On May 9, 1972, the West Virginia Board of Regents created a dual-campus community college out of what were formerly the Hancock County Branch and the Wheeling Campus of West Liberty State College. The Board specified that the newly created institution was to be a comprehensive community college responsible for educational programs of two years or less duration for high school graduates and adults. Responding to local community requests, the College began offering courses in New Martinsville in 1973 and established a campus there in 1975.
As a comprehensive community college, Northern offers a wide variety of programs and courses in the arts and sciences, career-technical education, developmental studies and community service. Under an open-door enrollment policy, the College admits all adults desiring postsecondary education. High school students recommended by their schools for early entrance are also admitted. Graduates receive Associate in Arts degrees, Associate in Science degrees, Associate in Applied Science degrees and Certificates.
The student population at West Virginia Northern Community College has grown consistently, at times having double digit enrollment growth, since the year 2000. Northern, a public, comprehensive community college with campus locations in Wheeling, Weirton, and New Martinsville, was created on May 9, 1972, and has grown into the largest institution of higher education in the Upper Ohio Valley. WVNCC currently is undergoing a years-long expansion and remodeling effort at all three campuses.
The College tuition schedule remains among the lowest in the state. Along with its service area of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties, WVNCC has a tuition reciprocity agreement that serves students in four neighboring Ohio counties: Jefferson, Harrison, Belmont and Monroe. A lowered metro rate is offered to students in the Pennsylvania counties of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington and Greene as well as to students from Columbiana and Washington counties in Ohio.
As a comprehensive community college, Northern offers a wide variety of more than 70 programs in the arts and sciences and career-technical education, and dozens of continuing education offerings. There are nearly 20 specialized two plus two transfer programs with numerous four-year institutions. Online education offerings continue to expand, and Northern graduates also have direct access to some master’s degree programs.
Recent highlights at the College include the following: the nursing graduate pass rate for the National Council Licensure Examination continues to improve, with Northern’s students consistently bettering state and national averages; the Culinary Arts department again earned its national reaccreditation; and, students continue to receive the highest accolades for their many community service projects ranging from Military Mail Call to raising funds for several charitable causes.