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 individuals with low literacy skills are progressing academically toward credential or employment.Description: Percentage of Periods of Participation with at least one Measurable Skill Gain.
Results: 2018-2019 Basic Skills Student Progress Excellence 50.6% Mean 45.1% Baseline 24.2% WPCC 42.4%
- Student Success Rate in College-Level English Courses
Purpose: To ensure students are successfully completing a credit-bearing English course within their first three 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 three years of their first fall term of enrollment.
2016 Fall Cohort Student Success Rate in College-Level English Courses Excellence 66.6% Mean 60.6% Baseline 40.1% WPCC 74.5%
- Student Success Rate in College-Level Math Courses
Purpose: To ensure students are successfully completing credit-bearing Math courses within their first three 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 three years of their first term of enrollment.
2016 Fall Cohort Student Success Rate in College-Level Math Courses Excellence 46.2% Mean 42.7% Baseline 19.5% WPCC 56.4%
- First Year Progression
Purpose: To ensure first-year students are making progress toward credential completion.Description: Percentage of first-time fall credential-seeking students who graduate prior to or enroll in postsecondary education during the subsequent fall term.
2018 Fall Cohort First Year Progression Excellence 71.9% Mean 70.3% Baseline 56.6% WPCC 74.0%
- Curriculum Completion
Purpose: To ensure student completion and/or persistence toward a post-secondary credential in a timely manner.
Description: Percentage of first-time fall credential-seeking curriculum students who have graduated, transferred, or are still enrolled during the fourth academic year with 42 successfully completed non-developmental hours.
2015 Fall Cohort Curriculum Completion Excellence 52.7% Mean 53.4% Baseline 34.1% WPCC 55.0%
- Licensure and Certificate Passing Rate
Purpose: To ensure programmatic coursework prepares students to competently practice their chosen profession..Description: Weighted index score of first-time test-taker results on licensure and certification exams. Exams included in this measure are state mandated exams which candidates must pass before becoming active practitioners. Weights are based on the tier associated with the related instructional program.
Results: 2018-2019 Licensure and Certification Passing Rate Excellence 1.07 Mean 0.98 Baseline 0.79 WPCC 1.10
- College Transfer Performance
Purpose: To ensure the academic success of community college students at a four-year university or college.Description: Among community college Associate Degree completers and those who have completed 30 or more articulated transfer credits who subsequently transfer to a four-year university or college during the fall semester, the percentage who graduate prior to or remain enrolled at any four-year college or university the subsequent fall semester.
Results: 2017-2018 Community College Students College Transfer Performance Excellence 89.4% Mean 85.4% Baseline 74.4% WPCC 86.9%
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