Beyond the Classroom: Connecting With Our Community


We understand the value of a well-rounded college experience here at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology (TSCT).

While their time with us is brief by design, our students make a long-lasting impact within our college community and within our surrounding communities.

TSCT’s chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is actively engaged in a variety of community activities and service projects across Lancaster City.

AIAS is an independent, non-profit, student-run organization dedicated to advancing leadership, design, and service among college-level architecture students,” said Tedd Williams ’00, an Architectural Technology instructor at TSCT and graduate of the program. “It is the primary membership and advocacy organization for architecture students in the United States, with international chapters and members as well.”

TSCT’s AIAS Chapter was created more than 25 years ago, and its mission includes promoting excellence in architectural education, training, and practice; fostering an appreciation of architecture and related disciplines; enriching communities in a spirit of collaboration; and organizing students and combining efforts to advance the art and science of architecture. Membership is open to all students enrolled at the College, not just those enrolled in the Architectural Technology program.

How does the student organization identify service opportunities?

“Student officers are asked to locate a multitude of service opportunities within our local community,” said Williams. “Some of our greatest resources have been the City of Lancaster, Adopt-A-Block, Water Street Mission, Habitat for Humanity, & the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. We turn to Google sometimes, too.”

When coordinating service opportunities, Williams reminds students to ensure they’re taking care of their own backyard. “Whether the Architecture studio, college campus, or municipality, all are part of our local community in which we function. When we can support and assist our local communities, we help foster growth at all levels.”

We asked Juliette Forry, a second-year student and member of AIAS, recognizes the short- and long-term value of time spent in the local community.  “The more projects we can do, the more people we can help, and they help us grasp a greater understanding of the technical world we live in,” said Forry.

One of the most memorable community experiences Forry has had thus far was during a clean-up at Culliton Park in Lancaster City. “Towards the end of our clean-up, a bunch of local businesses came and set up different activities, games, food, and music,” she said. “It was just a really great time working with others and having fun.”

Williams reminds students of the importance of playing an active role within the local and regional community, and makes it clear that helping others is an important part of becoming a model citizen. “It is our hope that each student will recognize the importance of Paying It Forward as they continue with their community service efforts. If they want to see change in the world, they must lead by example.”

We asked Forry why being active in the community is important. Her answer? “Because people are important.”

We’re inspired by our students and faculty, and proud to call Lancaster City home.

Stay up-to-date on the community activities and service projects our students and faculty are engaged in this semester by visiting our official social media accounts.

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