Students choose community colleges as universities head online

COVID-19 has created a large shift from the way students learn in the classroom to learning from home. With summer college classes underway, it has made some students change their minds about how they want to learn.

While the class of 2020 had big plans for their future, the journey of some graduates may look a little different.

With many universities across the country mostly offering online courses, it has some students asking, “Why pay for a four-year university right now?”

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Triad community college unveils new brand in drive-through fashion

Forsyth Tech Community College on Thursday revealed its new brand and logo with two drive-through brand launch party sessions from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. The branding includes a new logo with the tagline, “A place of promise.”

The new brand process included months of research, gathering both qualitative and quantitative data from current, former and prospective students; parents; business partners; community members; and the college’s board members, faculty and staff.

“We first considered what Forsyth Tech is for our students and the community,” FTCC President Janet Spriggs said. “What we heard from our interviews and surveys was critical to understanding who we are and what Forsyth Tech means to our community.”

Visual elements of the rebranding include a shield logo incorporating the letters F and T encompassing a star, representing the students who are the center of Forsyth Tech.

The drive-through event is an immersive experience including a series of stations and exhibits to view elements of the new brand while listening to the college’s radio station, 105.1 The FORSe, narrating key elements of the brand.

“While this wasn’t exactly the launch event we had originally envisioned, we are excited to share our new brand with the college and community in a fun, but safe, way,” Spriggs said.

The new branding dovetails with college’s Vision 2025 strategic plan, core values and the vision statement, which is ‘Forsyth Tech is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities.’ Next steps in the branding process are updating the website with a re-design scheduled to be completed in fall 2020l. The college will also conduct surveys to begin the mascot development process with a plan to introduce a mascot this fall.

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“The Forsyth Tech brand that is conveyed through our marketing communications should reflect both who we are and who we want to be as an institution,” Spriggs said. “We are excited to share this with everyone in this college and community-wide celebration.”

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Forsyth Tech rolls out its new look

Forsyth Technical Community College has a new logo and a new look.

The college introduced its new colors and a new tagline Thursday at mid-day and afternoon drive-thru events on its main campus in Winston-Salem.

Here’s a glance at the college’s new look:

The new logo: It’s a shield formed from the letters F (for “Forsyth”) and T (for “Tech”). Near the center of the shield is a star, which the college said in a news release “represents the college’s students who are the center of Forsyth Tech.” The logo also includes the school’s full name, which is to the right of the shield. The old logo, now retired, is a black rectangle with the words “Forsyth Tech” atop a blue box that says “Community College.”

The new colors: Forsyth Tech has replaced royal blue and black with two other blues — a dark cerulean and teal.

The new tagline: “A place of promise.” This is the first time in several years that the college has used a tagline.

The process: The new logo and related elements are part of a branding campaign, launched soon after new President Janet Spriggs arrived at the college in early 2019, to market itself to prospective students and the larger Forsyth County community. The college said it surveyed 1,600 people — current and potential students, community members, college employees and others — to help the college identify its strengths and decide what it wants to become.

The big reveal: The college showed off its new logo Thursday at two drive-thru events at its main campus on Silas Creek Parkway. The college gave away T-shirts, bottled water and other items with the new logo on it. It also collected canned and non-perishable food for Second Harvest Food Bank. Some college employees picked up new name tags and business cards.

They said it: “Forsyth Tech is a place of promise,” Spriggs said in a statement put out by the college. “It’s a bold statement, yet we are ready to make bold and brave statements for our students and for the communities we serve. It’s called our ‘tagline’ but it is so much more than that — it represents who and what we are. It is our promise to the communities we serve. Of course, a promise is only worth something if you actually keep it, and we pledge to keep them all.”

What’s next: The new logo, colors and tagline will show up on the college’s soon-to-be-redesigned website (www.forsythtech.edu) in the fall. Forsyth Tech also plans to introduce a new mascot during the fall semester.

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Covid-19 puts twist on how Triad community college will debut rebranding

Following a months-long rebranding process, Forsyth Technical Community College will reveal its new brand identity in drive-up fashion Thursday, June 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 4 to 6 p.m.

The drive-through brand launch party will be in the parking of the Robert L. Strickland Center parking lot. The school solicited the input of more than 1,650 existing and prospective students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and residents, all culminating with a new color palette, logo and tagline.

“We first considered what Forsyth Tech is for our students and the community,” Forsyth Tech President Janet Spriggs said. “What we heard from them was critical to understanding who we are and what Forsyth Tech means to our community.”

The new brand dovetails with the college’s Vision 2025 strategic plan, core values and vision statement — a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities. As part of the branding, the website will be refreshed. An overhaul of the website is scheduled to be completed this fall. The school, which in the past had Tech Tiger as its mascot, said it is exploring either developing or bringing back a mascot.

“At the heart of our brand, Forsyth Tech is an institution of equity that includes, supports and connects students to community opportunity creating both personal and community prosperity by providing access to a wide range of practical, affordable and industry-relevant education,” Board of Trustees Chairperson Ann Bennett Phillips said.

To attend the launch event, enter the campus from Miller Street off Silas Creek Parkway. Volunteers will guide drivers to the parking lot. Attendees will remain in their vehicles. Donations of canned and non-perishable food items to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank will be accepted.

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Forsyth Tech will use a new grant to expand a new effort to help its students

Forsyth Tech said it will use a new grant of nearly a half-million dollars to expand a new effort to help its students.

The grant — $440,000 from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust — will go toward Forsyth Tech Cares, which provides emergency aid and other services to the college’s students.

The donation “will have a powerful impact for many of our students …” Forsyth Tech President Janet Spriggs said in a news release. “We want our students to be successful, and we realize helping students succeed means caring for the whole person and supporting their needs both inside and outside the classroom.”

The community college launched Forsyth Tech Cares in March as the COVID-19 pandemic started to sweep through North Carolina. The pandemic caused the college and other institutions to move instruction online and forced many businesses to close. Not only did some Forsyth Tech students lack the technology to keep up with their studies, some also lost jobs.

Forsyth Tech Cares was created to help students with what college leaders called “life happens” moments — outside-the-classroom events that can derail college attendance and cause some students to drop out.

As the pandemic spread, the college said the needs of its students became more pressing. Since March, the college said nearly 1,500 students have asked for help buying computers, paying for internet access and covering basic needs such as food and rent. The college didn’t say how much money the new effort has paid out.

With the grant, the college said it can help more students in additional areas, including child care, health care, transportation, disability testing and legal aid. The college also will use the new grant funds to provide workshops on budgeting, personal growth and parenting.

Forsyth Tech said the expanded services should help the college retain more students from semester to semester and year to year.

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is a Winston-Salem charitable organization that, according to its website, works to improve the health and quality of life of people who live in Forsyth County and across North Carolina.

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The funding of this grant will be life-changing for students who experience barriers beyond the classroom that hinder their success

Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, N.C. – The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust has given $440,000 to Forsyth Tech to provide student support services leading to improved student completion and retention.

In Fall 2019, the college began working in collaborative teams of faculty and staff to research and identify alternative ways to provide students help completing their degrees and managing “life happens” moments. These collaboratives provided insight into the barriers students must overcome, not only to stay in school but to have food, childcare, transportation and housing. Forsyth Tech recognized the crucial need for a “web” of services that includes support both on and off campus through better connections with community resources.

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Tiers of Joy: Woman’s terraced garden started with a single work

One of the most sustainable ways to create a sinuous garden space is to work with existing elements. Whether it’s slope, sun exposure or natural materials, our own patches of earth can provide a road map for our gardens to take shape.

Inspired from existing natural materials, a thoughtfully terraced backyard garden in south Winston-Salem began with a single rock. And from this small boulder, an intricate garden grew around it, all from the hands of a single gardener.

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Forsyth Tech invites the community to maintain social distancing, and drive through a party for the “Big Reveal” of the college’s new logo and brand

Winston-Salem, N.C. — After entering into a re-branding process earlier this year, Forsyth Tech is ready for the “Big Reveal” of a new brand identity. Through a thoughtful process of research, interviews, focus groups and brainstorming sessions with employees, students, alumni and members of the community, the college developed its new brand to reflect the dynamic relationship between Forsyth Tech and its audiences.

“We first considered what Forsyth Tech is for our students and the community,” said Janet Spriggs, president of Forsyth Tech. “What we heard from them was critical to understanding who we are and what Forsyth Tech means to our community.”

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A Message from Forsyth Technical Community College President Janet Spriggs

Last week, in my president’s update message to the students, staff and faculty of Forsyth Tech, I shared my personal heartbreak and sadness over the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd earlier in the week in Minneapolis, and the incomprehensible deaths of so many other black and brown citizens. Today, I remain heartbroken.

As I write this, a shadow of despair blankets much of our nation; pain and bitterness borne from unfathomable injustice envelops our hearts. In the midst of the continuing toll of the global pandemic, our nation was laid bare in 2020 by three separate racist acts causing the deaths of three African Americans — Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.

Across our state and our country, we are struggling, and it is heartbreaking. I have to believe we want to accept, own, and overcome the discrimination, oppression, and inequities which have long threatened to destroy our democracy, but the roots are deep and the healing and transformational pathway forward will be long and difficult. We must focus on eradicating the root cause behind the heinous actions that have brought us here. We have spent this year fighting the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and now we are fighting another disease — one which is tearing us apart and is created by prejudice, racism, hate and evil.

In 2019, my first year as your president, our college community created a new shared vision: “Forsyth Technical Community College is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities.” We also worked together to build our Vision 2025 strategic plan and we adopted our first ever equity statement: “Forsyth Technical Community College equity is grounded in a culture of belonging. We will intentionally design the college experience to ensure that each learner receives what they need to be successful.” As an institution, we have established our core values: excellence, learning, innovation, diversity, and integrity.

Everything we did together over the past year has positioned us to be leaders, and moreover, to lead boldly and bravely. If ever there was a time when our students and the communities we serve needed us to lead, and to do so fearlessly and courageously, that time is now.

Perhaps one place we can lead is through advancing dialogue — real, hard, courageous, respectful, honest, and healing dialogue. Despite everything that has happened this year, and maybe in spite of it all, I still have faith. Many years ago, Charles Spurgeon said: “Faith goes up the stairs that love has built, and looks out the windows which hope has opened.”

At this critical moment in our nation’s history, perhaps our leadership imperative at Forsyth Tech is to advance courageous and difficult conversations to create productive and systemic change. Perhaps our values of excellence, learning, innovation, diversity and integrity can frame our conversations and lead us to action that expands our institutional culture of belonging into efforts to build a world of belonging. Perhaps our dialogue can be grounded in our work to be a catalyst for equitable economic mobility and we can use the power of knowledge to empower our students so they can be a part of transforming our communities.

I have faith that stairs built by love lead to windows opened by hope. I have faith in the hope of a better tomorrow for our country and a nation where all men and women are truly equal and free. I have faith that we as a country want to be better than we have been. I have faith that we, Forsyth Tech students, staff, and faculty, can be the change that we want to see in the world, and as a college community we can be a model for systemic transformation and healing.

I am privileged to lead Forsyth Technical Community College. This year, as we celebrate our 60th year as a life-changing institution of higher education in North Carolina, I pledge to be the leader you and our community deserve and need. For me, that means being a leader who does not accept that some things cannot be changed, but rather a leader who strives with her whole heart to lead change for the things we should not, cannot, and will no longer accept.

Forsyth Technical Community College firmly denounces all acts of racism, violence, and injustice.

  • We stand firm in our belief in the power of education to empower and transform.

  • We stand firm in our belief that equity matters.

  • We stand firm in our acknowledgement of the existence of systemic racism and commit to doing our part to dismantle unjust systems, including the barriers that may exist here at Forsyth Tech.

  • We stand firm in our belief in the words that undergird our nation’s democracy: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

  • We stand firm in our belief that we can change the things that we should not, cannot, and will no longer accept.

 

Janet Spriggs' Signature

With hope for a better tomorrow . . . Your president,

Dr. Janet N. Spriggs

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