WALNUT COVE (March 17, 2022) – When Forsyth Technical Community College set out to start a campus in Stokes County, college officials didn’t assume – they asked.
“We try to meet the individual needs of the counties that we serve,” Forsyth Tech President Janet Spriggs says in the accompanying video, explaining that the college serves both Forsyth and Stokes counties. In Forsyth County, programs are tailored to the employers of Forsyth.
“In Stokes County, that looks very different than Forsyth County – but we’re doing the same thing,” Spriggs says.
Rather than simply pronounce what programs the Stokes campus would offer, the college surveyed Stokes residents to understand what they wanted from their community college.
“What is it that Stokes County needs from their community college to be able to provide a gateway for students to get into a college-transfer pathway, or to provide them with career and technical education that they need?” Spriggs asks.
The survey revealed great interest in Early College, where a student enrolls in high school and community college at the same time and can earn both a high-school diploma and a two-year college degree – for free.
“They loved the Early College model, because it helps students get a head start on college and getting ready for a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree,” Spriggs says.
Stokes folks also wanted to focus on the trades. The Stokes campus offers licensed practical nursing, welding and plumbing. A new trade center opened at the Walnut Cove center in 2020 to provide hands-on career and technical or vocational training that residents said they want.
“It helps prepare people to own their own businesses or to work in these industries right here at home,” Spriggs says, “and be able to live in beautiful Stokes County.”