Pathways to Possibilities exemplifies what is achievable when the community supports the mission and values of one of its most respected resources, Forsyth Technical Community College. In its nearly 60- year history, the college has been the foundation for education and workforce development in Forsyth and Stokes counties.
Forsyth Tech has faced what many other community colleges face: the growing need for improvement in technology and institutional advancement to keep up with changes needed to educate the workforce of the future, while resources decrease. Forsyth Tech recognized the necessity to raise funds to offset financial needs.
Over the past three years, the Forsyth Tech Foundation has been immersed in an $18 million capital campaign to improve student success and workforce innovation.
Forsyth Tech is pleased to announce we achieved that and more, with pledges totaling $20,001,600, or 111% of our goal.
Pathways to Possibilities has had an impact on every department and division of the college. So far, donations from the campaign.
“We have been overwhelmed by the generous support of our partners in the health care community,” Dean of Health Technologies, Linda Latham said. “Through our Capital Campaign, we were able to update technology in our nursing and allied health labs so that we can better prepare the employees of tomorrow. We can now simulate so many scenarios that will be encountered in the ‘real world’ of health care today.
“While our students spend a great number of hours in the clinical setting, it is critical for health care programs like ours to have reliable, relatable technology in the classrooms,” said John Sherman, program coordinator for respiratory therapy. “We have always emphasized a ‘practicing like you play’ approach to learning; we try and simulate a real patient care experience.”
Current technology in the classroom provides a non-pressure learning environment for the students, making them more confident in applying their clinical knowledge and skills with patients.
“Our virtual treatment simulator enables us to explain complex theoretical concepts and principles in a highly visual environment,” said Chris Gibson, program coordinator for radiation therapy.
Virtual reality is also a game changer in the architecture and interior design department.
“New equipment purchased in Architecture and Design enables students to walk virtually through their architectural designs and to be fully immersed in the experience of their creations,” said Todd Shoaf, program coordinator, architecture. “Donations from the campaign also added a certificate program entitled 3D Scanning and Building Information Modeling. This certificate is geared toward those completing our associate degrees with the goal of keeping them ‘tooled’ for the future. These graduates will offer employers advanced technology skills, which will help business growth in architecture.”
One of the departments that was able to add programs and certifications through the funding of the campaign was the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning program.
“In the future, students will receive certifications from Trane in areas such as business management, airflow, refrigeration diagnostics, variable speed motors, and air-to-air heat pumps,” said Dwight Cornelison, program coordinator. “We are working on becoming a National Trane Center of Excellence through the NC3 Coalition of Certification Centers.”
Through a generous campaign donation from V.B Lougee, the Early Childhood Lab School was renamed the Carol L. Danforth Early Childhood Lab School in honor of his daughter.
“Thanks to a generous gift from Mr. Lougee, the Early Childhood Lab School will become licensed, which will offer opportunities for the facility to gain greater funding to help students and parents with financial assistance when needed,” said Karatha Scott, coordinator, Carol L. Danforth Early Childhood Lab School.
Another department benefitting from the generous donations from the campaign is the Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM). As manufacturing has evolved over the years, so have the educational needs for the workforce. Forsyth Tech has worked with our manufacturing industry partners in advancing our manufacturing programs and in keeping pace with industry trends.
The CAM building was renovated, adding high-end equipment, creating an additive manufacturing lab, adding robotic welding, and expanding computer numerical control (CNC) machines.
“The donations also strengthened our relationships with industry partners, creating a hub of learning for students and businesses,” said David Dinkins, department chair for advanced manufacturing. “Forsyth Tech is the only community college in the region designated as a ‘Superlab’ by Statasys, the 3-D printer manufacturer.”
The funding also made it possible for the Center for Advanced Manufacturing to hire a student technician, Chris Price, to run the daily operation and maintenance of the additive manufacturing lab.
Price said, “Working in the lab helps me affirm I made the right career choice. I feel like I’m getting more experience and can apply what I’m learning as a student.”
The impact of Pathways to Possibilities Capital Campaign will have far-reaching effects for years to come. We now have the opportunity to encourage and inspire many more students and faculty/staff with generous donations from this campaign. There is no one path that fits every student, and we are challenged to offer students who desire a chance to achieve their educational goals and dreams. Many would not have the opportunity to earn a degree or further their education without scholarships or financial assistance. Several work one or two jobs, and have families, yet are committed to earning a degree and improving their lives. It is through these gifts that donors help give back to the students, who, in turn, give back to the community. Imagine how far students can go when they see the clear path and possibilities.