Gaston College has been an economic driver and has provided a path to success for citizens, business and industry in our region since we opened our doors in 1964. Much has changed in our local, state and national economy since the College’s inception and the need for an educated and well-qualified workforce has shifted and grown accordingly. Gone are the days of an abundance of low-skilled factory jobs requiring very little experience while still providing the promise of a living wage. In today’s labor market employers are seeking team members who are skilled, can think critically, work collaboratively, and are motivated to achieve.
Student achievement and success have always been central to the mission of Gaston College. We know that when students succeed in the classroom they have the tools to succeed in the workforce, as contributing family members, and as engaged community citizens. Over the past decade, Gaston College’s faculty and staff have embraced new methods of teaching, advising and structuring our classrooms to enhance our students’ educational experiences while also striving to provide access to as many students as possible in our community. We have had great success in garnering external resources from federal, state, local and private funding sources in order to build new buildings, create new programs and offer student aid in ways that we were not able to before. But there is more work to be done because change is inevitable and we need to be prepared for what comes next for our communities and the families and businesses within them.
Gaston College’s current strategic plan was designed to be a leadership guide through 2019. Acknowledging the constancy of change and the critical need for clear vision and direction, the Gaston College Foundation is happy to support the College’s next strategic planning effort so that our institution and community are poised to meet tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities when they arise. On behalf of the College, the Foundation has engaged the expertise of Paulien & Associates to guide this process in an objective, clearly structured and comprehensive manner. We look forward to engaging a wide base of constituents impacted by Gaston College including faculty, staff, students, board members, alumni, business leaders, faith leaders, donors and community advocates so that the course charted for the next five years in the College’s growth is reflective of the needs and aspirations of the community we are privileged to serve. The Foundation and College’s leadership, faculty and staff are grateful for the opportunity to continue the work we do transforming lives for the better each day and we welcome your input as plans are drawn for the College’s impact to become even greater across our region in the years ahead.
With kindest regards,
Pat Skinner, Ph.D.
Gaston College President
Gaston College Foundation Board Chairman