Groundbreaking research by Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM), initiated by Forsyth Technical Community College (FTCC), reveals that transportation challenges are taking a heavy toll on the college’s student productivity. The college, which works hard at economic mobility, is adversely impacted by urban sprawl and the transportation costs that come with it, just are so many other institutions and individuals here and nationwide. The CSEM study, done in partnership with Forsyth Tech, is helping lead the way to beneficial change for Forsyth Tech and other institutions.
Mike Massoglia, director of grant writing and development at Forsyth Tech, noted, “From helping us put together a student survey, to providing a thorough and provocative analysis of the results, CSEM has been a critically important partner. What struck us most about the report was the potential impact of transportation barriers on Forsyth Tech’s bottom line, let alone on the lives and economic mobility of our students: more than $1 million in lost state revenue from the thousands of credit-hours not taken.
Stacy Waters-Bailey, Forsyth Tech’s executive director of student support services, said, “We are, of course, very excited about the study and getting the results.” She serves on a task force made up of administrators, faculty and staff that will consider ways of applying the data into the new year. The data confirm stories they had heard from the students, she said, and the students added much more as they answered survey questions.
“You realize that the impact of transportation in Winston-Salem is much wider and more ingrained than we’d even imagined,” Waters-Bailey said. “CSEM’s report provided the initial data the college needed to better understand and lay a foundation for further analysis which will help make an impact for students and the community.”