Fifth finalist interviewed at Isothermal Monday
A successful community college educates its students who desire to go on to a four-year university and provides re-training for students who need jobs, Dr. Kim Gold said Monday afternoon during her "Meet and Greet" session with the public.
Gold is the fifth finalist to be interviewed for the job as president of Isothermal Community College.
Coming from a family of educators and it was her grandmother who said, "everybody ought to be a teacher," Gold said.
While teaching in her first setting, Gold realized what her grandmother meant.
"I saw that teaching gave me an opportunity impact people in meaningful and purposeful ways."
Gold has been at Isothermal more than 14 years.
"Times have changed . . .Isothermal is staying connected with our students 24/7," she said. "We have to think purposefully . . . Think strategically about how we can move forward."
"We have everything we need to be successful," Gold told the nearly 100 people in the audience of staff, instructors, trustees and friends.
One instructor asked why some students in the work-force re-training classes leave the college when an industry calls with a job offer, rather than stay and complete the training programs.
Gold said sometimes the most important things to students is to feed their families and to pay bills. Students have come to Isothermal to receive re-training and is seeking a good job, most of all.
"But they might want to come back," she said. "Maybe some day if they want to move up the ladder . . . become a supervisor they will likely come back for new and additional training.
"We try to meet the students where their needs are and that is an important part of what a community college is."
Instructors and professor attempt to help students arrive at their destination, Gold said.
"Isothermal Community College has always been an important part of the economic needs of Rutherford County in re-training workers.
"So many of the students have their whole careers ahead of them," Gold said.
She said in today's world, it's unusual for stay with one job for a lifetime.
Gold said the college must balance out all its programs as it it continues to Improve Life Through Learning.
She said Isothermal provides opportunities for students to receive associate degrees, "at a much lower cost" for the first years of a higher education and then move on to a four year university.
"What I do is not a job. It's personal and purposeful," Gold said. "These aren't my customers. They are my neighbors, my family, friends and my church family."
"I believe what we do is personal. I look forward to serving you and this community in whatever capacity I'm in."
The next and final candidate, Dr. Kristi Snuggs will meet the public on at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday also at Isothermal.
Gold is Vice President of Academic and Student Services and Institutional Assessment at Isothermal, having served in that capacity since 2009. Before that, she was the college’s dean of Business Sciences and an instructor of economics, management, accounting, finance and marketing. Before starting at Isothermal in 1999, she was an adjunct professor at Montreat College. Gold co-authored the application and implementation plan that created the Rutherford Early College High School (REaCH). She earned her doctorate in educational leadership and an Ed.S. in higher education administration from Appalachian State University; a certificate in economics from East Carolina University; a M.B.A. from Western Carolina University; and a B.S. in business administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. She lives in Rutherfordton and is the second Rutherford County native to be interviewed for the presidential post.