Joel Welch

2020-21 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow
Joel will begin his appointment as President of Western Piedmont Community College on July 1, 2020.

Dr. Joel D. Welch is provost and vice president of transformative learning at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Prior to joining Forsyth Technical Community College in 2016, Dr. Welch worked 10 years in private industry as a consulting engineer and 17 years at Greenville Technical College as an instructor and department chair in hazardous materials technology, dean for engineering technology, associate vice president for administration, and dean for business and technology.

Dr. Welch brings together industry, secondary, and postsecondary educational entities to develop pathways that support student success and develop a highly skilled workforce for industry. Dr. Welch has served as a program evaluator for the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology and board member for SkillsUSA South Carolina.

Dr. Welch has always been involved in the local community. As an instructor, he developed and implemented a household hazardous waste disposal day. He served as president of the Rotary Club of Pleasantburg and on a local charter high school board. He currently serves on boards for the Childcare Resource Center and Piedmont Renewal Network in Winston-Salem. He is a member of the Kernersville Rotary Club and serves as an action learning team coach for Leadership Winston-Salem.

Dr. Welch received his bachelor of science in civil engineering from The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina, master of engineering in civil engineering from the University of South Carolina, and doctor of philosophy in educational leadership from Clemson University.