2019-2020 Catalog

Workforce and Continuing Education


Western Piedmont Community College is committed to the continuing education of all citizens of Burke County. To fulfill this commitment, the Division of Workforce and Continuing Education provides courses for individuals who are seeking to retrain and update themselves in a vocational or professional area, and who desire instruction enabling them to grow in basic knowledge, to improve in-home and community life, and to develop or improve leisure time activities.

Admission to Workforce and Continuing Education Classes

Any person 18 years of age or a high school graduate may enroll in the Workforce and Continuing Education courses. Persons age 16 or 17 years and enrolled in public school may concurrently enroll in selected Workforce and Continuing Education courses. Persons age 16 or 17 years and not enrolled in public school are eligible to enroll in certain Workforce and Continuing Education courses. The registration form must be accompanied by a notarized petition (Application for Admission of Minor form) of the student’s parents, legal guardian, or other person or agency having legal custody. Persons age 16 or older who are residents of the NC School for the Deaf, Broughton Hospital, J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center, or Foothills Correctional Institution, none of whom fall under the jurisdiction of the local public schools, may be classified by the administrators of those institutions as “persons with special needs”. These persons may be admitted to certain courses and/or programs with permission of the appropriate institution administrator and approval of the Division of Workforce and Continuing Education.

Workforce and Continuing Education Units

Workforce and Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) are awarded to students who satisfactorily complete specific courses. One CEU is defined as being ten contact hours of participation in an organized experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction. These CEU's are maintained on the student's transcript.  A permanent record of each person’s CEU’s will be maintained by this institution. Individuals, firms, and professional organizations may use compilations of CEU’s to provide measures of recognition for non-credit educational achievement.

Course Registration and Locations

Continuing Education classes offered through our Workforce and Continuing Education Division, have a pre-registration policy, with the exception of Fire/Rescue, EMT/EMS, Law Enforcement, HRD and CTP programs.  Students must register and pay any registration fees two business days/48 business hours prior to the start date of the class.  For example:  Class starts on Monday, the last day to register is Thursday.  Students may register via the following methods:  1). On-line 2). Walk-in registration held on Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. in Hildebrand Hall, Main Campus; or 3). Print and fax registration form.

Distance Learning

The Workforce and Continuing Education Division of WPCC offers a variety of courses via the internet. With internet workshops, students can “attend class” at a time most convenient for them in the comfort of home or office. Each course comes complete with an online classroom. Students log into the classroom at their convenience to read lessons, complete quizzes and assignments, or communicate with the instructor and fellow students. An interactive discussion area also accompanies each lesson.

Internet courses differ somewhat from traditional classroom delivery. Although students remain in contact with others through course discussion, learning over the internet is essentially a solitary activity. Initiative and self-discipline are required of students taking these courses. Like traditional courses, Workforce and Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) are awarded for successful completion.


The registration fees for occupational extension courses are mandated by the NC Legislature. Fees for self-supporting courses are based on actual costs. Each course offered will list the appropriate fee to be charged.

All registration fees are to be prepaid before the first class meeting unless otherwise advertised. If the registration fee is to be paid by an employer, the student must either pay the fee and request reimbursement from the employer or have a written authorization from the employer of the intent to pay Western Piedmont Community College when billed.

Special Courses

Courses can be tailored to meet the special needs of a group, business, industry, or organization. To set up such a course, contact the Division of Workforce and Continuing Education.

Community Service Classes

The Division sponsors and promotes courses, activities, and events for personal enrichment and leisure skills or cultural, economic and civic improvement. Examples include:


Defensive Driving

Retirement Planning

American Sign Language

Digital Animation Camp

Sim and Game Camp

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Investment Planning


Civil War Tours

Sustainable Farming

Wood Carving

Engineering Camp


Wood Finishing

Cultural Studies



Customized Training

Western Piedmont Community College cooperates with existing manufacturing industries to provide customized training programs for employees. This program assists industries with training assessments and the design and implementation of training programs on campus or on site. Classes are designed to upgrade the skills of employees to meet the technological changes in industry. Customized training programs are tailored to the specific needs of a particular industry.

Human Resources Development

The Human Resource Development Program (HRD) provides structured pre-employment training, counseling and assistance into permanent employment or further training for unemployed and underemployed adults. Students will be assessed to determined their strengths and limitations. They will receive training to develop an awareness of the impact of information technology in the workplace, a positive self-concept, employability skills, communication skills, and problem solving skills. Students will utilize the JobLink Career Center for job search and training information.

Occupational Extension

These courses are designed to train individuals for employment, to upgrade the skills of persons presently employed and to retrain others for new employment in occupational fields. Occupational extension courses may also be provided in the workplace and customized to an employer’s specific needs. The following are examples of previously offered courses:

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation                 
Electrical Code Update                     
Sign Language 
Computer Skills Forklift Training Statistical Process Control
Construction Trades Notary Public Preparation Supervision/Leadership Training
Conversational Spanish Problem-Solving Techniques  

Specialized training programs are available in the following areas:
Emergency Management    
Fire Service     
Rescue Squad             
Emergency Medical Technician
Law Enforcement              


These courses are designed to meet the particular needs of the requesting agency. Some examples are:

Area Fire Schools Firearms Training Medication Aide
Certified Nurse Aide I and II Firefighter I & II Phlebotomy
Corrections Training Incident Command & Management Radar Certification
CPR Training Involving Parents in Day Care Rescue Technician
EMT (Basic, Intermediate & Paramedic) Managing Search & Rescue Teacher Renewal Certification
Emergency Management Medical First Responder  

Small Business Center

The purpose of WPCC’s Small Business Center (SBC) is to deliver quality programs and services for entrepreneurs. Each semester the SBC offers seminars, workshops and short courses, and the basic skills required to start and operate a successful business. Topics include How to Start a Business, Financing Your Small Business, How to Develop and Write a Business Plan, Advertising and Marketing Your Business and classes on Recordkeeping and Taxes. In addition to the core curriculum, the SBC offers additional educational programs and services designed to address the specific and unique needs of our local small business community. One-on-one counseling sessions to assist prospective and existing small business owners are also available by appointment. Counseling is provided by either the SBC Director or a professional contracted by the College’s SBC.

A fully equipped resource center is also available through the SBC and offers up-to-date materials including publications, tapes, books and software.

All of the services offered by the Small Business Center are free to citizens of Burke and surrounding counties.

Located in the Foothills Higher Education Center, the Small Business Center serves the special needs of the entrepreneurial and business community in Burke County. Co-sponsored by the North Carolina Community College System, the College’s Small Business Center provides small businesses with free one-on-one management consultation, quality workshops and seminars, special courses, and a network of consultants. Access to books, videos and literature is also available. The Small Business Center is open Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm. The Director is available at other times by appointment.