Editorial Voice and Tone
Supporting and Spreading the Brand Message

Building on N.C. A&T’s positioning and creative platform, AGGIES DO! is a clarion call to excellence. We stand firmly on the shoulders of our predecessors, and we see a future of distinction beyond anything they could have ever imagined. To get to that future and beyond, each of us has to answer the call to learn more, teach more, give more and do more so that we can be better—because that’s what AGGIES DO!

Key Audiences, Messages and Themes
TO PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS:
A&T is a community of academic excellence and positive action. Our vision for tomorrow is inspired by a proud tradition of visionaries, thinkers and doers. We believe in what we will become because we believe in those who call themselves Aggies. You will find opportunity. You will push forward. You will succeed. Because that’s what AGGIES DO!
TO CURRENT STUDENTS:
Your opportunity is like none other. As an Aggie, you have the support of a global community that will encourage your dreams, nurture your growth and promote your achievement. Nothing is impossible. You have the vision. You have the means. You have the drive. Because that’s what AGGIES DO!
TO FACULTY AND STAFF:
You are a part of history. As a leader and mentor, you influence the minds that will affect our world. As a change agent, you use your intellect to make a positive difference in both the local and global community. A&T is more than your job, it is your passion—and that commitment to yourself and others will last a lifetime. Because that’s what AGGIES DO!
TO ALUMNI:
You are the heart of the A&T family. As an ambassador of this visionary institution, your passion finds its voice in Aggie Pride. You are part of a legacy that has changed the world, and no one will ever take that from you, because it is who you are. Because that’s what AGGIES DO!
TO THE COMMUNITY:
We are born of this community. Our reach may be global, but our roots run deep in Greensboro. From this great place, we have found the strength and voice to change the status quo. As we connect corporate/ commercial partners with our expertise, new technologies and opportunities for continuing development, we help create technology-driven businesses and bring economic benefits to local, state and regional communities. Together we stand, strive and celebrate. Because that’s what AGGIES DO!
TO PROSPECTIVE FACULTY AND NEW EMPLOYEES:
You will be an integral part of history. You will be expected to be a leader and mentor. You will influence the minds that will affect our world. As a change agent, you will use your intellect and influence to make a positive impact on the greater A&T community. A&T will be more than your job, it will become your passion—and that commitment to yourself and others will last a lifetime. Because that’s what AGGIES DO!
Editorial Guidelines
The quality of information published by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University plays an important role in maintaining the university’s strong reputation and image. This editorial guide was developed for those who publish nonacademic print and electronic text pertaining to N.C. A&T. (Please note, additional style and brand guidelines for web and social media are under development.)

For consistency in style and usage, A&T’s editorial style is based on the most current edition of The Associated Press Stylebook for all university news (i.e., news releases, newsletters, newspapers, yearbooks), promotional materials (e.g., brochures/pamphlets/booklets, flyers, postcards, annual reports, fact sheets, etc.) and programs. Other references are the most current editions of The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS), for academic/research published documents, and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary. When A&T’s guidelines conflict with AP style or other references, follow the university’s. Questions or comments about this guide may be submitted to uncomm@ncat.edu.

THE UNIVERSITY NAME
FIRST:
The official full name of the institution is North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. On first reference, it should always be spelled out with no abbreviations.
SECOND:
On second reference, after the complete name has been used, use one of the following:
  • North Carolina A&T State University (may be used on first reference internally)
  • North Carolina A&T
  • N.C. A&T
THIRD:
On third reference and informally:
  • A&T (may be used on second reference internally)
NEVER:
Unacceptable versions of the institution’s name:
  • North Carolina A & T State University
  • North Carolina A and T State University
  • North Carolina A and T
  • NC A&T SU (other than use on paraphernalia)
  • NCA&TSU
  • NCAT (other than email, web references and social media)
  • A & T
  • A and T
Some historical sources use North Carolina A. and T. However, this format is only acceptable when quoting/referencing a written source. There are no other acceptable variations of the university’s name and its uses.

COLLEGES AND SCHOOL
FORMAL AND FIRST REFERENCES:
  • College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Business and Economics
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Health and Human Services
  • College of Science and Technology
  • The Graduate College
  • Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering
ABBREVIATIONS:
  • College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences CAES
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences CAHSS
  • College of Business and EconomicsCOBE
  • College of Education CEd
  • College of Engineering COE
  • College of Health and Human Sciences
    CHHS
  • College of Science and Technology
    CoST
  • The Graduate College
    TGC
  • Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering JSNN

DIVISIONS
FORMAL AND FIRST REFERENCES:
  • Division of Academic Affairs
  • Division of Business and Finance
  • Division of Human Resources
  • Division of Information Technology Services
  • Division of Research and Economic Development
  • Division of Student Affairs
  • Division of University Advancement
INFORMAL OR SECOND REFERENCES AND ABBREVIATIONS:
  • Division of Academic Affairs Academic Affairs
  • Division of Business and Finance Business and Finance
  • Division of Human Resources Human Resources HR
  • Division of Information Technology Services Information Technology Services ITS
  • Division of Research and Economic Development Research and Economic Development DORED
  • Division of Student Affairs Student Affairs
  • Division of University Advancement University Advancement Advancement
  • Centers and Institutions

CAPITALIZATION
ALWAYS CAPITALIZE

Always capitalize proper nouns, months and days of the week. Do not capitalize seasons unless they are part of a title, e.g., Fall Lyceum Series.

When in doubt, do not capitalize; or refer to the Associated Press Stylebook.

Capitalize all words except articles (the, a, an), conjunctions (and, but, or, for, nor, so, yet, if, as, since, when, because), and short prepositions (of, in, on) in headings and the titles of books, plays, lectures, musical compositions, etc., unless they appear at the beginning of the title. Planet of Slums The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Capitalize the official names of departments when used in text. However, do not capitalize the informal name. The professor lectures in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. The professor lectures in the curriculum and instruction department.

Capitalize all conferred and traditional, educational, occupational and business titles when used specifically in front of the name; do not capitalize these titles when they follow the name or when they appear alone. Chancellor John Doe Jane Doe, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs The brigadier general will preside at the banquet.

DO NOT CAPITALIZE

Do not capitalize words such as university, school, department, office, division, association and conference when they stand alone, even if they refer to a specific, previously identified entity.

Titles standing alone or in apposition The provost is second in command. Mary Brown, professor of nanoengineering, is on sabbatical until next semester.

Names of school or college studies, fields of study, options, curricula, major areas, or major subjects, except languages, unless a specific course is being referred to Dan is majoring in biology with a minor in American history.Jan is enrolled in Ideas and Expressions II this semester.

Unofficial or informal names of departments when used in text Dr. Jones is chairman of the multimedia department.

The words or abbreviations a.m., p.m., baccalaureate, federal, state, government, honors, page and paragraph

Names of seasons (winter, spring, summer, fall), including references to semesters

Plural words that refer to multiple preceding terms that individually would be capitalized The Oaks Faculty House is located at the corner of Dudley and Bluford streets.


ABBREVIATIONS

Refer to the Associated Press Stylebook or The Chicago Manual of Style for specific usages.


ACADEMIC DEGREES

Spell out and use lowercase letters for names of degrees when referenced generically in running text:

He has earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s in history and a doctorate.

Capitalize degree abbreviations without periods and set off with commas when following a name:

John Doe, PhD, was the guest speaker.

Capitalize the major when it appears as part of the degree:

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Use lowercase letters when the major follows the word degree:

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering.
ACADEMIC TITLES

Academic titles are capitalized when they immediately precede a personal name and lowercased when following a name:

Associate Professor John Doe John Doe, associate professor

When an academic title is used in apposition before a personal name as a descriptive tag, it is lowercased:

The team was led by history professors William Green and Susan White.

The term “professor” should not be used simply to indicate “faculty member.” (Use of “professors” in the example above indicates that Green and White are, indeed, full professors, not just members of the history faculty.)

The forms for A&T titles are vice chancellor “for”; dean “of”; chair or chairperson “of”; professor, associate professor and assistant professor “of”; and instructor “in”—followed by the applicable field or unit.


ACRONYMS AND INITIALISM

Acronyms (read as a single word, such as AIDS) and initialisms (read as a series of letters, such as HIV) are abbreviations that generally are less cumbersome to use than the complete name of the entity they represent. Avoid coining new ones to address isolated situations.

Generally, acronyms and initialisms are based on the initial letter of the words in the name of the entity they represent and are formed using capital letters without periods. Plurals are formed by adding “s” (e.g., SATs) or “’s” for terms ending in “S” (e.g., SOS’s).

An acronym or initialism is enclosed in parentheses following the first text reference to the complete name for which it stands: The Division of Research and Economic Development (DORED) maintains a balanced and diverse portfolio of basic and applied research programs that are effectively integrated with undergraduate and graduate education.

An acronym or initialism should not be provided if there is no subsequent reference, unless it is better known than the term for which it stands or there is a desire to promote its use.

Acronyms and initialisms commonly understood by the intended audience (e.g., GPA, ACT, SAT with prospective students) can be used on first reference.

The first reference to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in institutional pieces need not be followed by (N.C. A&T) or (A&T) even when used in subsequent references.


ADDRESSES

U.S. Postal Service standards specify the following order for campus addresses:

Individual’s name Unit name North Carolina A&T State University Street Address Greensboro, NC 27411
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT

North Carolina A&T State University is an AA/EEO employer and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant institution.

N.C. A&T is an AA/EEO employer and ADA compliant institution.


ALUMNA, ALUMNUS, ALUMNAE AND ALUMNI

The plurals of alumna and alumnus are alumnae and alumni, respectively. While alumna and alumnae refer specifically to a woman or women and alumnus refers specifically to a man, alumni can be used to refer to both men and women and should be used for the general plural term. “Alums” should only be used as an informal substitute.

These terms can mean persons who have attended or those who have graduated from an institution. Clarification should be made if relevant to the context.


AMPERSAND

Do not use an ampersand (&) in place of “and” in running text, even in the names of units or organizations that use an ampersand. Use the ampersand only in titles of published works, corporate names, course abbreviations and graphic treatments.

No: The College of Business & Economics is the largest academic unit on campus. Yes: The College of Business and Economics is the largest academic unit on campus.
APOSTROPHE

The apostrophe replaces missing letters (e.g., doesn’t) and missing numbers (e.g., class of ’71).

The curved (or “smart”) version is preferred.

If use of straight apostrophes is the convention for a website, consistency is key.


EMAIL SIGNATURE

While the email signature is your digital business calling card, it is also an extension of North Carolina A&T and should reflect the university’s brand. Use these guidelines to be consistent with the university’s brand.

  • Be concise. The signature should not exceed six lines.
  • Use only the default sans serif font (Calibri), as all email clients do not recognize all fonts.
  • The font size is 11 points.
  • Email signatures used for university-related messages should include the following basic information (not to exceed seven lines):

    • ACADEMIC

      Name

      Title
      Department
      College | Building, Room
      University Name
      Phone | Email
      Web URL | Social Media (optional)

    • EXAMPLE - ACADEMIC

      Jane X. Smith, PhD

      Professor
      Department of Curriculum and Instruction
      College of Education | Proctor Hall, Room 001
      North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
      000-000-0000 | smithjx@ncat.edu
      www.ncat.edu/ced

    • ADMINISTRATIVE

      Name
      Title
      Office/Department
      College/Division | Building
      University Name
      Phone | Email
      Web URL | Social Media (optional)

    • EXAMPLE - ADMINISTRATIVE

      John J. Jones
      Web Manager
      Office of Development
      Division of University Advancement | Dowdy Building, Suite 000
      North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
      000-000-0000 | jjjones0@ncat.edu
      www.ncat.edu | www.ncat.edu/giving | Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @ncatgiving

  • The approved color for text in the signature is black.
  • Be mindful of the length, e.g., long titles, department/office names, etc.
  • Only the first line (name) should appear bold. All other type is regular; no italic type.
  • Do not include the following in university email signatures, as they may not reflect the university’s position:

    • Religious and political references
    • Slogans and quotes
    • Images
    • URL for personal website(s)
    • Personal, non-work-related information

  • The background for university emails is solid white; other background colors and patterns are prohibited.

To create an email signature (Microsoft Outlook):

  • Open Outlook.
  • From the ‘Home’ tab, click ‘New E-mail.’
  • From the ‘Message’ tab, click the downward triangle under the ‘Signature’ button.
  • Click ‘Signatures …’ and the ‘Signatures and Stationery’ dialog will open.
  • Click the ‘New’ button and follow the prompt.
  • Enter your signature information in the text field.
  • Click ‘OK.’
  • Compose a new email to confirm a signature appears.

To create an email signature (Microsoft Outlook for Mac):

  • Open Microsoft Outlook, go to ‘Preferences’ then ‘Signatures.’ Click on ‘Edit.’
  • Enter your signature information in the text field, then close the ‘Signatures’ window.
  • Compose a new email to confirm a signature appears.

EMAIL SIGNATURE WITH DIGITAL BADGES

Digital badges are valid credentials of achievement, knowledge, skills or interests that are earned through professional development and other programs. As part of the N.C. A&T email signature, employees may include up to two digital badges, which are presented in the form of digital icons.

The bronze, silver and gold-level badges earned through the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence’s (CLOE) AggiesLEAD Digital Badges program are the only digital badges approved for inclusion in the university email signature:

  • Business Management
  • High Performance Collaborative Leadership
  • Ethical Principles; Technology, Innovation and Creativity
  • Research and Community Based Scholarship
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Global Learning
  • Institutional Business Management
  • Office Productivity and Process Improvement
  • Student Success and Communication
  • Health and Wellness
  • Teaching and Learning Practices

Digital badge(s) must be used in conjunction with the university’s standard format for email signatures. 

Badge(s) must appear at the bottom of the email signature, below all other elements:

  • EXAMPLE 1 - One Badge

    Jane X. Smith, PhD

    Professor
    Department of Curriculum and Instruction
    College of Education l Proctor Hall, Room 001
    North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
    000-000-0000 l smithjx@ncat.edu | www.ncat.edu/ced

                

  • EXAMPLE 2 - Two Badges

    John J. Jones

    Web Manager
    Office of Development
    Division of University Advancement | Dowdy Building, Suite 000
    North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
    000-000-0000 l jjjones0@ncat.edu
    www.ncat.edu/giving | Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @ncatgiving        

                      

Guidelines for including digital badge(s):

  • Badge height must be one inch, not smaller or larger.
  • When including more than one, badges must appear on a single line/row without other text or graphics on the same line.
  • No more than two digital badges may appear with a university email signature.

To place a digital badge in your email signature (Microsoft Outlook):

  • Download the digital badge file and save it in a folder on your computer.
  • Open Outlook.
  • From the ‘Message’ tab, click the downward triangle under the ‘Signature’ button.
  • Click ‘Signatures …’ and the ‘Signatures and Stationery’ dialog will open.
  • In the ‘Edit signature’ section, click the image button.
  • In the ‘Insert Picture’ dialog, select the digital badge file you wish to include and click ‘Insert.’
  • In the ‘Picture files’ dialog, go to the image file you would like to use.
  • Highlight the image file and click ‘Open.’
  • In the Picture dialog, click the OK button. Your image will appear.
  • Click ‘OK.’
  • Compose a new email to confirm a signature appears.

To place a digital badge in your email signature (Microsoft Outlook for Mac):

  • Download the digital badge file and save it in a folder on your computer.
  • Open Microsoft Outlook, go to ‘Preferences’ then ‘Signatures.’ Click on ‘Edit.’
  • Insert a line space after the last line of type in your email signature.
  • Click on the ‘Picture’ icon and select ‘Picture from File ...’ to find the saved digital badge file. ‘Insert’ the image.
  • Close the window and ‘Save’ the signature.
  • Compose a new email to confirm the badge appears with the signature.

Refer to the previous examples when creating your signature with badge(s). Either is acceptable.


NUMBERS

For numbers under 10, spell out (one, two, three, etc.).

Use numerals for all numbers 10 or over, including ordinals, e.g., 22nd.

Days of the month should be written in numeric form, omitting rd, th, st and nd.

Use numerals for credit hours, ages, percentages, ratios and degrees.

For consistency within a series, use numerals if more than half of the numbers are 10 or over; otherwise, use number words within a series.

20 hours, 11 minutes, 3 seconds (Note: Midnight and noon should be spelled out and not written as 12 a.m. and 12 p.m.) She purchased fifteen oranges, six bananas, five apples, seven plums and twenty-four lemons last week.

Use hyphens when writing phone numbers.

800-555-1234 336-256-0863

Hours of the day should be written as 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m.

Do not add a numeral in parentheses after use of a number word.

No: The clerk gave me eight (8) copies. Yes: The clerk gave me eight copies.

Use hyphens to set off fractions when fractions are not available in a particular font: 5-1/2” x 7-3/4”.


SACS ACCREDITATION STATEMENT

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of N.C. A&T.


TITLE IX STATEMENT

N.C. A&T does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, contact the Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator@ncat.edu.

 

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