before transferring to Michigan State University.
Upon graduating from West Bloomfield High School, Asher earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from MSU. She later earned her MBA with a concentration in policy from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is a Certified Public Accountant.
Passionate about student success
Her first foray into the business world was working in a retail store called the Pickwick Shop, which sold women’s clothing, at the age of 16 in what she called her "first real job." She hasn’t looked back.
“Our family owned one car, which was with my dad at work all day, so I was lucky to find an after-school job in walking distance,” she said.
After spending nine years in the private sector, she decided to teach the next generation of business leaders. Asher has been teaching for more than 34 years, including Central Michigan University and Oakland Community College, where she taught management and accounting. She’s spent the last 19 years at HFC, where she is the lead faculty for Management and reports to HFC School of Business, Entrepreneurship, & Professional Development Associate Dean Keambra Pierson.
“Corinne is very passionate about student success,” said Pierson. “She is a key strategic partner in ensuring that our DEWI (Ds, Es, Withdraws, and Incompletes) rates decrease. And she is always willing to step up and take on extra responsibilities within the Business department.”
Loves the lightbulb moments
Asher spoke about the best part of her job.
“I love teaching and helping others understand things,” she said. “I get really excited when I see the lightbulb light up in someone’s brain. You can actually see students’ eyes and faces light up when understanding is accomplished. I love meeting so many amazing students who have allowed me to make a difference in their lives. I have learned so much from my students and enjoy all the updates that students send me over the years letting me know how they are doing.”
One of the biggest challenges of Asher’s job is how to help students succeed when they experience difficult life circumstances.
“Fortunately, I have great colleagues on speed dial that I can reach out to for direction,” said Asher. “My amazing colleagues have also taught me how to help students be more successful. I really like the people I work with at the College – they are a great group!”