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 7,000 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.
Western Piedmont Community College (WPCC) student achievement data is reported annually in the North Carolina Community College System’s Performance Measures for Student Success. Seven measures are evaluated with established baseline and excellence levels. Based on three years of data (if available) for each measure, baseline levels are set two standard deviations below the system mean, and excellence levels are set one standard deviation above the system mean. In the most recent report, WPCC students exceeded the excellence level on four measures, were below excellence but above the system mean on two measures, and were above the baseline but below the system mean on one measure. WPCC strives for students to meet or exceed the excellence level on all measures.
- Basic Skills Student Progress
Purpose: To ensure adult students with low literacy skills are progressing academically toward basic skill attainment necessary for employment and self-sufficiency.
Description: Percentage of Basic Skills students who achieve an Educational Functioning Level gain during the program year (July 1 – June 30).
Results: 2016-2017 Basic Skills Student Progress Excellence 68.3% Mean 60.1% Baseline 34.9% WPCC 82.9%
- Student Success Rate in College-Level English Courses
Purpose: To ensure students are successfully completing credit-bearing English courses within their first two academic years.
Description: Percentage of first-time Associate Degree seeking and transfer pathway students passing a credit-bearing English course with a “C” or better within two years of their first term of enrollment.
2015 Fall Cohort Student Success Rate in College-Level English Courses Excellence 55.9% Mean 53.0% Baseline 23.8% WPCC 65.0%
- Student Success Rate in College-Level Math Courses
Purpose: To ensure students are successfully completing credit-bearing Math courses within their first two academic years.
Description: Percentage of first-time Associate Degree seeking and transfer pathway students passing a credit-bearing Math course with a “C” or better within two years of their first term of enrollment.
2015 Fall Cohort Student Success Rate in College-Level Math Courses Excellence 32.5% Mean 32.5% Baseline 10.1% WPCC 46.0%
- First Year Progression
Purpose: To ensure first-year students reach an academic momentum point that helps predict future credential completion.
Description: Percentage of first-time fall curriculum students attempting at least 12 credit hours who successfully complete at least 12 hours within their first academic year (fall, spring, summer).
2016 Fall Cohort First Year Progression Excellence 75.0% Mean 70.9% Baseline 54.1% WPCC 79.2%
- Curriculum Student Completion
Purpose: To ensure student completion and/or persistence toward a post-secondary credential.
Description: Percentage of first-time fall curriculum students who, within six years of first term of enrollment, have either graduated, transferred, or are still enrolled with at least 36 non-developmental credit hours.
2011 Fall Cohort Curriculum Completion Excellence 51.9% Mean 43.4% Baseline 35.9% WPCC 42.4%
- Licensure and Certification Passing Rate
Purpose: To ensure programmatic coursework prepares students to competently practice their chosen profession.
Description: Aggregate institutional passing rate of first-time test-takers on licensure and certification exams. Exams included in this measure are state mandated exams which candidates must pass before becoming active practitioners.
Results: 2016-2017 Licensure and Certification Passing Rate Excellence 50.9% Mean 79.8% Baseline 69.9% WPCC 81.5%
- College Transfer Performance
Purpose: To ensure the academic success of community college students who transfer to a four-year college or university.
Description: The percentage of students who exited the North Carolina Community College System after having completed an Associate Degree and/or at least 30 cumulative hours of articulated transfer credit and subsequently transferred to a four-year college or university and earned a GPA of 2.25 or better after two consecutive semesters within the academic year at the institution.
Results: 2015-2016 Community College Students College Transfer Performance Excellence 87.6% Mean 83.7% Baseline 65.1% WPCC 84.1%
In addition to the measures listed above, WPCC monitors the six-year completion rate for students who started at the College. This data is provided by the National Student Clearinghouse and includes both full-time and part-time students who began their postsecondary studies at WPCC.
Facts At A Glance
(based on curriculum students in Fall, 2017)
Attendance By Age
|24 & Under||69%|
|25 & Over||31%|
Attendance By Gender
Attendance By Ethnic Group
|American Indian or Alaskan||1%|
Attendance By Distance Education
|Enrolled Only in Distance Education||16%|
|Enrolled in Some Distance Education||43%|
|Not Enrolled in Any Distance Education||41%|
Demographic Data provided by College Navigator.
Graduation Rates (150% of normal time) by Year
Full-Time, First-Time Degree/Certificate-Seeking Students
Federal Pell Grant Recipients by Year
|Year||Percentage of Recipients|
Graduation Rates and Pell Grant Recipients data from IPEDS Data Feedback Reports 2010-2016.
|Federal/State Financial Aid||19%|
|Student Tuition & Fees||7%|
|Unduplicated counts. Rows will not add up|
Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment
Enrollment figures provided by NC Community Colleges