Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, Ph.D.
Dr. Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, has dedicated more than 25 years to higher education in a variety of leadership and administrative roles. Committed to leadership excellence, institutional performance and student success, she is a scholar-practitioner, whose experience in higher education is both diverse and expansive.
Appointed the 4th President/CEO of Pittsburgh Technical College (PTC), a private, non-profit, regionally accredited college on a beautiful 180-acre campus in Oakdale, Pennsylvania, in April 2019, Dr. Harvey-Smith, the first African-American to hold this post, is proud of the College’s history of student success spanning nearly seventy-five years and its consistency in maintaining one of the nation’s highest in-field placement rates of over 95%*. Opening in 1946 as a single- discipline career training institution, Pittsburgh Technical College has grown to ten academic schools with more than thirty degree and certificate programs, including bachelor degrees.
Early in her tenure at PTC, Dr. Harvey-Smith provided a vision and strategic direction to the PTC community and defined what it means to be a non-profit college. Her focus is on positioning PTC as a college of first choice for technical and trades education and jobs of the future, becoming a pipeline to middle skills careers, and fueling economic development. She is developing a re-imagined Strategic Enrollment Management Model that includes diversifying alternative revenue generation for improved institutional sustainability and growth. Dr. Harvey-Smith has staked a claim on the future with excellence, innovation, and transformational partnerships with business and industry and a myriad of organizations and institutions.
Believing in the transformational power of education, systems thinking, and the importance of intentionality, Dr. Harvey-Smith strives to connect educational systems in this pursuit. As a thought-leader in both the learning college and student success movements, Dr. Harvey-Smith originated The Seventh Learning College Principle, a model of transformational change that directs attention to the creation and nurturance of cultures that are both open and responsive to change and learning.
Her expertise in executive leadership development, teaching and learning excellence, corporate training and development, strategic planning, and public/private partnership development provides her a unique set of skills to comprehensively position organizations for extraordinary success. During her first year as President of PTC, Dr. Harvey-Smith elevated the college’s presence in local, state, and higher education communities and empowered the PTC faculty, staff, and students to have a voice and use it to shape the future of the institution. Most notably, Dr. Harvey-Smith’s commitment to her students and ability to engage external constituents resulted in raising over $7 million in stimulus funds through the CARES Act.
In the course of her career, Dr. Harvey-Smith has served in a variety of senior-level positions in higher education, including president, vice president, dean and executive director. Prior to assuming the helm of Pittsburgh Technical College, she served as the Executive Vice Chancellor of Lone Star College in Houston, TX, one of the largest college systems in the country, serving 99,000 students annually. Previously, she served as the President and CEO of River Valley Community College in Claremont, NH, where she was, again, the first African-American to hold the post.
She has served on a variety of executive boards, including the American Association of Community Colleges, American Council of Academic Deans, National Council on Student Development, Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, and The National Council of Black American Affairs, allowing her to influence policy direction and impact the lives of countless individuals across the higher education landscape. In early 2020, Dr. Harvey-Smith was appointed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to serve on the Career Ready PA Coalition to ensure that all learners have equitable access to effective workforce training and career pathways.
Dr. Harvey-Smith is a frequently requested speaker and presenter, who has received considerable recognition for her leadership and service. Most recently, she received the 2019 Women Who Mean Business Award from the Houston Business Journal for Leadership in Education and the 2020 Woman of Excellence Award from the New Pittsburgh Courier. The Pittsburgh Business Times designated her as a 2020 Woman of Influence and Pittsburgh’s Cribs for Kids presented her with its 2020 Women of Achievement Award.
She is also an experienced researcher and author. Cited in Redesigning America’s Community Colleges, her publications include: Partnering for Success: How to Build Strong Internal Collaborations in Higher Education; The Seventh Learning College Principle: A Framework for Transformational Change; and Eclectic Insights: A Composition of Poetry and Essays on Varying Thoughts and Differing Opinions (Volume 1). Her latest manuscript, CARE – Compassion, Appreciation, Respect and Empowerment: Essential Leadership Standards, is scheduled for release in 2020.
Dr. Harvey-Smith earned a Ph.D. from The University of Maryland – College Park in the field of Counseling and Personnel Services, a Master of Science in Education and Counseling from The Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Morgan State University. She was also competitively selected and completed Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education Seminars for Presidential Leadership.
Dr. Harvey-Smith is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, and is an active mentor who loves to inspire people to reach beyond what they imagine. She is married to Major Donald Wayne Smith, a retired US Army Officer and US Capitol Police.
*Showcases graduates from 2019 classes. Data includes those who were available for work and were offered and/or received career search assistance from 1/1/2019-3/30/2020. Includes full-time, part-time, or freelance positions. Visit ptcollege.edu/employmentstats to learn more.