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WSSU, Forsyth Tech sign new transfer partnership agreement

Dr. Janet N. Spriggs (left), president of Forsyth Technical Community College, and Dr. Elwood L. Robinson, chancellor of Winston-Salem State University, sign a new transfer partnership agreement during a ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 1.

A new transfer partnership agreement will create a streamlined path for Forsyth Technical Community College (Forsyth Tech) graduates to pursue a bachelor’s degree from Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).

Through the 2+2 agreement, graduates of Forsyth Tech’s associate in biotechnology program who want to advance their careers can transfer to WSSU with junior status – 60 or more credit hours – to pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology.

“Winston-Salem State and Forsyth Tech have partnered for decades to provide quality, affordable and convenient education for residents in and around Winston-Salem,” said Dr. Anthony Graham, provost and vice chancellor of Academic Affairs for WSSU. “We are pleased to partner once again to provide another opportunity for students to advance their careers without leaving home. This new agreement illustrates WSSU’s commitment to providing access to baccalaureate degrees for North Carolina residents in critical workforce areas.”

The agreement was signed by WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson and Forsyth Tech President Janet N. Spriggs during a ceremony at Forsyth Tech on Thursday, Aug. 1. Graduates of the program can begin enrolling at WSSU’s biology program this fall.

“Forsyth Tech is excited to partner with Winston-Salem State University in the 2+2 program in biotechnology to help our students have a clear pathway and smooth transition to completing their bachelor’s degree,” Spriggs said. “This collaboration will offer remarkable opportunities for our students and the community, and show how higher education works well together. This is one of many dual agreements between Forsyth Tech and Winston-Salem State University, and we look forward to adding more as we work together to advance opportunity and social mobility for all residents of our service area and the greater Piedmont Triad Region.”

Community College Outreach

This is the second signing for WSSU academic leaders over the past month, as WSSU expands opportunities for area community college students who seek to pursue baccalaureate degrees in critical workforce areas, such as STEM, healthcare, and early childhood and K-12 education.

WSSU signed two similar agreements with Davidson County Community College on July 2. All three agreements are for Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) programs. Because A.A.S. programs are not covered by the state’s comprehensive articulation agreement, many graduates have been left without a clear path to a bachelor’s degree.

WSSU expects to finalize at least eight additional agreements this fall with area community colleges in areas of business, healthcare administration, mass communications, and information technology.

WSSU has several long-established academic partnerships with Forsyth Tech, including:

  • Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN), which creates a path for Forsyth Tech nursing students to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from WSSU.
  • A dual admission program that was first adopted in 2009. The program, which will be enhanced this fall, guarantees admission to WSSU for Forsyth Tech graduates who earn an Associate in Arts (A.A.) or Associate in Science (A.S.).
Forsyth Tech’s Biotechnology Department

Forsyth Tech’s Biotechnology Department is nationally recognized for its work developing a skilled bioscience workforce. Over the years, the department has been visited by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama.

In 2012, Forsyth Tech was awarded a four-year, $15 million Department of Labor grant to create industry-recognized credentialing standards. In 2018, the college was one of 10 national finalists for the Bellwether Award competition from The Bellwether College Consortium for its work on the initiative. Forsyth Tech’s biotechnology program prepares students for careers as skilled laboratory technicians in fields of biological and chemical technology, a high-demand area for the Piedmont Triad.

There are 150 biotechnology companies in the Piedmont Triad, ranging from research-based companies to production facilities. Students complete courses in math, biology, chemistry and psychology and receive hands-on lab experience.

WSSU’s Department of Biological Sciences

Biology is one of the fastest growing majors at WSSU, ranking as the second largest major behind nursing. Since 2015-16, there has been a 40% increase in enrollment in biological sciences. The program also has seen a 70% increase in graduates from 2015-16, with 60 graduates in 2018-19.

The department – part of the College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education – offers small class sizes and undergraduate research opportunities that allow students to work closely with their professors.

“These agreements allow students to transfer in almost all of the specialized courses that will be considered part of their curriculum at WSSU,” said Dr. Manju Bhat, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. “This also allows students to not only complete the required biology curriculum efficiently but also take elective courses at WSSU as part of their degree program.”

WSSU ranks as one of the 100 largest producers of bachelor’s degrees in sciences for African Americans in the nation. Starting in 2020, STEM students at WSSU will benefit from a $53 million sciences building that’s under construction on campus. The 103,000-square-foot building anchor for WSSU’s Science District will offer lab space for increased faculty and student collaboration.

In 2018, WSSU received a record $2.3 million in new National Science Foundation (NSF) grants to expand faculty-mentored undergraduate research for students in biology and other STEM fields. Biology majors at WSSU can opt for a general curriculum or choose to focus in one of five concentrations: biotechnology; cellular and molecular; microbiology; neuroscience; or pre-health professional.

About Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.

About Forsyth Tech
Forsyth Technical Community College provides students with guided educational pathways into a competitive workforce for the community and global economy. 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 is the fifth largest community college in North Carolina and serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full- and part-time faculty and staff. For additional information, please visit and follow Forsyth Tech on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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