5 Ways to Have Your Best Semester Yet

Campus FunWhether you’re adopting new habits or reaffirming old ones, a new year and the start of a new semester is a good time to re-energize, get motivated, and stay on track to achieve your goals. As you embark on the 2015 Spring Semester at FTCC, check out the following tips for enjoying your best semester yet!

1. Get Involved
Did you know FTCC has 35 clubs and organizations and over 15 intramural sports teams? Joining a club can open the door to new friendships, fun, and even professional networking opportunities. After all, your college experience is more than just the knowledge and skills you acquire; it’s also the connections and memories you make that stay with you well beyond the 2-4 years you spend pursuing a degree. This semester, put the excuses aside and think seriously about becoming more involved on campus.

If your schedule simply will not allow for another commitment, that’s okay! You can still enrich your college experience by attending one of the many events on campus*Hint, they’re almost always free!

2. Use the Buddy System
At the start of the semester, find a friend (or make one!) in each class and exchange information:

  • phone numbers
  • email addresses
  • social media accounts

The next time you forget when an assignment is due or miss some of the notes from yesterday’s lecture, you will be glad you did!

3. Intern Early & Often
You never truly know what a job will be like until you experience it first-hand. Job shadowing and internships are essential to learning about your desired career path, gaining valuable experience that will set you apart from the competition upon graduation, and making contacts within your industry that could potentially land you a job later on.

At FTCC, our Work-Based Learning program offers eligible students the opportunity to earn college credit for an internship. Find out if you are eligible.

4. Stay Ahead of the Game
Two years will go by quickly, so it is never too soon to figure out your next steps. Do you have your eye on a bachelor’s degree? Research schools and talk to a transfer counselor to ensure your transition will be smooth. Are you heading into the workforce upon graduation? Use the Career Coach tool to research the local job market and prepare a list of potential employers. It is also a good idea to start making connections, either in person or over the web. You can do so by:

  • attending an industry networking event,
  • talking to someone in the field,
  • following companies or industry organizations on social media, and
  • making a LinkedIn profile.

5. Don’t Fall Behind
If at any time during the semester you feel like you could use some help understanding a concept or need a quiet place to study, stop by the new and improved Student Learning Center on our Fayetteville campus.


Biggest Moments in 2014

Each year brings exciting new challenges, but time moves so fast that sometimes we forget to take a moment to appreciate all of the accomplishments that are a direct result of the hardworking faculty and staff at FTCC. We are counting down some of our biggest moments in 2014 and would like to thank all involved in making these moments possible!

10. Saor Patrol Takes FTCC by Storm

Saor Patrol

Organized by the Student Government Association (SGA), Saor Patrol came all the way from Scotland to entertain the FTCC community with Scottish rock and battle demonstrations.

9. New Classes at the Re-Store Warehouse 

UpholsteryThe Continuing Education Department partnered with the Re-Store Warehouse to offer new upholstery and sewing classes at the facility.

8. Cumberland Hall Auditorium Gets a Facelift

AuditoriumThe updates included new seating and technology in order to better accommodate the community events and meetings held there.

7. New Facility in Tallywood Shopping Center

Tallywood Shopping CenterThe facility provides a new space to offer Esthetics courses through the Continuing Education Department.

6. Inaugural All-American Marathon

MarathonFTCC Military Programs led the way in organizing volunteers for the FTCC sponsorship of the first ever All-American Marathon.

5. New Motion Capture Room

Motion Capture RoomThe room features the latest in motion capture technology, allowing our Simulation and Game Development students to receive the very best training.

4. 13th Annual NC Defense and Economic Development Trade Show

Defense Trade ShowEach year, the trade show organized by the North Carolina Military Business Center at FTCC brings together military, government, and vendors.

3. Industry and Education Join Forces

Collision Repair CenterFTCC collaborated with the collision repair industry to create a new state-of-the-art Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology program. A brand new building was purchased, the inaugural “Team 1″ class of students have begun their studies, and a building dedication is set for early 2015!

2. Opening of the All American Veterans Center

Vets CenterIn May, Dr. Keen officially cut the ribbon on the brand new All American Veterans Center. The center is housed on the second floor of the General Classroom Building and the staff make it their mission to help all veterans, not only the student vets that attend FTCC.

1. Graduation

GraduationAfter all, that is why we are all here. There is no greater joy than seeing the pride beaming from the faces of the graduates and their families at the Crown Complex each May.

What to Know When it Snows

With winter upon us and many weather forecasters predicting another eventful season, it is important to be prepared. After you check off all your boxes to ensure your home and vehicle will be safe havens during inclement weather, you can also take steps to prepare for any potential school closings or delays.Icicles

1. Sign Up for Text Alerts
FTCC’s TextCaster “FayText” is a system that will contact you based on the information you provide in the event of inclement weather or other emergency. By providing your phone number, you are guaranteed to receive text alerts with important information as quickly as possible. You also have total control over the types of information you opt to receive, with options including:

  • Weather Alerts
  • Emergency Alerts
  • Registration Info
  • Financial Aid Info
  • Counseling
  • Student Activities

*Important: Even if you signed up for FayText in the past, make sure you update your preferences to ensure all information in the system is accurate.

2. Follow FTCC on Social Media
As soon as information about closings, delays, or emergencies becomes available from the FTCC administration, it is shared on the College’s website and various social media accounts. Following FTCC on Facebook or Twitter is another way to be sure you will be in-the-know in the event of inclement weather. The last thing anyone wants is for a student to drive to campus in dangerous conditions, only to find out that the College is closed due to weather. Sharing the updates on your own social media accounts helps to spread the word as well.

*Closing and delay information will also be distributed through local news and radio outlets.

3. Check Blackboard
Any time classes are canceled due to inclement weather, it is important to sign into Blackboard for each of your classes to check in and complete any work assigned. This will be counted toward your attendance which is important because it prevents classes from having to schedule make-up days.

4. Safety First!
All decisions regarding closings and delays are made with the safety of students, faculty, and staff as the #1 priority. However, everyone’s commute is different so it is important to always use your best judgment and keep your professors informed.


13th Annual NC Defense and Economic Development Trade Show Brings NC Companies and Military Contractors Together to Talk Business

Tuesday, August 5, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on FTCC’s Campus

  • Show hosted on campus of Fayetteville Technical Community College with NC Military Business Center
  • United States Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan will participate on site as co-hosts
  • Northrop Grumman, Raytheon among top military contractors attending
  • Robotic, Canine, Tactical Weapon and Vehicle live demonstrations throughout the day
  • 100+ businesses to display manufacturing, technology, consulting and industrial services
  • Annual show is the largest gathering of military contractors in the state
  • Department of Defense has annual impact of $48 billion and is second largest sector of NC’s economy

2013 DTS CollageThe 13th Annual North Carolina Defense and Economic Development Trade Show, the only show of its kind in the state, will take place on the campus of Fayetteville Technical Community College on Tuesday, August 5.  The show provides opportunities for North Carolina businesses to network with major defense contractors and DoD buyers, as well as learn more about defense procurement processes.  Technology, manufacturing, logistical support and diverse service providers will find a ready audience among DoD buyers and major defense contractors, seeking businesses and partners to equip the nation’s military and reinforce the business infrastructure critical to military bases and combat technology.  The trade show, which includes procurement workshops, live demonstrations, small business panels and “Lessons Learned” forums, will be held on Tuesday, August 5, 2014, at FTCC’s Horace Sisk complex (2201 Hull Road, Fayetteville) from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

The event will include a traditional trade show, static displays and demonstrations of military equipment, informal networking opportunities, structured teaming sessions, government procurement workshops and extensive networking opportunities for both prospective and current federal contractors.  Fort Bragg will provide several military static displays with accompanying military personnel to include M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team with equipment and robots, a Long Range Surveillance Detachment Team demonstrating their equipment, a parachute rigger team with parachute packing demonstrations, and an Airborne infantry squad with weapons and equipment.  At 11:15 AM, K2 Solutions, Inc. will provide a special demonstration of their canine security and explosive detection training dogs.

United States Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan will be present as co-hosts for the event.  “Partnerships between North Carolina’s military bases and our state’s businesses – large and small – are a win-win alliance,” said Senator Hagan, adding “The Defense Trade Show provides an opportunity for our military, whose needs are constantly changing, to connect with North Carolina’s businesses and manufacturers.”  Senator Richard Burr added, saying, “North Carolina proudly hosts a large military presence in our state, and it is important that our state’s businesses get connected with defense contractors and DoD officials.”

According to a 2013 report from the NC Department of Commerce, the DOD has an annual impact of $48 billion and is the second largest sector of NC’s economy, behind agriculture.  This includes payroll, veteran payments and procurement, including prime and subcontracts with North Carolina businesses.  Federal agencies executed some $4.9 billion in prime contracts alone in North Carolina during federal fiscal year 2013.

For More Information and to Register for the Event:

Changes to Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program

Beginning on August 18th at the start of the Fall semester, the Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program at FTCC will undergo a massive change. As mandated by the North Carolina Community College System, all community colleges will change the name “Cooperative Education” to “Work-Based Learning” because it more clearly reflects the educational experience.

What is Work-Based Learning (WBL)?

Work-Based Learning is an educational option that provides students an opportunity to apply classroom learning with paid (or non-paid) work experiences, much like an internship. Students are placed in jobs related to their major and career goals in area businesses, industries, and public agencies which provide increased levels of responsibility and training as students carry out their work assignments.

What are the Requirements to Participate in Work-Based Learning?

All WBL students are pre-screened by the WBL Coordinator to ensure they meet not only FTCC requirements, but also all the State requirements. These include:

  • Minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Must be officially enrolled in a program that offers the Work-Based Learning option
  • Must have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours in the “major/core” courses

When are WBL courses offered?

Work-Based Learning courses are offered every semester at FTCC:

  • Fall semester (August through mid-December)
  • Spring semester (January through mid-May)
  • Summer semester (End of May through July)

Also effective for the Fall 2014 semester, participation in the North Carolina Department of Labor Apprenticeship may be substituted for WBL reporting criteria for employers. If you participate in the NC DOL Apprenticeship Program, please contact me at atkinsok@faytechcc.edu or 910-678-8268.

Additionally, four new curricula will be added to the WBL program:

  • Associate in Arts
  • Associate in Fine Arts
  • Associate in General Education
  • Associate in Science.

The WBL courses for these four curricula will differ slightly in that all will consist of no more than 1 credit hour (160 work hours per semester) and students will not have to fulfill the 12 credit hour requirement prior to taking a WBL course. Instead, they may take the WBL-111 (Work-Based Learning I) class their very first semester at FTCC, which is a great opportunity for those students who are uncertain of what major to declare. For example, a recent high school graduate entering the Associate in Science program at FTCC could complete the WBL-111 course by job shadowing at a police station. This student will not only gain real world experience, but also discover whether criminal justice is a desirable career path.

If you are a student or employer interested in participating in the Work-Based Learning program, please contact me:

Karen Atkinson
Work-Based Learning Coordinator

FTCC Celebrates the Opening of its All American Veterans Center

  • The Veterans Center is a result of Federal legislation, HR4057, providing educational/job training support to vets as they transition from active duty to civilian life.
  • FTCC is nationally recognized for its veterans program, “Providing everything that’s essential for a successful transition.”
  • Grand opening scheduled for 2:00 PM, Monday, June 16, on Fayetteville Campus
  • Importantly: June 22 marks the 70th Anniversary of the GI Bill

Entrance to All American Veterans CenterFayetteville Technical Community College will officially open its on-campus All American Veterans Center on Monday, June 16, with a ribbon cutting ceremony, remarks from state and federal officials and a dedication of the facility to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  The Veterans Center reflects the school administration’s commitment to support fully those who served their country and are now transitioning from active duty to civilian life.   In a one-stop-shop, the Center provides veterans access to up-to-date, personalized information and the best possible resources to support their making informed, intelligent decisions regarding their higher education, job training and career track.  The All American Veterans Center is reflective of a Federal commitment to assure veterans are able to make the most of their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.  HR 4057, passed in September, 2012, specifically required the VA to implement a comprehensive policy that aids veterans in making informed decisions about their choices in pursuit of higher education.   FTCC’s Veterans Center is recognized by the Student Veterans of America as among the top 10 such programs across the country.  And, Military Times has ranked FTCC as second highest on their list of Best for Vets for Career and Technical Colleges in 2014.

What’s provided at the Veterans Center

“At FTCC, we are committed to helping our veterans remain competitive in today’s job market,” said Dr. Larry Keen, president of FTCC, adding, “It is critical that our nation’s channels to higher education and job training stand ready to put our veterans to work.”   The Center offers customized veteran tutoring and success coaching. Resume writing, interview preparation and job placement assistance are all veteran-specific.  Networking opportunities are scheduled with military-friendly employers and veteran’s organizations, while other off-campus providers are given a space and schedule to avail themselves to vets on a regular accessible basis.  The college’s Small Business Center, together with Innovation Fund North Carolina, offers on-campus business coaching to those wanting to start a new business or who simply need help developing their business plan.  A computer lab, furnished with a generous grant from the Home Depot Foundation, provides an accessible academic environment for veteran students to complete homework, search for jobs or apply for benefits.  And a lounge area is available simply so vets have a place to call their own on campus.

Meeting veteran-specific needs helps assure their success

Many veterans, through their service, have received the necessary training to earn licenses in some occupations or college credit for certain courses.  FTCC’s Veterans Center helps student veterans navigate that process and receive the credit and credentialing they’re due.   Additionally, veterans face numerous challenges, from a missing sense of camaraderie to feeling like an outsider among 18-year-old traditional students to a lack of understanding by university faculty. Taken together, with the visible and invisible wounds of war, a college education can prove a tremendous challenge for men and women returning from military service.

FTCC’s Veterans Center works to address these issues at a number of levels.  First, program administrators engage early with active duty military, National Guard and Reservists, well before they begin their transition to civilian life.  FTCC helps identify the skills and knowledge that will be needed, based on a desired or projected career path, assuring transitioning military personnel make informed and intelligent decisions about their education and training opportunities.

And, importantly, the Veterans’ Center is managed and staffed by veterans, thereby immediately earning comfort and confidence among veteran students.  John Bristow served seven years in the Army, retiring as an E6 Staff Sargeant.  He’s now in the Army Reserves and looking to complete his associate degree in General Education, and thereafter earn a BS in Business and Human Resources. Through advisers at FTCC’s Veterans Center, he was able to claim 34 credits for his military service, and also identify a number of benefits that might have gone unclaimed without guidance.  “They helped me access a lot of information I didn’t even know to ask for,” he said.  Now, Mr. Bristow serves as a Work/Study Manager for the Center, and he says, “I help solve problems every single day for vets and their families. It’s so nice to be the guy looking out for vets just like they looked out for me.”

D. Wayne Robinson, president and CEO of Student Veterans of America, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education, said,  “FTCC’s All American Veterans Center is an excellent example of a well-conceived and managed program.  It provides a one-stop central location for veterans in the Fayetteville, NC, area, providing access to everything that’s essential for a successful transition to civilian life.”

FTCC’s Student Veteran Graduation Rates

Of the 3,000 enrolled since 2012, 987 graduated in 2012/13 with another 872 graduating in May, 2014.  More will graduate at the conclusion of current summer sessions.  Of those who graduated in 2013, 13 percent went on to a four-year college or university.  The remainder pursued careers in nursing, emergency medical science, funeral services, radiography, human resource management, business management, criminal justice, computer technology fields, building construction, and plumbing.  Which is to say, they are all well on their way to a successful civilian transition.

All American Veterans Center Opening Schedule

All American Veterans Center LogoThe celebration of the opening of the All American Veterans Center will occur on Monday, June 16, at 2:00 PM.  The Center is located on FTCC’s Fayetteville campus in the General Classroom Building, along Fort Bragg Road.  (Actual street address is 2817 Fort Bragg Rd. Fayetteville, NC 28303)The official ribbon cutting will be preceded by remarks from elected officials, the President and CEO of Student Veterans of America D. Wayne Robinson and the Director of the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs Ilario Pantano.

About FTCC and it’s “Best for Vets” Ranking

2014 Best for VetsFayetteville Technical Community College was established in 1961 and serves more than 41,000 students annually by providing over 190 occupational, technical, general education, college transfer, and continuing education programs.   The school was ranked #2 by Military Times in its Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges list for 2014. The list shows veterans which schools have put the most thought and effort into tailoring programs and policies around their unique experience. By factoring in academic quality, Best for Vets provides service men and women a gauge by which to judge whether a school or degree program will truly benefit them.  To qualify for the list, schools were evaluated in five categories: university culture, student support, academic policies, academic quality and financial aid, with university culture and student support carrying the most weight.  The extensive evaluation process also factored in statistics commonly used to track student success and academic quality, including student loan default rates, retention rates, graduation rates, student-faculty ratio and percentage of full-time faculty

For more information, visit FTCC’s website at www.faytechcc.edu.