About WPCC

Aerial view of the WPCC campusWestern Piedmont Community College was chartered by the North Carolina State Board of Education on April 2, 1964, as a member of the North Carolina Community College System. The Board of Trustees comprised of prominent citizens from Burke, McDowell, and Caldwell counties, assumed responsibility for the College and elected Dr. E. W. Phifer, Jr. as its first chair. From the very beginning, the citizens of Burke County demonstrated interest and strong support of their College by approving a state-required bond issue with an unprecedented margin of seventeen to one.

The College sits on approximately 300 acres of  campus with rolling hills, lush foliage, a pond, and tennis court. It is home to the Senator Sam J. Ervin Library. Students have a wide variety of associate degree programs to choose from including three transfer associate degrees in Science, Arts and Fine Arts.  There are over 36 associate in applied science degrees in healthcare, industry, business, and education.

With annual enrollments exceeding 13,000 students, Western Piedmont Community College continues to provide quality, higher education and meets the dynamic needs of its community. The Continuing Education division situated behind the main campus offers general education and adult high school diploma programs, as well as English as a Second language, crafts, computer technology and woodworking.

In 2008, Western Piedmont Community College was one of only seven North Carolina community colleges to be designated an “Exceptional” college. The designation was announced as part of the performance measures required by the North Carolina General Assembly.





Facts At A Glance



Attendance Status



Attendance By Gender



Attendance By Ethnic Group

American Indian1%

Demographic Data provided by College Navigator.

Graduation Rates (150% of normal time) by Year



Federal Pell Grant Recipients by Year

YearPercentage of Recipients

Graduation Rates and Pell Grant Recipients data from IPEDS Data Feedback Reports 2010-2014.



Figures provided by WPCC Business Office
State Funds$18,656,065
Federal Funds$7,723,612
County Funds$2,207,051



Continuing Education8,445


Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment

Continuing Education606


Student Achievements 1

  • 2012-2013 WPCC Student Performance met or exceeded the NC Community College System requirements in the following areas:
    • Licensure and Certification Passing Rates:  Ranked No. 1 overall in NCCC System
    • 75% of first-time credential seeking students successfully completed 12 or more credit hours – exceeding the system-wide average of 68%
    • 49% of first-time credential seeking students who either graduated, transferred or remained enrolled with at least 36 credit hours – exceeding the system-wide goal of 45.6%

Graduates 2

  • Associate Degree, Diploma, & Certificate Awards Earned
    • 529 Graduates earned a total of 602 Awards:  180 Associates in Arts or Sciences Degrees (AA/AS)    255 Associates in Applied Sciences Degrees (AAS) 51 Diplomas and 116 Certificates
  • Adult High School Diplomas and GED Awards Earned
    • 423 Total:  42 Adult High School Diplomas (AHSD) and 381 General Equivalency Diploma (GED)

Highlights 3

  • WPCC’s 2011-12 overall licensure exam pass rate was 95% – exceeding the system-wide goal of 92% with a 100% passage rate for Nursing and Emergency Medical Technicians.
  • Since 1999, WPCC’s Graduation Rates have exceeded goals set by the NC Community College System.
  • WPCC’s Small Business Center (SBC) offered 80 classes to more than 615 individuals pursuing small business management skills in the last year.  Additionally, the SBC Director recently received the annual Innovation Award for Services/Collaboration from the North Carolina Community College System Small Business Center Network.
  • The College provided more than 890 hours of training in 2013 – valued at more than $63,000 – to more than 450 employees of 21 local manufacturers at no cost to the companies.
  • WPCC has one of only three Sustainable Agriculture programs among the 58 NC Community Colleges and includes an off-grid, solar-PV-powered farm (a 1 KW system), an heirloom apple orchard with 36 varieties of old Southern Apples along with 4 Shetland sheep, 6 Nubian goats, 60 Chantecler chickens, and 1 donkey named Shotgun.
  • To read more about the achievements of WPCC students, please view our Success Stories of current students and WPCC graduates.


1 Figures from NC Community College System 2014 Performance Measures for Student Success Report

2 Figures provided by WPCC Office of Student Services and reflects graduation counts from 2012FA, 2013SP and 2013SU semesters

3 Figures provided by various WPCC Academic Divisions and/or NC Community College System office publications