West Virginia Northern Community and Technical College, a public two-year college, was created in 1972 by the West Virginia Board of Regents. It incorporated what had formerly been the Weirton and Wheeling branches of West Liberty State College (now West Liberty University), and quickly expanded to a third campus in New Martinsville in 1975. The college today offers additional courses at other sites within its service area.
West Virginia Northern offers career and technical education to the Northern Panhandle counties of Ohio, Brooke, Hancock, and Marshall, plus neighboring Wetzel and Tyler. Its mission is to develop the district work force by teaching and training students. Graduates receive two-year associate degrees, as well as certificates. An open-door policy guarantees acceptance of all adults who seek secondary education, and the college also admits high school students who are recommended by their schools for early entrance. Financial aid is readily available. The college promotes community and business development by offering continuing education programs, cultural programs, and specially designed instructional programs tailored to the needs of business. West Virginia Northern joined with the six county school systems in the district, West Liberty State College and Wheeling Jesuit University, and local businesses, industry, and labor organizations in a regional school-to-work consortium. The consortium works to create high school technical programs that lead into those at college level.
Promoting regional economic development is a priority. West Virginia Northern partnered with Weirton Steel Corporation to create the Center for Excellence in Workplace Education to provide additional training opportunities and address work force development issues. The college offers Internet courses on a variety of subjects. Campuses in New Martinsville and Wheeling are linked by interactive video and data systems. The Weirton campus built a new telecommunications classroom.
West Virginia Northern has two primary locations in Wheeling. The historic B&O Building, located at 1704 Market Street at the southern end of the business district, was originally the main terminal of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the Ohio Valley. The Hazel Atlas Glass Building, at 15th and Jacob streets, was the original location of the college. The New Martinsville Regional Campus includes a classroom building and the Francis Creative Arts Center, a two-story brick structure in close proximity to the main campus facility, donated to the college by Jack S. Francis, a local attorney. The academic facility of the Weirton Regional Campus is located at 150 Park Avenue.
The three campuses are governed by regional campus deans. Community education coordinators at each regional campus coordinate the activities at the local level. In fall 2009, 3,150 students enrolled at West Virginia Northern Community College.
This Article was written by Olivia Miller
Last Revised on October 11, 2010