In 1962, a steering committee composed of area citizens was organized to obtain support for a college in Wytheville. After approval by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the General Assembly, the Wythe County-owned Simmerman Building was chosen as the first site of the college.
Wytheville Community College welcomed its first students in September of 1963, as a two-year branch of Virginia Polytechnic Institute. During its first year of operation, the college enrolled 107 students and employed five full-time faculty members.
The Virginia Community College System was established during the 1966 session of the General Assembly. Wytheville Community College became a member of the system on July 1, 1967. In the first year of its operation, the college’s enrollment rose to 837 and the number of full-time faculty members increased to 21. Today, the college’s enrolls more than 5,000 students annually in credit classes, and employs nearly 40 full-time and 150 part-time faculty.
Acquisition of property for the permanent site began in 1965, when a tract of 103 acres was purchased from the Wytheville Knitting Mill Corporation by the County of Wythe and the Town of Wytheville. Approximately three acres adjoining the campus on the east were purchased by the college in 1975. In 1979, the State Board for Community Colleges approved a gift of land (approximately 42 acres) from Helen Janssen Wetzel, Elsa L. Bowman, and Helene L. Master. The gift of land was made in memory of Mr. Richard C. Wetzel, Dr. John E. Livingood, and Mr. Harry Janssen, an industrial pioneer in the American textile industry and builder of the old Wytheville Knitting Mills.
The first building on the permanent site, Fincastle Hall, was occupied in September of 1968. Bland Hall, which now houses primarily the college’s administrative offices, and an occupational-technical classroom building, Carroll Hall, were occupied during the 1970-71 academic year. A nursing and allied health building, Galax Hall, was completed in the spring of 1973. An occupational-technical building, Grayson Hall, was dedicated in the spring of 1985. Smyth Hall, the college’s learning resource center, was completed and dedicated in the spring of 1998.
In the 1990s, a surge in the use of educational and administrative technologies occurred. Today, WCC boasts that it is on the leading edge of technology appropriate for a learning-focused and student-centered institution of higher education.
Wytheville Community College is a two-year comprehensive community college serving residents of the counties of Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth (Marion and eastward), Wythe, and the City of Galax. The college, one of 23 in the Virginia Community College System, operates under policies established by the State Board for Community Colleges and the Wytheville Community College Board. The college is financed primarily with state funds supplemented by contributions from the participating localities.
College Mission Statement
“Wytheville Community College is committed to providing access to lifelong learning within an environment of academic excellence.”
To achieve its mission, Wytheville Community College is guided by the following principles, all of which are related to teaching and learning. The “Guiding Principles” are:
- to provide programs and courses of instruction, through the associate-degree level, encompassing occupational-technical education, college transfer education, general education, developmental education, continuing education, and workforce development
- to offer a comprehensive program of student-development services
- to provide a broad range of instructional technologies, methods, materials, facilities, and instructional support services that accommodate students of varied backgrounds, interests, and abilities
- to create an educational environment that facilitates learning through a curriculum that broadens perspectives, leads to responsible citizenship, and sets standards that support the highest level of performance
- to serve as an important linkage between secondary education and four-year colleges and universities
- to enrich local communities, by making available resources in people, facilities, libraries, and programming
- to take a leadership role in helping shape the future direction of our communities
- to present diverse cultural opportunities while promoting the heritage of Southwest Virginia
- to enhance economic, cultural, and educational partnerships between WCC and the communities we serve
- to ensure a healthful and safe environment on campus
- to be fiscally responsible and accountable
- to promote accessibility and affordability; and
- to ensure quality in all programs and services.
Accreditation and Recognitions
Wytheville Community College is approved by the State Board for Community Colleges and by the Virginia Community College System. The associate degree curricula of the college have also been approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
Wytheville Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500) for questions about the accreditation of Wytheville Community College. (Note: Inquiries to the Commission should relate only to the accreditation of WCC, and not to general admission information.)
The Nursing Program has been granted approval by the Virginia State Board of Nursing and accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) [3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Georgia 30326, (404-975-5000)] http://www.acenursing.org].
The Practical Nursing Program is approved by the Virginia State Board of Nursing.
The Medical Laboratory Technology Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency of Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119, (847) 939-3597 or (773) 714-8880, FAX (773) 714-8886.
The program in Dental Hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (ADA).
The Physical Therapist Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association.
The Respiratory Therapy program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 76021-4244, (817) 283-2835.
Wytheville Community College is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges.
Wytheville Community College operates two education centers that enhance the educational opportunities available through the college.
Formerly called the “Galax Education Center,” WCC at the Crossroads Institute is located at 1117 East Stuart Drive (Rt. 58) in Galax. The Crossroads Institute, with its electronic and lecture classrooms, computer labs, and conference rooms, provides space for industrial training, community meetings, curricular classes, workshops, seminars, teleconferences, and more. Special programs available there include the Practical Nursing program and Construction Technologies. For more information regarding learning opportunities in the Galax area, call WCC at the Crossroads Institute at (276) 744-4974.
WCC at the Summmit Center for Higher Education is located in downtown Marion about 30 miles south of Wytheville on Interstate 81. The Summit supports WCC curricular offerings, continuing education programs, and community service. Educational activities at the center include day and evening courses, business- and industry-related training, pre-employment training, seminars for small business owners, and personal development workshops. For more information regarding WCC educational opportunities in Smyth County, call the Summit Center at (276) 783-1777.
The WCC Educational Foundation and the WCC Scholarship Foundation
The Wytheville Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to foster and promote the growth, progress, and general welfare of Wytheville Community College. Through private contributions, the WCC Educational Foundation:
- Manages over 200 different scholarship endowments and funds, awarding approximately $500,000 each year to qualified WCC students.
- Helps purchase special equipment and supplies for WCC programs and activities.
- Seeks funding for capital projects, having secured $1.5 million for construction of the William F. Snyder Auditorium and $75,000 for creation of the Chitwood Nursing Lab.
- Supports professional development opportunities for WCC faculty and staff to help employees remain current in their respective fields.
- Assists with the college’s delivery of services at the Crossroads Institute in Galax and at the Smyth County Education Center in Atkins.
- Helps provide funding for the college’s Kegley Library, a special local history collection.
- Supports WCC’s participation in various community events and projects.
- Provides various academic, recognition, and service awards to WCC students, faculty, staff, and friends of the college.
A 19-member Board of Directors with representatives from all areas of the college’s service region govern the WCC Educational Foundation. A host of community leaders and WCC alumni serve as volunteers during annual and special fund-raising campaigns. Thanks to the “Forging Futures Capital Campaign,” the first capital campaign undertaken in the college’s history, the Foundation secured over $3 million to support WCC. * As of December 31, 2016, the WCC Educational Foundation’s net assets totaled more than $8.5 million.
In addition to the WCC Educational Foundation, the WCC Scholarship Foundation, a second non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, provides scholarships for economically disadvantaged WCC students who meet specified federal poverty guidelines. The WCC Scholarship Foundation, Inc. receives special state tax credits through the Neighborhood Assistance Act Tax Credit Program for Education, administered by the Virginia Department of Education. This allows the WCC Scholarship Foundation to award a 65-percent state tax credit to qualified businesses and individuals, in addition to offering tax deductions for charitable contributions. As of December 31, 2016, net assets of the WCC Scholarship Foundation totaled $649,499. The WCC Scholarship Foundation is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, with representatives from all areas of the college’s service region.
Private support greatly enhances the work of Wytheville Community College. The WCC Educational Foundation accepts gifts of cash, stock, and real estate, as well as works with donors who may wish to make planned gifts through bequests, charitable remainder trusts, annuities, life insurance, or other types of special donations. The WCC Scholarship Foundation accepts primarily gifts of cash or stock. Contributions to both the WCC Educational Foundation and the WCC Scholarship Foundation are tax deductible as allowable by IRS guidelines.
For more information about the WCC Educational Foundation or the WCC Scholarship Foundation, please contact Dr. Rhonda K. Catron-Wood, Vice President of College Development, at 276-223-4772, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.