Colleges & Univ

Forsyth Tech to Open Multidisciplinary Science Lab 7 Days a Week to Meet Students’ Scheduling Needs

More in Colleges & Univ: Open Letter to Betsy DeVos regarding Historically Black Colleges and Universities and school choice March 1, 2017 FYI: UNCSA Film ...

by Camel City Dispatch

Innovative Offering a First in U.S. Higher Education

Forsyth Tech students enrolled in Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology and Biotechnology courses will soon have more flexibility to fulfill required science lab classes. Beginning January 7, 2016, the college’s state-of-the-art Science Skills Lab (SSL) will extend its hours of operation to between nine and 14 hours a day, seven days a week, with instructors on hand to assist students whenever the lab is open. The lab is the first of its kind in the country to operate on such a broad scale in higher education, including two- and four-year schools, according to Michael Ayers, dean of the Math, Science and Technologies division.

ssl students
ssl students

The SSL, which first opened in the fall of 2013, was funded by a $15 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant made to Forsyth Tech by the U.S. Department of Labor. Since then, enrollment has increased each semester. More than 600 students, including many from surrounding counties and other schools, have enrolled in the lab, which allows students to complete projects at their convenience.

The lab’s flexible hours and multidisciplinary offerings have already proven so popular that Forsyth Tech has decided to continue funding the lab’s expanded schedule after the TAACCCT grant ends next year.

In addition to giving students the flexibility to schedule a science lab around their personal and work schedules, students save money, too: course materials related to the lab are available online and free of charge. Students are also allowed to complete more than one lab in a day, saving them time and money in transportation costs.

“Our students are often juggling one or two jobs and family commitments while attending Forsyth Tech,” says Ayers. “Many of them have told us they would not be able to take science classes with labs were it not for the flexibility they have with the SSL. This feedback is what led us to the decision to expand the lab’s accessibility for our students.”

ssl lab
ssl lab

Local employers like it, too, because employees can upgrade their skills, further their education and take advantage of professional development opportunities after their work day ends—and sometimes during work hours.

“This is the future for science labs,” Ayers says. “Flexibility and accessibility are the names of the game going forward when it comes to training and educating our growing bioscience workforce.”



Starting in January 2016, the SSL will be open according to the following schedule:

Monday/Tuesday: 8 am – 10 pm
Wednesday: 7 am – 9 pm
Thursday: 8 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 8 pm
Saturday/Sunday: 8 am – 5 pm
The SSL is located in the Oak Grove Center, Room 2539, on the college’s Main Campus, 2100 Silas Creek Parkway.

Forsyth Tech’s spring semester begins on Thursday, January 7, 2016. Students interested in taking bioscience classes and labs are encouraged to apply to the college as soon as possible. For more information, contact Tami Sappenfield at 336.734.7677 or tsappenfield[at]

Leave a Comment