2015-2016 Catalog

Campus Rules

Accidents and Health Services

All personal injuries should be reported to the Dean of Student Services or the Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer. Students requiring first aid for minor injuries should contact the nearest College employee. First aid kits are provided in all buildings on campus. The College does not provide medical or health services nor assume responsibility for injuries incurred during College sponsored activities. If necessary, emergency transportation by the Burke County EMS will be arranged. A low-cost accident insurance policy is made available to curriculum students through the Business Office. All curriculum students are required to purchase this protection at registration, except those groups determined to be exempt by the College. Certain specialized programs may require additional insurance coverage.

Children on Campus

To avoid disruptive behavior and to ensure the safety of young visitors, all children on campus must be under the direct supervision of an adult. Western Piedmont cannot assume responsibility for these children. Appropriate action will be taken to remove unattended and/or disruptive children from the campus. Contact the Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer or a College employee for implementation of this rule.

Communicable Diseases

The communicable disease/pandemic influenza policy of Western Piedmont Community College is an effort to ensure the good health and safety of all employees and students. The College adopts this policy in an effort to control communicable diseases and the threat of pandemic influenza on campus based upon established rules and regulations of the N. C. Division of Health Services. Employees, employees of contractors or contracted services, or students infected with a communicable disease have the responsibility of reporting this fact to the Director of Human Resources or the Dean of Student Services, as appropriate.

Communicable Disease is defined as an illness due to an infectious agent, which is transmitted directly or indirectly to a person from an “infected person or animal through the agency of an intermediate animal, host, or vector, or through the inanimate environment” (N.C.G.S. 130A-133). Communicable disease could include for example, Chickenpox, Infectious Mononucleosis, Influenza (New Type A Virus), Measles, Meningitis, Tuberculosis, and Whooping Cough.

Persons who are infected with a communicable disease are expected to seek expert medical advice and are encouraged to advise local health authorities. Local health authorities should offer counseling to these persons about measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of infection and to protect their own health.

Notification Procedures for Students

Students who know, or have a reasonable basis for believing, that they are infected with a communicable disease have an ethical and legal obligation to behave in accordance with such knowledge to protect themselves and others. Students are required to report this information to the Dean of Student Services. Medical information relating to the communicable disease of a student or employee will be disclosed to responsible college officials only on a strictly limited need-to-know basis. No person, group, agency, insurer, employer, or institution should be provided any medical information without the prior specific written consent of a student unless required by state and/or federal law. Furthermore, all medical information relating to the communicable diseases of students and employees will be kept confidential, according to state and federal law, including the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.

If a student reports a communicable disease condition to the Dean of Student Services, the student may be excluded from the institution until an appropriate evaluation of the student’s medical condition can be made. The evaluation may be made by a physician or a health department official and testing may be required if appropriate. Students in any Allied Health program may have additional requirements, as specified in each program’s student handbook; therefore, this student should report any suspected communicable disease to the Program Coordinator who in turn will notify the Dean of Student Services.

The assessment of a student with a suspected communicable disease and the final determination of that student’s ability to remain in school will be made by the Dean of Student Services, after consultation with a Communicable Disease Committee and based upon professional medical judgment.

If a student is found to have a communicable disease, then the Dean of Student Services will prohibit the attendance of the student on campus or at any College activity until a satisfactory letter or certificate is obtained from one or more licensed physicians or public health officials stating that the student is not a health risk to employees and other students at the College.

Crime Awareness

The Annual Crime Statistics Report is available in the Student Handbook and on the College’s website. Information regarding campus safety is available in the Student Handbook.

Emergency Closing of the College

Occasionally the College will be closed because of weather conditions or emergencies beyond the control of College officials. In the event of closing, radio stations in Morganton and news media in other cities within the service area of the College will be notified. Students may call 828-438-6000 or go online to www.wpcc.edu for additional information. Students may also receive these notifications via text, voice and email messaging by visiting www.wpcc.edu and enrolling in the WPCC Messaging Service.

Emergency Contact of Students

In emergencies, students may be contacted through the Office of Student Services. In order to avoid interruption of the educational program, classes will not be disturbed to deliver personal messages except in emergencies as determined by the Dean of Student Services or a designated substitute. Public pay telephones for student use are located on the breezeway between Moore Hall and Patton Hall, on the first floor of Hildebrand Hall, at the lower entrance to E-Building, at the entrance to Carr Hall, in the lower lounge of the Phifer Learning Resources Center, and in the lobby of K-Building on the Jim A. Richardson Complex.

Sex Offender Notification

According to the federal Campus Sex Crime Prevention Act, Western Piedmont Community College is authorized to notify the College community when knowledge is received that a registered sex offender is enrolled. This Act amends The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 to clarify that nothing in the Act can prohibit an educational institution from disclosing information provided to the institution concerning registered sex offenders.

The College developed the procedures below to increase the safety and welfare of students and employees by providing timely and appropriate notification of the presence of a registered sex offender. This notification shall be in accordance with applicable federal law and will be in such a manner that maintains safety without creating excessive anxiety among students and staff.


Upon notification from local law enforcement that a registered sex offender is enrolled, or intends to enroll at the College, the Dean of Student Services will take the following steps:

  • Obtain additional information, as necessary, from law enforcement;
  • Meet with the Chief of Security to review relevant information and assess safety issues posed for students, faculty and staff;
  • Meet with the offender to make him or her aware of the notification procedure. Other than the notification procedure approved by FERPA and the Department of Higher Education, registered sex offenders will receive the same rights and privacy protections provided to all students;
  • Advise the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the appropriate academic deans of the student’s enrollment; and
  • Place a binder with Registered Sex Offender information in the Office of the Dean of Student Services on the main campus and the Office of the Dean of Workforce and Professional Development at the Foothills Higher Education Center that will be available for viewing by the College community.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assaults, including date or acquaintance rape, are a serious concern to the college and will not be tolerated.  Victims of sexual assaults should get to a safe place, and then seek medical treatment as soon as possible (preferably within 72 hours).  Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation.  Victims shall notify the Campus Security at 828-448-6196, or contact any of the "campus security authorities" for help.  If the assault occurred at a school sponsored activity, Campus Security shall help the victim file a report with the appropriate law enforcement agency.  The filing of a report does not obligate the victim to pursue charges, but does make filing of charges easier at a later date.

To aid the police investigation, victims of sexual assault should take these steps to help preserve evidence:

*Try to preserve all physical evidence.

*Do not shower or bathe before the medical exam.

*Do not change your clothes; but if you do, save all your clothing and give them to the police.

*Do not disturb or alter the crime scene.

*Document any injury you suffered, either by photograph or by showing it to someone you trust.

Options available to sexual assault victims are College support services and/or through the judicial system (criminal and/or civil).  Western Piedmont Community College will assist in pursuing option(s) elected by the victim.  The college and the courts are independent systems; charges may be filed in either or both systems.

Counseling services for sexual assault victims are available both on and off campus.  Security, Human Resources, Advisors, Counselors, and Student Services Personnel may provide counseling or referrals to off-campus resources.  The appropriate county organizations will also be notified.  Additionally, instructional personnel will make every reasonable effort to assist victims of sexual assault by providing options for changing academic conditions whenever possible.

The college responds to all violations of the Student Code of Conduct, including all sex offenses, forcible or non-forcible.  Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during the proceedings, and both parties of any sex offense hearing shall be informed of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceedings brought alleging a sex offense.

Discrimination and Unlawful Harassment

Students, without any fear of reprisal, have the responsibility to bring any form of sexual or other unlawful harassment or discrimination (whether by a college employee, student, or other person who is participating in, observing or otherwise engaged in College activities) to the appropriate person so that a prompt investigation into the circumstances of the incident and the alleged harassment can be conducted.  The College shall take all steps to discourage and prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring and, when appropriate, the College shall take corrective measures.

Tobacco Use on Campus

Western Piedmont Community College is committed to providing its employees and students with a safe and healthy working and learning environment.  (G.S. 115D-20.1).

Western Piedmont Community College recognizes that the use of tobacco products on campus grounds is detrimental to the health and safety of students, staff, faculty and visitors.

Western Piedmont Community College also recognizes that it has the legal authority to prohibit tobacco use pursuant to G.S. 115D-20.1 and G.S. 143-599.

Therefore, beginning August 1, 2014 Western Piedmont Community College will implement the following policy:

1.  Smoking and use of other tobacco products is prohibited by students, staff, faculty, or visitors:

*In all campus buildings, facilities or property owned, leased or operated by Western Piedmont Community College, including outside areas;

*On campus grounds, facilities or vehicles that are the property of the Community College.

*At lectures, conferences, meetings, and social/cultural events held on college property or campus grounds.

2.  For the purposes of this policy, tobacco is defined as any type of tobacco product including, but not limited to:  any product containing, made, or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, whether chewed, smoked, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed, or ingested by any other means, or any component part or accessory of a tobacco product, including but not limited to cigarettes; cigars; little cigars; cheroots; stogies; periques; granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed, and other smoking tobacco; snuff; snuff flour; Cavendish; plug and twist tobacco; ne-cut and other chewing tobacco; shorts; refuse scraps, clippings, cutting and sweepings of tobacco, e-cigarettes, hookah; and other kinds and forms of tobacco.  A tobacco product excludes any product that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco cessation product, as a tobacco dependence product, or for other medical purposes, and is being marketed and sold solely for such an approved purpose.  The sale or free distribution of tobacco products, including merchandise, is prohibited on campus or at school events.

3.  Student organizations are prohibited from accepting money or gifts from tobacco companies, including:

a.  Parties sponsored by tobacco companies or allowing tobacco companies to distribute free, reduced-price, or fully-priced tobacco products (t-shirts, hats, etc.) on campus.

b.  All tobacco advertising, such as billboards and signs owned and used by Western Piedmont Community College.

c.  Tobacco advertisements are prohibited in college-run publications and on grounds or facilities, including athletic facilities, owned or used by Western Piedmont Community College.

d.  Smoking and the use of tobacco products are prohibited on grounds of Western Piedmont Community College being used for private events.  Through existing health plans, Employee Assistance Program and community sponsors, Western Piedmont Community College will consult with appropriate health organizations to provide students and employees with information and access to QuitlineNC at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, support systems, programs and services to encourage abstinence from the use of tobacco products, including publicizing free, accessible tobacco cessation classes, seminars, and support groups on or off campus.

4.  Promotional materials for Quitline NC and cessation classes, seminars, and support groups shall appear regularly in student and staff publications.  They shall be posted in buildings, through Student Services and through other appropriate means.

Implementation and Compliance:

1.  The health and wellness or appropriate committee shall develop a plan for communicating the policy to students, staff, faculty, and visitors.  The administration will develop a plan for communicating the policy that may include information in student and employee handbooks, announcements at institutionally-sponsored or related events, and appropriate signage in buildings and around campus.

2.  Each curriculum and continuing education instructor shall explain the College's tobacco-free policy at the beginning of the term of each class.

3.  Coaches of intercollegiate athletic teams will explain the policy at the beginning of each sport's season and shall communicate the policy to the coaches of visiting teams.

4.  The college will provide appropriate signage and other physical indicators of our policy.

5.  Signs will be posted in a manner and location to adequately notify students, staff, faculty, visitors and contractors of the policy.

6.  Signs will state that smoking and the use of tobacco products are prohibited, and will include the universal "No Smoking and Use of Tobacco Products Prohibited" symbol.

7.  Smoking waste management products such as ashtrays shall be removed.

Compliance for Students:

Consequences for students engaging in the prohibited behavior will be provided in accordance with the institution's student behavior management plan.  Students who violate the tobacco-use policy will be processed through established disciplinary protocol.  Student violators will be provided with access to up-to-date information on the many consequences of tobacco use, offered techniques that students can use to stop tobacco use, and provided referrals to local youth tobacco cessation programs.  Parents/guardians of minors will be notified of all violations and actions taken by the institution.  Suspension will only be used after a student has three or more prior violations or refused to participate in other outlined measures.

Compliance for staff and visitors:

Consequences for employees who violate the tobacco use policy will be in accordance with personnel policies of Western Piedmont Community College and may include verbal warning, written reprimand or termination.  Visitors using tobacco products will be asked to refrain while on Western Piedmont Community College property or leave the premises.  Community College law enforcement officers may be contacted to escort the person off the premises or cite the person for trespassing if the person refuses to leave the school property. 

It is the responsibility of each faculty and staff member to promote compliance with the tobacco-free policy.  Instructors should use tact and good judgment in dealing with possible violations.

Drug and Alcohol Policy

Western Piedmont takes the safety and health of its students and employees seriously.  We provide and maintain an environment which is free of alcohol and illegal drugs which are prohibited substances on campus.

Traffic Regulations

All students, faculty and staff who operate or park vehicles on campus are subject to traffic rules and regulations. A handbook of traffic rules and regulations is available in the Business Office. The regulations pertain to everyone and are strictly enforced. Campus Security issues tickets for violations of the handicap parking regulation with a maximum penalty of $250.00. All handicap violations are turned in to the City of Morganton for collection. All parking violations except handicapped areas are $5.00 per ticket. Six violations will result in further disciplinary action. Unpaid fines will result in the inability of students to register for subsequent semesters or the non-issuance of transcripts. Appeals forms can be picked up at the switchboard. All persons parking on campus are encouraged to lock vehicles and pocket the keys. The College cannot be held responsible for property left in vehicles.

All accidents should be reported to the College receptionist/ switch­board operator in Moore Hall. Since the campus is under the jurisdiction of the City of Morganton Department of Public Safety, local officers are called when necessary. It is the responsibility of those involved in an accident to report the accident.

As required by the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990, crime report statistics for the College are available upon request in the Campus Security Office.


Western Piedmont Community College prides itself on being an open door institution. The open door, while important to the College Mission, applies to the admissions process. To protect the safety of students, faculty, staff, and others on the campus, the College welcomes visitors and guests identified with a specific College purpose or function during normal operating hours. Only registered students are permitted to attend College classes and laboratories and utilize certain College support services. Persons who are not conducting business or purposely engaged in a sanctioned activity of Western Piedmont Community College may be asked to leave the premises. Visitors on campus are subject to the same code of conduct required of students.

Weapons on Campus

It is unlawful for any individual, aside from law enforcement, from carrying a "weapon," with or without a concealed permit, onto a community college campus.  A "weapon" includes firearms, explosives, BB guns, stun guns, air rifles or pistols and certain types of knives or other sharp instruments.  This does not apply to "weapons" used solely for instructional or College sanctioned ceremonial purposes, in any College building or vehicle, on any College grounds, recreational area, athletic field, or other property owned, used or operated by the Trustees of Western Piedmont Community College.

N.C.G.S. 14-269.2 permits a person to bring a handgun onto a community college campus under the following limited circumstances:

1.  The firearm is a handgun; AND

2.  The individual has a valid concealed handgun permit (or is exempt from the law requiring a permit); AND

3.  The handgun remains in either:  a closed compartment or container within the individual with the permit's locked vehicle; or a locked container securely affixed to the individual with the permit's locked vehicle; AND

4.  The vehicle is only unlocked when the individual with the permit is entering or exiting the vehicle; AND

5.  The handgun remains in the closed compartment at all times. 

Unless otherwise provided by law, no individual aside from law enforcement may have any weapons on campus and individuals with a concealed carry permit can only have a handgun on a community college campus as expressly outlined in the limited situation above.  Failure to follow these rules could result in the violation of North Carolina laws and criminal prosecution.

This law does not apply to a weapon used solely for educational or College sanctioned ceremonial purposes, or used in a College approved program conducted under the supervision of an adult whose supervision is approved by the proper College authority.

Furthermore, this law does not apply to armed forces personnel, officers, and soldiers of the militia and National Guard, law enforcement personnel, any private police employed by the College, when acting in the discharge of their official duties.