HOW COMMUNITY COLLEGES ARE HANDLING COVID-19

In this crisis together: How community colleges are handling COVID-19.
The State Board of Community Colleges voted to approve five temporary amendments to help with the impact of COVID-19 in a conference call meeting today.
The amendments will be operational for 180 days or until the State Board rescinds them.

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FORSYTH TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE INTRODUCES “FORSYTH TECH CARES”

In the midst of the COVID-19 health emergency, the College prepares to offer a personal connection with students and faculty.

Winston-Salem, N.C. – In the midst of this unprecedented COVID-19 and national emergency, Forsyth Tech believes  it is critically important to do any and every thing feasible to relieve as much of students’ and employees’ added worry and stress as possible.

“There is already a tremendous amount of research out there about loneliness and social isolation,” said President of Forsyth Tech, Janet N. Spriggs, “Scenarios like this make that even more challenging to combat.”

The discussion then went beyond managing the state of the college in transitioning from teaching in classrooms to remote learning, to the greater basic issues facing so many students.

“I worry about our students who are hearing daunting news and feeling more and more overwhelmed by the state of our world,” said Spriggs. “Our student population, in normal times and more so now, faces numerous challenges that are not academic-related, that are barriers to their success in the classroom as well as their daily lives. We want our students to be successful but realize that we need to care for the whole person and not just what happens in the classroom.”

Understanding these issues became a very clear mission for Forsyth Tech. One goal was at the forefront – to provide the best for our students and to show them Forsyth Tech cares.

The college is proud to launch a new initiative to help students and employees make it through this crisis together. Forsyth Tech Cares is a new comprehensive approach for connecting students, staff and faculty to the resources and support services they need. We will be able to provide critical support by answering questions, connecting them to emergency financial assistance, and making sure they are doing okay mentally and emotionally.

“When it comes right down to it, we know these are incredibly difficult times for all of us. But community colleges are the best at caring for our students, faculty and staff as family. We are used to rallying around the needs of everyone….when one of us hurts, we all share that pain,” said Spriggs. “I am optimistic because I already see us coming together, thinking differently and creatively, and being willing to do whatever it takes to love and serve our students and each other.”

The college has rallied a task force of interested staff and faculty, and especially those who cannot work remotely in their current jobs, to become student advocates, connecting with each student to show them Forsyth Tech Cares, and to find out how the College can help them weather the COVID-19 storm. The college has also developed a special webpage where students, and employees can share their needs.

“We will ask about concerns about distance education, how are they are handling the stress, if there are any social services to which we can connect them, if they need emergency help from the Forsyth Tech Foundation, and answer any questions about the changes to their classes,” said Masonne Sawyer, vice president of student success services at Forsyth Tech. “We truly hope that we can protect our students from suffering academically due to challenges over which they have no control.”

Additionally, on March 19 at 2 p.m., while students are on an expanded spring break, the college will host a Facebook Live where President Spriggs will talk directly to students, faculty and staff and answer their questions.

Ultimately, we hope that no matter how long COVID-19 lasts, Forsyth Tech Cares that every student who started this semester will finish and will be proud they persevered.

About Forsyth Tech

Forsyth Technical Community College is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in more than 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff.  For additional information, please visit forsythtech.edu and follow Forsyth Tech on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Aid where it matters: Small business among hardest hit by shut down

Forsyth Technical Community College Small Business Center Director Allan Younger used a single word to describe how small businesses and entrepreneurs will be affected by the shutdown surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak.

Devastating.

Younger this week is pointing those seeking advice to the U.S. Small Business Administration and to business owners’ local chambers of commerce websites for direction.

“Everybody knows that depending on what type of small business it is, this situation is going to be devastating to many of them,” Younger said.

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