Academic Advising

Academic advising is an integral part of each student’s college experience. Advising is an opportunity for you and your advisor to develop and evaluate an academic plan to enable you to reach your academic, career, and personal goals. 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.

The purpose of academic advising is to support, guide, and assist current and prospective students with clarifying academic and career goals, academic planning, and resource referrals. Advisors will provide relational, student-focused advising services to empower students to explore, articulate, and achieve their academic, career, and life goals. Advisors will also monitor student academic progress to identify students needing additional support to overcome academic challenges.

All students are assigned to an academic advisor based on the chosen program of study. Your advisor will assist you will developing an academic plan to guide you from your first semester to transferring to a 4-year college or university or starting your career.

Student Outcomes

Through the advising experience at Forsyth Tech students will:

  • Develop an understanding of program requirements.
  • With guidance, develop an educational plan that aligns with your career and educational goals.
  • Be familiar with available campus support resources, and how to access them.
  • Know how to access and successfully use college technology platforms familiar with college advising and registration policies.


Registering for Classes

Forsyth Tech operates on the semester system. Fall and spring semesters are 16 weeks, and the summer term is 9 and 10 weeks. Some courses are offered on an eight-week or other alternative schedule during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.  Course registration opens for fall, spring, and summer semesters for all students every March 1st.  

Currently Enrolled Students

Currently enrolled students should schedule an appointment with their assigned advisor to review their academic plans.  Upon review of the academic plan, students can choose their course sections and register for classes via Navigate Student Planning.  

Any questions concerning transfer credit from another college for course(s) credit should be directed to the Admissions & Records Office at An official transcript from colleges or universities attended is required to receive transfer credit for courses taken.

New Students

All new students are to complete new student orientation and attend a 1st advising and registration session as soon as possible following their admission to Forsyth Tech.

New Student Onboarding (NSO)

The purpose of New Student Onboarding is to prepare students for a successful start of the first semester of their academic journey with Forsyth Tech and to provide new students with a comprehensive orientation to Forsyth Tech. The New Student Onboarding experience provides a relational experience for students to establish relationships and build a sense of belonging through engagement with students, staff, and the campus community.

New Student Onboarding is a two-part program. The first component is an online orientation session to be completed before attending the second component. Once a student completes the online session a prompt will be given to move to the second component and schedule the 1st Advising & Registration Session.  1st Advising Sessions are available in person on the main campus and virtually. During this session, students will complete their initial advising session, register for classes, and complete additional steps to be prepared to successfully start their academic journey at Forsyth Tech.     

1st Advising and Registration Sessions

1st Advising and Registration is a comprehensive series of group advising appointments designed to provide students with vital information and support as they embark on their educational journey at Forsyth Tech. These sessions are a fundamental step in ensuring your success by equipping you with the necessary tools and guidance to navigate your college experience effectively. 

Attending a 1st Advising & Registration session is vital to a smooth transition into college life. By participating in these sessions, students will gain the knowledge, confidence, and support necessary to make informed decisions about their education, set academic goals, and maximize their time at Forsyth Tech Community College.

During the 1st Advising and Registration sessions, our experienced advisors and peer advisors will assist students with:

  • Accessing and using their student accounts
  • Engaging with their program of study
  • Planning and registering for courses to begin their first semester
  • Connecting with advisors and students

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

Schedule Changes

Students may adjust their schedules through Planning in their Navigate account after their initial registration through the day before the first day of class.

After classes have started, schedule changes may be made during the add/drop period which is the first two days of the term. To make schedule changes during this add/drop period students must seek assistance from an academic advisor. Classes may not be added after the drop/add period without permission of the division dean.

Grade Reports and Transcripts

Current students’ final grades are available online in MyForsythTech at the end of each semester. Transcripts reflect students’ completed academic records at Forsyth Tech. A transcript includes degrees earned, semester hour credits, grade point average (GPA) earned, and the cumulative GPA for the semester.

Students can access their unofficial transcript in or on campus at a Student Care Team information desk. There is no charge for unofficial transcripts. Official transcripts must be requested online using the National Student Clearinghouse Ordering Service. Secure electronic PDF delivery, US mail delivery, and pickup options are available. Payment must be submitted with the request, and additional fees for electronic and mail requests apply. Official transcripts issued directly to the student note this procedure on the outside of the sealed envelope.

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 may be blocked from reviewing their grades or requesting an official transcript 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

The minimum standards for graduation are a final program grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better, a passing grade in all required courses in a program of study, and successful completion of any specific program requirements. Students should refer to the list of required courses for their program and meet with their advisor each semester to ensure they are on track to graduate. The Admissions and Records Office identifies and awards completed credentials as they are earned; no graduation application is required. All awarded credentials are reflected on the student’s transcript.

Candidates for degrees, diplomas, and certificates must complete a minimum of 25 percent of their required coursework at Forsyth Tech.  These requirements may not be met by Credit for Prior Learning such as proficiency examination, articulation, transfer, or other alternative credit granting activities. Transfer credit can be used to meet graduation purposes. Additionally, transfer credit can be used toward graduation requirements for a course that was not successfully completed at Forsyth Tech.

Students wishing to earn multiple associate degrees must complete at least 12 additional hours in courses taken at Forsyth Tech that are not being used towards the first degree.  Diplomas and certificates can be earned before completing the associate degree.

For each program of study, there is a list of requirements (or required courses) for students accepted during that specific academic year.

  • Students will graduate under the program of study from the academic year they were accepted into the program if they stay continuously enrolled until graduation and finish all prerequisites within three years. Students who change their program are admitted to the new program under the current academic year’s program of study.
  • A student can request to update their program to the program of study for the current academic year; however, once the change is approved, it cannot be reversed.
  • A student readmitted after two full semesters (Spring and Fall) of non-enrollment is accepted under the active program of study at the time of readmission, not under the program of study in effect at the time of the original admission.

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's transcript.

Student Withdrawals

Students considering withdrawing from a class or school are encouraged to contact their instructor(s) and academic advisor to discuss the decision to withdraw. 

A withdrawal request can be completed using the Online Course Withdrawal form accessible through Students are responsible for completing a withdrawal form for each course they are withdrawing from. Notification will be sent to their instructor(s), Forsyth Tech Cares, and the Admissions & Records Office.

When the student initiates a withdrawal, the date the form is completed is the official withdrawal date. The form is routed to the course instructor to enter the last date of attendance and grade. Withdrawals are processed once the instructor's information is received and are typically reflected on the student’s record within one week of the request. When students fail to complete a withdrawal form before the last day to withdraw, 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 Admissions & Records Office.  Students receiving any type of financial aid should consult with their financial aid advisor to determine the impact on continued eligibility to receive funding. 

Before dropping or withdrawing from courses students receiving Veteran G.I. Bill funds must see the veteran services advisor.  Veteran students dropping or withdrawing from courses risk losing their funding or having to repay money received. 

Total Withdrawal from School - Students who must withdraw from school, either permanently or temporarily, should withdraw officially using the Online Course Withdrawal form accessible at Students are responsible for completing a withdrawal form for each course and for notifying their instructors, academic advisors, Financial Aid, and the Veteran’s Office if applicable.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records.  This law applies to all educational agencies and institutions that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. Rights to education records transfer from the parent to the student when the student reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level at any age. Under FERPA, Forsyth Tech cannot release information about a student’s grades, class schedule, financial aid, etc. without the student’s permission.

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 that 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 which relate exclusively to the employee and their role as an employee.
  • Records related to treatment provided by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional.
  • Records of the college that contain only information about an individual obtained after that person is no longer a student at the college (i.e., alumni records).
  • Peer-graded papers and exams before they are collected and recorded by the instructor.

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 attend a higher education institution or have been previously enrolled and have an education record, regardless of age or status regarding parental dependency. An individual is a student if they 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, the student is considered an eligible student. Students who have applied, but have not attended the institution, and deceased students are not protected under FERPA guidelines.

Student Rights Under FERPA

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day Forsyth Tech receives a request for access. A student should submit a written request to the Registrar that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask Forsyth Tech to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants to be changed, and specify why it should be changed.

    If Forsyth Tech decides not to amend the record as requested, the college will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

  3. The right to provide written consent before Forsyth Tech discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Students can authorize the release of their education information to a parent, spouse, or other third party by completing the FERPA Release Form available on Techlink.

    Forsyth Tech discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official typically includes a person employed by Forsyth Tech in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the [School] who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record to fulfill their professional responsibilities for Forsyth Tech.

    A student may formally request that Forsyth Tech not release Directory Information on their behalf by submitting a Directory Information Non-Disclosure Form, available on Techlink. Once this request has been made, every reasonable effort will be made to safeguard the confidentiality of directory information. Once an official request for 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 Admissions and 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 for 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.

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 the most recent federal tax form) before receiving the 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 that relate to those programs;
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile system, under 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 a 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.

The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the [School] to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Student Privacy Policy Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Parent Rights Under FERPA

Parents lose their FERPA rights when their child attends or takes classes at 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) transfer to the student at the earlier of: 1) the attainment of age 18, or 2) attendance at an “institution of postsecondary education.”

FERPA permits (but does not require) parents of a financially dependent student, defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), to obtain their dependent student’s records, after submitting proof of the student’s dependency (via the most recent federal tax form). The requested information will not be released before the submission of this documentation.

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.

Disclosure of Education Information/Records

Directory Information

Disclosure means to permit access to or 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 that 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 Tech does not publish or distribute lists of applicants, currently enrolled students, or graduates for use by nonprofit or for-profit off-campus organizations. Additionally, Forsyth Tech does not release “directory information” to any requester for commercial, marketing, or solicitation purposes.

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

  • Legal and Chosen Name
  • City and state of address
  • Major/program of study
  • Class Level
  • Enrollment Status (full-time, part-time)
  • Dates of attendance
  • Honors and awards
  • Degrees/credentials awarded
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams

Please Note: The college reserves the right to publish the names of students who receive academic honors. Students can opt-out by submitting a Directory Information Non-Disclosure Form.

Questions regarding student records should be directed to the Admissions & Records Office.

For more information on FERPA, visit

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