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Academic Advising and Registration

Academic Advising

I.  Operational Definition:

At Forsyth Technical Community College academic advising is a shared process between the student and the advisor which empowers students to explore and achieve educational, life and career goals. 

II. Program Outcomes and Objectives: 

Advisor outcomes and student learning outcomes should reflect what we expect advisors and students to demonstrate they know, are able to do, and value as a result of participating in the academic advising experience (Campbell, 2005). 

Expected Student Outcomes:

Students will:

  • Value the role of the academic advising process in the college experience
  • Demonstrate the characteristics of a prepared advisee by attending all scheduled appointments and bringing questions and materials for discussion
  • With the guidance of an academic advisor, make effective decisions concerning their degree and career goals
  • Develop an educational plan for successfully achieving their goals; select courses each semester to progress toward fulfilling that educational plan
  • Use campus resources and services to assist them in achieving their academic, personal and career goals
  • Follow through when referred to appropriate campus resources
  • Be able to accurately read and effectively use a degree audit in their educational planning
  • Complete educational goals in a timely manner based on the Individual Learning Plan (ILP) 

Academic Advisor Responsibilities:

  • Effectively communicate the curriculum and graduation requirements for the student’s major and College academic policies and procedures
  • Assist students in the pre-registration process which may include checking for course prerequisites and interpretation of CPT scores
  • Encourage and guide students as they define and develop realistic goals
  • Encourage and support students as they make academic progress according to their educational plans
  • Provide students with information about strategies for using the available resources and services on campus
  • Assist students in understanding the purposes and goals of higher education and its effects on their lives and personal goals
  • Monitor and accurately document students’ progress toward meeting their goals
  • Be accessible for advising students in meetings either in groups or individually during posted office hours, telephone, e-mail or Web access
  • Assist students in gaining decision making skills and learning to assume responsibility for their educational plans and achievements
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Assist students in working closely with their instructors and refer students to appropriate College sources as assistance is needed 

Advisee Responsibilities:

  • Schedule regular appointments or make regular contacts with advisor during each semester
  • Come prepared to each appointment with questions or materials for discussion
  • Keep all scheduled advising appointments
  • Be an active learner by participating fully in the advising experience
  • Ask questions if you do not understand an issue or have a specific concern
  • Enroll in the courses for which you and your advisor have determined meet your educational objectives and that you are ready to pursue
  • Keep a personal record of your progress toward meeting your goals
  • Organize official documents (transcripts, etc.) in an advising folder that enables you to access them when needed
  • Complete all assignments or recommendations from your advisor
  • Clarify personal values and goals and provide advisor with accurate information regarding your interests and abilities
  • Become knowledgeable about College programs, policies, and procedures
  • Accept responsibility for decisions

Adopted: August 2006

Registration

Forsyth Tech operates on the semester system. Fall and spring semesters are 15 weeks and the summer term is 9 weeks. Some courses are offered on a seven and a half week or other alternative schedule during fall and spring semesters and summer term. In addition, upcoming registration and prepayment dates for currently-enrolled students are posted during the latter part of each semester.

All students are instructed to meet with an academic advisor prior to registration or during the registration period. The purpose of this meeting is to ensure that course selection is appropriate for the student's educational goals and skill levels.

Currently Enrolled Students

Each semester, returning students admitted to a program may register early. To register for courses, students are required to meet with their academic advisor to determine a schedule of courses for the upcoming semester. Currently enrolled students may register for classes via my.forsythtech.edu, and all students may use an online payment option. Any questions arising during this registration period concerning transfer credit for course(s) should be directed to the Records Office. To take advantage of this early registration, students must be sure to pay tuition and fees on the designated prepayment days.

New Students

The times and dates for registering can be found on the Web site and will also be mailed to incoming students. At registration, new students will meet with an academic advisor who will assist in the selection of courses and schedules. Participation in an orientation session is required and students are mailed information about how to meet this requirement each semester. This session provides an overview of the regulations, policies and privileges of Forsyth Tech as found in the College Catalog and the Student Academic Planner.

Special Credit Students

Special credit applicants wishing to register for classes should refer to the special credit instructions and course request form listed on the “Apply” page of the website at http://www.forsythtech.edu/apply/apply-for-special-credit/.

Schedule Changes

Students may adjust their schedules through my.forsythtech.edu after their initial registration through the day before the first day of class. Once classes begin, students must withdraw from classes using the online withdrawal process https://coursedrop.forsythtech.edu/login.

To change their schedules after classes have begun, students may drop and add classes by visiting one of the campuses during the drop/add period as noted in the class schedules or class listings. Classes may not be added after the drop/add period without permission of the division dean.

Grade Reports and Transcripts

Current students’ grade reports are available via the Web in my.forsythtech.edu at the end of each semester. The report includes degrees earned, semester hour credits, grade point average (GPA) earned and the cumulative GPA for the semester. Transcripts reflecting students’ completed academic record at Forsyth Tech are maintained in the Records Office. Students can request their transcripts by using the eTranscript service or students must pay a charge of $3 for each transcript then come to the office and complete a Transcript Request Form, they may write a letter stating the name or names under which they attended the college, the last four digits of their social security number or their assigned school ID number, the years of attendance, and where the transcript should be sent. Official transcripts are can be sent directly to employers, educational institutions, etc. Transcripts issued to students are generally unofficial and indicate that they were issued to the student. While an official transcript in a sealed envelope may be issued to students, the transcript will note this procedure, and any receiving party will determine its acceptance as official. Currently enrolled students may access an unofficial copy for free through my.forsythtech.edu.
All official documents, such as transcripts submitted from other colleges, become the property of Forsyth Tech and cannot be returned, reissued or copied.

A student’s record may be blocked from the student’s review and closed for purposes of re-admission due to financial debt to the College or litigation involving the student and the College. Inquiries regarding blocked records should be directed to the appropriate office. Transcripts will not be issued as long as the student’s record remains blocked.

Graduation Requirements

Effective for the 2018 Fall Semester; Forsyth Tech accepts the best grade versus the last grade or attempt for the same class. The minimum standards for graduation shall be a final program grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better, a passing grade in all required courses in a curriculum, and the successful achievement of any specific curriculum requirements.  Candidates for degrees, diplomas and certificates must complete a minimum of 25 percent of their required course work at Forsyth Tech.  These requirements may not be met by Advanced Standing such as proficiency examination, articulation, transfer, or other alternative credit granting activities.

Transfer credit can be used toward graduation requirements for a course that was not successfully completed at Forsyth Tech. Transfer credit will be used for graduation purposes. The transfer grade will not be used to calculate GPA. Transfer credit will only be granted if required for current program or the student previously attempted at Forsyth Tech and was not successful.

Students wishing to earn an additional associate's degree must complete at least 12 additional hours in courses taken at Forsyth Tech that are not being used towards the first degree.

Students receiving their Associate degree is not eligible to receive the diploma during the same semester in the same program of study. Certificates can be awarded at the same time if the certificate is in a specialized area of the degree received. Certificates can be earned prior to completing the Associate degree.

Course requirements vary according to program. Students should refer to the course requirements for their program to determine if all requirements have been met and should routinely meet with their academic advisor to assure their progress toward graduation. Every academic year, each program publicizes a program of study for students admitted in that specific year. Students will graduate under the course requirements that are applicable at the time they enroll in a program if they remain continuously enrolled until graduation and complete all requirements within three years of initial enrollment. A student can request to update their program catalog to the current year; however, once the change has been granted it cannot be reversed. A student who applies for re-admission after two major semesters (Spring and Fall) is accepted under the program of study in effect at the time of readmission, not under the program of study in effect at the time of the original admission. Students who change their program are also admitted to the new program under the current year’s program of study. (408.00)

In order to have complete information recorded on their transcripts, students should review their program evaluation in my.forsythtech.edu and speak with their advisor before applying for their degree, diploma or certificate in the semester previous to their last registration. Intent to Graduate Forms are available in the Records Office, Room 2403; the Robert L. Strickland Center on the Main Campus, at each of the Forsyth Technical Community College center locations, or the form can be printed using the college website and select the tab Records Office.

Academic Recognition for Graduation

Graduates in programs leading to a degree or diploma qualify for academic recognition at graduation. Students earning a cumulative GPA of 4.00 in their program will be granted a degree or diploma with high honors. Students earning a cumulative GPA of 3.50 to 3.99 in their program will be granted a degree or diploma with honors. Honor recognition will also reflect on the student transcript.

Student Withdrawals

Students considering withdrawing from a class or from school are encouraged to contact their instructor(s) and academic advisor to discuss the decision to withdraw.  A withdrawal form can be completed through the student’s Techlink account by clicking on the online withdrawal form under My Bookmarks. When the student initiates a withdrawal, the date the form is completed is the official withdrawal date. The instructor will complete the Withdrawal Form entering the last date of attendance. When students fail to complete a withdrawal form through their Techlink account, they may receive a failing grade.

Withdrawal from a Class - Students are responsible for completing a Withdrawal Form for each course they are withdrawing; and notification will be sent to their instructor(s) and the Records Office. The student may choose to contact their academic advisor or Student Success Center of the decision to withdraw.

Total Withdrawal from School - Students who must withdraw from school, either permanently or temporarily, should withdraw officially. Students are responsible for completing a Withdrawal Form for each course and for notifying their instructors and academic advisors; also consider contacting the Student Success Center of the decision to withdraw.

Veterans and financial aid recipients must notify Student Financial Services if they discontinue enrollment.

FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law that was enacted to protect the privacy of students and their educational records. The intent of the legislation is to protect the rights of students and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of “educational information.”

The Act provides for the right of eligible students to:

  • inspect and review their educational records
  • request an amendment to records that are believed to be inaccurate
  • require the school to obtain written consent prior to disclosure of personally identifiable information, except those items noted herein
  • file a complaint with the US Dept. of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with FERPA
  • You may also call 800-USA-LEARN (800.872.5327) or visit the FERPA website for more information.

Educational information refers to any record maintained by an educational institution including files, documents, and materials of any type which contain information directly related to students, and which allows a student to be identified.

What is not considered Educational Information?

  • Sole possession records or private notes held by educational personnel which are not accessible or released to other personnel
  • Law enforcement or campus security records which are solely for law enforcement purposes
  • Records related to individuals who are employed by the college
  • Records related to treatment provided by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional
  • Records of the college which contain only information about an individual obtained after that person is no longer a student at the college (i.e., alumni records)

Release of Educational Record

Who Is An Eligible Student Under FERPA and How Are They Protected?

Students become “eligible” and are protected under FERPA when they begin attendance at a higher education institution or have been previously enrolled and have an education record, regardless of age or status in regard to parental dependency. An individual is a student if he/she is/has attended a class and their information is in the Student Information System (SIS). FERPA rights continue after the student leaves the college and are only terminated upon the death of the student.
A student does not need to be enrolled in a program of study to be an eligible student. If a student attends any kind of course or program offered by the college, he/she is then considered an eligible student.
Students who have applied, but not attended the institution, and deceased students are not protected under FERPA guidelines.

Student Rights Under FERPA

Eligible students have the right to inspect and review their educational records within 45 days of submitting a written request to Forsyth Technical Community College. The student must submit the request to the Director of Records and identify the records they wish to inspect. The Director of Records will then make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time/place where the records may be inspected. The college is not required to supply copies of records.

A student may also ask the college to amend a record believed to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the eligible student then has a right to a formal hearing. If, after the hearing, the school still chooses not to amend the record, the eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record commenting on the contested information. This does not include grade appeals.

A student may formally request that Forsyth Technical Community College not release Directory Information on their behalf by submitting a “FERPA Consent Form.” Once this request has been made, every reasonable effort will be made to safeguard the confidentiality of directory information.

Once an official request of non-disclosure has been made, the student will not be permitted to request an official or unofficial transcript online in the college’s student information system. The student will be required to submit written authorization, with proof of identity, to the Records Office before a transcript will be released. Additionally, Forsyth Technical Community College staff will not respond to phone calls from potential employers to verify enrollment for students who have submitted an official request of non-disclosure without the student’s written authorization. This request will remain in effect until the student submits a written notice to remove the restriction.

Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with FERPA.

Parent Rights Under FERPA

Parents lose their FERPA rights when their child starts attending or taking classes in any post-secondary institution or turns 18, whichever happens first.

Under 20 USC 1232g(d) all rights of parents (including the right to inspect educational records and to consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information) transfers to the student at the earlier of: 1) the attainment of age 18, or 2) attendance at an “institution of postsecondary education.”

However, as stated later in this document, parents of a financially dependent student, defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), may obtain their dependent student’s records, after submitting proof of the student’s dependency (via most recent federal tax form). Requested information will not be released prior to the submission of this documentation.

Students can authorize the release of their education information to a parent, spouse, or other third party by completing “FERPA Authorization Form.”

Other than the financial dependent exception – which, again, requires documentation – the college may disclose non-directory information to a parent in these specific instances:

  • When the student is under the age of 21 and violates college rules regarding the use of alcohol or controlled substances.
  • In the case of a health or safety emergency, if the knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others.

When is a student’s consent not required?

There are several exceptions to releasing information without a student’s written approval. Some examples are:

  • school officials with “legitimate educational interests” (i.e. dual enrollment high schools);
  • other schools to which a student is enrolled or seeking to transfer;
  • parents (or Custodial Parents) of a dependent student (defined by the IRS). A parent may obtain their dependent student’s records, but must submit proof of the student’s dependency (via most recent federal tax form) prior to receiving requested information. This information must be updated yearly for the parent to continue to have access to their dependent student’s records.
  • specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • appropriate parties in connection with financial aid;
  • organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • to comply with the Solomon Amendment (An institution is obligated to release data included in the list of “student recruiting information,” which may or may not match Forsyth Tech’s FERPA directory information list.);
  • appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies;
  • State or local authorities auditing or evaluating federal or state supported education programs or enforcing federal laws which relate to those programs;
  • state and local authorities, within a juvenile system, pursuant to specific State law; and
  • parents of a student under the age of 21 who violates the college rules and/or federal/state or local laws regarding the use of alcohol or controlled substances.

Who Is Considered a “School Official”?

  • a person employed by or under contract with the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position;
  • a person serving on the Forsyth Technical Community College Board of Trustees;
  • a person or firm retained by the college to perform professional services, such as legal, accounting, or auditing services; or
  • a person or company under contract with the college to manage or perform operations functions, such as the college bookstore.

What is “Legitimate Educational Interest”?

  • Legitimate educational interest means a school official has a “need-to-know” regarding specific information in a student’s record. It refers to any authorized interest or activity undertaken in the name of the college.
  • Legitimate education interest exists when the school official is performing a task related to a student’s education or is providing a service or benefit to the student.
  • Legitimate education interest exists when the school official is maintaining safety and security on campus.
  • Access to an educational record must be necessary or appropriate to the operation of the college or to the proper performance of the educational mission of the college.

Disclosure of Education Information/Records

Directory Information

Disclosure means to permit access to or the release, transfer or other communication of personally identifiable information contained in education records by any means (oral, written, electronic, etc.), to any party except the party that provided or created the record.

Generally, the college must have written permission from a student before releasing information from the student’s record. One exception to this rule is categorized as “Directory Information.”

Directory Information is personally identifiable information which includes educational information/records that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of a student’s privacy. This information may be disclosed to a third party without a student’s written authorization. Although directory information may be disclosed, the college is in no way obligated to release such information.

Forsyth Technical Community College has classified the information listed below as Directory Information:

  • Student name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Dates of attendance
  • Number of credit hours enrolled
  • Major field of study
  • School issued email address

Please Note: The college reserves the right to publish the names of students who receive academic honors. Students have the option to opt on when completing their application for graduation.

Questions regarding student records should be directed to the Records Office at the college.

For more information on FERPA, visit their website.

This section covers academic policies effective at the time of this catalog’s publication.