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MTCC Invests in Students — Fall 2022 Begins August 15

There was one major lesson learned at McDowell Technical Community College over the past year.

Investment in students works.

“We are looking forward to a great year at McDowell Tech,” said Dr. Merritt. “It is an exciting year to be at The Tech as we search for ways to reinvent and reimagine how we serve students in a changing economy – we know investing in our students first always works—and we will continue to do just that.”

MTCC Nursing

“We are beginning the 2022-23 academic year in a solid position,” said Dr. Brian S. Merritt, MTCC President. “MTCC is one of the few institutions that increased its full-time equivalent funding (FTE) by a double-digit percentage (+18%) across the Great 58 institutions of our North Carolina Community College System over the past year.”

MTCC administrators attribute much of the growth to the tuition-free campaign. MTCC invested most of its federal and state relief dollars, local grants and scholarships and other funding sources into the new Learn and Grow Scholarship to help fund tuition and fees for most students attending. The program will continue into at least 2023, and the college continues to search for ways to continue this investment into local workforce development into the future. 

Dr. Merritt continued, “Our Vision is to ‘Learn & Grow’ – to help our students and their families thrive; to create an environment where our faculty and staff feel supported and empowered; and to all we can to support this great community and our employer partners. This is a special place, and we are looking forward to a great fall semester.”

Fall Registration Continues

The Fall 2022 semester begins Monday, August 15. Students can drop/add and register for 16-week classes until August 17. Late registration from August 15-17 is only recommended for students who have already completed the financial aid process or who plan to pay out of pocket.

MTCC also has 14-week classes that begin August 29, along with a series of short-term workforce development courses that begin throughout the Fall semester.

What is New at MTCC during the Fall 2022 Semester?

  • Nursing Training Expansion: McDowell Tech will offer a standalone associate degree nursing (ADN) program. The new degree was approved by the North Carolina State Board of Nursing (NCBON) earlier this year.

  • Earning & Learning: MTCC has expanded its McDowell Apprenticeship Program (MAP). Visit for more details.

  • Employer Partnership Opportunities: MTCC will hold a McDowell Apprenticeship Program Apprenticeship Day on August 30, 2022 at 5:30 pm for companies interested in starting new apprenticeship and work-based learning programs. Employers who partner with MAP can be eligible for $2,000 per employee to cover apprenticeship program expenses and 50% salary reimbursement for apprentices hired during the first year of training.

  • New Fast-Track Career Academies. MTCC is offering a number of short-term training academies that help students earn industry-recognized credentials that are a pathway to good careers. Courses include Plumbing Level One; Heating and Refrigeration Technology; Residential Electrical Systems; Intro to CNC Machining and Milling Level One; Construction Trades, including carpentry and project management. These programs are each designed to articulate into credit coursework if students decide to pursue the full degree at a later time.

  • Flexibility for Adult Learners: Programs and classes have expanded their options to have additional evening, weekend, online, and hybrid options. MTCC also offers shorter terms in 14-week and 8-week classes that begin in September and October. Susan Long is MTCC’s recently-appointed Director of Student Enrichment and Adult Engagement. She is a former adult learner herself who graduated twice from McDowell Tech and is available to help working adult students achieve their academic and career goals. Visit her in the Cedar Building, Student Enrichment Center, or call Susan at 828-659-0418 for assistance.

  • Digital Facelift: MTCC will launch a fresh, new website shortly after Labor Day at

  • Short-Term Workforce Development: Other classes and certification courses offered include Phlebotomy, Healthcare Billing and Coding, Paramedic/EMT and Nurse Aide in Health Sciences to Basic Law Enforcement, Trail Development and Sustainability, Cosmetology and Esthetics.

  • One-Stop Success Center: Pardon our progress, as the Cedar Building (#11) will soon begin renovations to transform the Student Services and Business Office areas into a more modernized one-stop student success center. Renovations will begin during the Fall 2022 semester.
    County Partnerships for Public Good: On July 13, the McDowell County Commissioners
    Emergency Services Training gave the go-ahead for the former landfill and adjacent property to be used for an emergency services training complex. MTCC will invest a $1 million allocation from the General Assembly’s State Capital & Infrastructure Fund to begin work on a driving track that can be used for training purposes in collaboration with the Fire Commission and other public safety partners.
  • Investments Needed in Health Care & Public Safety: The MTCC Board of Trustees (BOT) approved for architectural plans to be rendered for a new Health Sciences & Public Safety Building on its main campus.

    The college is in need of upgraded facilities for its Basic Law Enforcement, EMS, and other public safety training.

    MTCC hosts the largest Fire College in the state of North Carolina each March, bringing upwards of 1,000 trainees annually.

    MTCC received almost 100 student applications for 24 available seats in its first year of the Associate Degree Nursing program. Upgraded facilities are needed to expand healthcare training.

    Plans for the new building will be presented for approval to the BOT during by its November 2022 meeting and future investments will be needed to make this a reality to address workforce development needs in our region.

  • Old Fort Workforce Education Center: In partnership with the Town of Old Fort, the college received an $800,000 grant from the GoldenLEAF Foundation in April 2021 to open a new workforce training center in downtown Old Fort. With increased construction costs, MTCC has applied for and awaits word for additional funding to make this center a reality. If funded, construction could begin as early as November 2-2022 to help support the growing economy in Old Fort.

“We are looking forward to a great year at McDowell Tech,” said Dr. Merritt. “It is an exciting year to be at The Tech as we search for ways to reinvent and reimagine how we serve students in a changing economy – we know investing in our students first always works—and we will continue to do just that.”

MTCC Fire Training
Julie Padgett Buchanan

Keeping the Faith

A sweet and loving child of God returned to her heavenly father in the still and quiet of a bitterly-cold January morning earlier this week. Julie Buchanan, better known to most of her McDowell Tech family as Julie Padgett, ended her battle with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, on Wednesday, just a little more than 21 months after she was officially diagnosed with the disease.

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