Western 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 By Gender
Attendance By Ethnic Group
Demographic Data provided by College Navigator.
Graduation Rates (150% of normal time) by Year
Federal Pell Grant Recipients by Year
|Year||Percentage of Recipients|
Graduation Rates and Pell Grant Recipients data from IPEDS Data Feedback Reports 2010-2014.
|Figures provided by WPCC Business Office|
Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment
Student Achievements 1
- WPCC Student Performance (Fall 2013 cohort) met or exceeded the NC Community College System requirements in the following areas:
- 36% of first-time Associate Degree-seeking and transfer pathway students passed a credit-bearing math course with a “C” or better with their first two academic years, exceeding the system-wide goal of 33%.
- 62% of first-time Associate Degree-seeking and transfer pathway students passed a credit-bearing English course with a “C” or better within their first two academic years, exceeding the system-wide goal of 56%.
- Associate Degree, Diploma, & Certificate Awards Earned
- 399 Graduates earned a total of 432 Awards: 140 Associates in Arts or Sciences Degrees (AA/AS) 206 Associates in Applied Sciences Degrees (AAS) 27 Diplomas and 59 Certificates
- Adult High School Diplomas and GED Awards Earned
- 142 Total: 25 Adult High School Diplomas (AHSD) and 117 General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
- WPCC‘s 2014-15 overall licensure exam pass rate was 88% – exceeding the system-wide average of 82%, WPCC Nursing students had a 96% passage rate.
- WPCC’s Small Business Center (SBC) provided counseling to 96 entrepreneurs looking to start or manage successful businesses. In 2015-16, 22 new businesses were started, 93 jobs were created, and 53 jobs were retained.
- The College provided 42 customized training classes to 391 employees of Burke County manufacturers with a value of $45,000.
- In 2015, WPCC’s Developmental Studies program became the first North Carolina community college to earn accreditation from the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE).
- 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.
- For more information on WPCC’s Performance Measures, visit the NC Community Colleges Performance Measures Website
1 Figures from NC Community College System 2015 Performance Measures for Student Success Report
2 Figures provided by WPCC Office of Institutional Research and reflects graduation counts from 2015FA, 2016SP and 2016SU semesters
3 Figures provided by various WPCC Academic Divisions and/or NC Community College System office publications