The Forest Management Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree program at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College was recently reviewed by the Committee on Forest Technology School Accreditation (CFTSA) of the Society of American Foresters (SAF). At its annual meeting, the Committee announced the continued SAF accreditation of the DSLCC program through 2020.
“The news of continued SAF accreditation of our Forest Management Technology program is a testament to its excellence in preparing technicians for related employment,” stated Dr. John Rainone, DSLCC president. “Initial accreditation was granted in 2011 after a study of the curriculum and a site visit. Interim reviews and progress reports were made and accepted; the College was recently informed of the continuation of accreditation through 2020 – the only associate degree program in this field in Virginia to have this distinction.”
Interim Program Head Joe Thacker commented on the news, stating, “The accreditation of our program by the Society of American Foresters is very important and we continue to work very hard to maintain the quality expected of an institution with this designation. With input from the members of our advisory committee, review of research on best practices, and employment data, we continually revise course content to be certain that lecture and hands-on lab activities are consistent with workplace expectations.” This past summer, Thacker welcomed Richard (Scott) Reigel, a registered professional forester, to the Forestry faculty to assist in moving the program forward.
While most graduates of the DSLCC Forest Management Technology program seek employment immediately upon graduation, others decide to continue to the next level and enroll in a BS program. “While the Associate of Applied Science degree in Forest Management Technology was not established as a transfer program, many students find that they enjoy the courses so much that they want to begin further study immediately before seeking employment,” added Thacker. “Later, with the academic awards that they have earned and the applied skills that they gained, the students are poised for success in the job market in a wide variety of specialties in both the public and private sectors.
“We have a great team and are excited to work with our students – both those who enroll right after high school and those who come to prepare for a new career pathway,” concluded Thacker.
Students may apply for admission into the Forest Management Technology A.A.S. program at any time. It is possible to prepare a fall semester schedule as early as April, 2016. The process of applying for admission to DSLCC should be completed now, so all steps such as placement testing and financial aid filing may be completed before registration begins on Apr. 1. For more information, call Student Services on campus at 540-863-2820 or the DSLCC Rockbridge Regional Center at 540-261-1211.