Salem College and Forsyth Technical Community College recently signed their new co-admission agreement into effect in a ceremony held at Salem College on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.
Sandra Doran, the newly appointed President of Salem College and Janet Spriggs, President of Forsyth Technical and Community College, represented their respective schools in the short but significant ceremony. The signing marked a rare joining of private and public higher education schools in the hopes of creating new and more beneficial opportunities through the partnership.
The agreement will allow any Forsyth Tech. student who completes their associate degree at the community college to enroll in Salem College at junior standing.
Richard Vinson, Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Salem College, helped create the agreement. Dean Vinson stated after the ceremony that Salem College will be offering “advising pathways” for Forsyth Tech. students who are interested in the program in order to smooth the transition between the two schools. Dean Vinson also stated that Salem will be delegating a representative of Salem to Forsyth Tech. once a week to discuss this opportunity. This representative will be Katie Hammon, the Transfer Coordinator in Salem’s Office of Admissions.
President Doran spoke of this new agreement with great pride and claimed that it will be “instrumental” in giving Forsyth Tech. students increased opportunities after community college. Salem’s recently fully-instated President mentioned the private school’s mission to prepare global leaders and discussed how this agreement will encourage transfer students from Forsyth Tech. to adopt this mission as well.
President Spriggs of Forsyth Tech. mentioned the “economic… and social mobility” that this admission agreement will offer to the community college’s students. With the community college’s 60th anniversary coming up next year, President Spriggs shared her hope that this agreement will be a “catalyst” for “equitable” opportunities for students graduating from Forsyth Tech.
Both President Doran and President Spriggs mentioned how unique this partnership was and the benefits it would bring to both Salem College and Forsyth Tech. These benefits would come despite the two schools having significant differences, beginning with their private versus public status. Another difference is enrollment size. Salem currently has around 940 enrolled students in its undergraduate, graduate, and Fleer programs; Forsyth Tech., as of 2018, enrolled over 11,000 students in their credit-seeking programs. According to Salem College, 45 percent of the school’s traditional-aged students are people of color. Forsyth Tech. follows close behind with 44 percent of their students being people of color in 2018.
What are the implications of this partnership in regards to these aspects? Hopefully, increased diversity and a higher graduation rate for Salem College. Although Salem College prides itself on its small class sizes, bringing in a larger junior class each year could potentially help boost Salem’s graduation rate, which currently sits at 57 percent according to collegescorecard.ed.gov. Additionally, Forsyth Tech. offers a lower tuition cost to their students, and Forsyth Tech. students who take up this opportunity may help bring a diverse range of class demographics to the private school. And although both schools are similar in racial minority demographics, there is still potential for Salem College to enroll more students of color from Forsyth Tech.