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Collaboration, community, and the challenge of a pandemic: John Gossett reflects on his tenure at MTCC

On a warm summer morning, John Gossett, president of McDowell Technical Community College, bounded out of his administrative building to welcome us to the college. 

Gossett has served McDowell Tech in a variety of roles since 2012. On July 1, his 32-year career in the North Carolina Community College system will take him to Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, where he will serve as its seventh president. 

We visited McDowell Tech to see nursing students who are receiving face-to-face instruction this summer as they work to finish their coursework so they can join the front lines in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. 

McDowell Tech nursing students demonstrate a sterile dressing change. Alli Lindenberg/EducationNC

We also had a chance to sit down with Gossett to reflect on his tenure as president of McDowell Tech, the challenges of COVID-19 for his college and others, and his journey as he prepares to take over A-B Tech.

As he looked back on his tenure as president, Gossett told us, “When you asked what I was proud of at MTCC, I’m proud of the relationships we built with our community partners — economic development, Chamber of Commerce, K-12, county commission, city leaders. I think our standing in the community has improved, which is so important for community colleges in rural North Carolina. “

Listen to the full interview below.

Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.

Alli Lindenberg

Alli Lindenberg is an executive fellow for EducationNC.