Hello Forsyth Tech Students!
Tomorrow is one of the happiest days in our calendar year, it’s finally Commencement Day! This year we will conduct it virtually for now and we hope to have it in person as soon as it is safe to do so.
I have important information for you today, not just about tomorrow’s commencement, but also about our plans to “Return to our Brave New Normal.” Particularly, if you are a returning student, please take the time to read this message in full.
First, let me offer you a huge thank you for carrying on and moving forward to wrap up this very different spring semester. You have been incredibly resilient and flexible and we couldn’t be any prouder of what you have accomplished.
Remember, if you need emergency help, with anything from food to rent, please contact Forsyth Tech Cares or call 336-734-7195. We want to support you however we can!
Return to Brave New Normal – Our Re-entry Plans
As you know, the governor’s stay-at-home orders have entered into Phase I. North Carolina has successfully flattened the curve of COVID-19 and we want to continue to do our part. However, Phase I doesn’t change a tremendous amount of what we have been doing as a college. Our goal is still to keep as many services as possible at-a-distance, but also resuming some in-person operations and services over the next several weeks. Please let me assure you that we are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe by following recommendations of our public health officials. This includes taking safety precautions, following social distancing requirements, providing masks for employees and students, and maintaining remote operations to the fullest extent possible while also meeting business needs.
Governor’s Phase I (two-three weeks)
- May 11 – Limited on-campus operations only on Main Campus, West Campus, NW Forsyth Center, all services available remotely, including advising and registration.
- May 18 – Students who accepted an incomplete for a spring 2020 course work with their instructors individually to determine how to complete their coursework. In-person coursework for this purpose only will be allowed to resume.
- May 21 – Centralized Registration for summer 2020 – 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. in RLS. Remote advising and registration is highly encouraged.
- May 27 – Summer classes begin (all remote)
- May 27 & 28 – Summer drop/add registration – 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. in RLS
Mask the City – Mask Distribution – Thursday, May 7, 2020, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
We will be handing out masks tomorrow from 9 a.m. – noon in front of the Allman Building for all employees and students – as long as supplies last. If you do not have a mask, please stop by! We ask that you limit your request to one mask per student.
Virtual Commencement – May 7, 2020, at 5 p.m.
Please join us tomorrow at 5 p.m. on YouTube for Forsyth Tech’s first ever virtual commencement ceremony. We want to support our graduates the best way we can right now, and until the time when we can gather together, we want to make this a celebration to remember!
We still hope to hold an in-person graduation ceremony later this summer or early fall. As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and its impacts on large group gatherings, we will let you know as soon as we know about in-person graduation. Please keep in touch with us, so we know how to get in touch with you over the summer.
Safety Precautions Reminders of Wear, Wait and Wash
As we plan to re-enter campus in phases following the stay-at-home restrictions for COVID-19, we would like to remind you of the proper protocol for wearing masks, social distancing and proper cleaning protocols.
The three W’s as mentioned by the state public health department are: Wear, Wait and Wash:
- Wear – Employees, students and visitors are highly encouraged to wear masks (masks are available, and provided by the Forsyth Tech Foundation)
- Wait – A social distance of six feel is expected. There are floor markings and barriers (tables) to promote distance when conducting college business. When boarding elevators, there are floor markings for no more than two people at a time on the elevator. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
- Wash – There is signage in ALL restrooms promoting proper handwashing techniques. Commercial grade cleaning products will be used in all areas, as well as regular sanitization of all high-touch areas like elevator buttons, handles, counter tops, etc.
In order to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19, you will see prominent signage around main areas on campus to promote proper hygiene protocol, practice social distancing and staying at home if you feel sick.
Drive-In Diploma Pick-up Celebration
Mark your calendars for the Forsyth Tech 2020 Graduates Drive-In Diploma Pick-Up at the Robert L. Strickland Center! Graduates, this is the time when you can get your actual degree, diploma or certificate.
In addition to your degree and some giveaways, a food truck will also be onsite with a limited menu of three options from which each graduate can select making the flow of traffic fluid and swift. Graduates will not need to leave their vehicles. Food, swag items and degrees will all be brought to the graduates’ vehicle.
Tuesday, May 19 – 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Wednesday, May 20 – 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
CARES Act Distribution
We have a plan for distributing these funds to students as soon as possible. We will send an email to all eligible students next week, with instruction on how they will receive their money. Thank you all so much for your patience as we made our plans for distribution and waited to receive the funds from the federal government.
Please note that the college is thrilled to have these funds and to get them directly in the hands of our students. However, the guidelines regarding who can receive the funds was set by the federal government. We want you all to know that regardless of those guidelines, we are here to help all of you. Remember, if you need emergency help, with anything from food to rent, please contact Forsyth Tech Cares or call 336-734-7195. We want to support you however we can!
In Memoriam – Vivian Burke
Forsyth Tech is saddened to hear about the passing of City Council Member, Dr. Vivian Burke. To us, she was a friend of the college, passionate about equitable education for all, dedicated to her values and committed to her principles of bringing the community together for progress. Forsyth Tech honored Mrs. Burke in February during our Black History Month celebration for her dedication to education and the college. With Mayor Allen Joines, Vivian Burke established the Joines/Burke scholarship given to students in public housing or in a home where the household income is below the poverty level which pays for tuition, books or both for up to six semesters at Forsyth Tech. As Mrs. Burke said, “The scholarship is for those who have the will but not the means to attend college.” Her legacy will long be remembered and we will strive to uphold her ideas. Our deepest condolences go to the Burke family.
I included this information last week but wanted to share again for those of you planning for the summer semester. If you are hoping to take classes with us this summer, please let me encourage you to do so as soon as possible. Summer classes will begin online on May 27.
The payment deadline for summer semester classes is Thursday, May 21, at 7 p.m. For your convenience, we have also added payment plans for summer semester. This will allow you to pay 50 percent of your owed tuition upfront on or before May 21 and then pay the remainder by June 19 (Note: you must be registered for at least six credit hours to participate in the payment plan).
Please be aware that we will also have what we call drop/add registration where you can adjust your schedule on the first and second day of the semester – May 27 and 28. The payment for classes registered during this time will be at 7 p.m. on May 28 and the payment plan will be available for those classes as well.
I wanted to leave you one last thought as we move beyond Commencement. This is one of my very favorite quotes and I mentioned it yesterday on our Facebook Live.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt
I feel it applies not only to our students, but to all of us. If this semester has taught us anything it is that we can choose to make our future better, brighter and bolder together!
Thank you for all for being Forsyth Tech strong. Stay safe and stay well! Hope to see you back on campus soon.