West Virginia University (WVUP) at Parkersburg is a four-year community college under independent governance. It was founded in 1961 as the Parkersburg Branch of West Virginia University. Today, over 4,300 students attend classes at WVU Parkersburg. The school offers certificates, associate degrees, and a few selected bachelor’s degree programs. It is the largest community college in West Virginia and the only one offering bachelor’s degrees. The school serves a seven-county area, including Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt, and Wood.
The main campus is located on the outskirts of Parkersburg. It is accessible by bus services through the Easy Rider Bus System and the Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority and by car from I-77. There is a branch campus at the Jackson County Center in Ripley, serving more than 700 students per semester. New facilities at the Jackson County Center include an Early Childhood Learning Center, Applied Technology Lab, and Student Life and Wellness Center.
Academic Divisions at WVU Parkerburg include: Business, Economics, and Mathematics; Education and Humanities; Health Sciences; Science and Technology; and Social Sciences and Language. The student-faculty ratio is 19:1, making for a large number of small, discussion-based courses.
Most degrees awarded by WVUP are associate’s and certificate programs. There are too many associate degree programs to name in arts, applied science, and science. WVY Parkersburg students can ear bachelor’s degrees in applied science, including Business Administration, Business Information Technology, Financial Management, Marketing, and Public Relations, and Criminal Justice. Bachelor’s of Applied Technology are available in Information System Option, Mainframe Computing, Software Engineering, Information Security, Network Engineering, Management, and Technology. Bachelor’s of Arts are available in Elementary Education and Multi-Disciplinary Studies. Bachelor’s of Science can be earned in Business Administration, Accounting, or General Business.
There are degree certificates available in a wide range of fields, including Advanced Leadership and Management, Solar Energy Technology, Emergency Response, and more. Undergraduate certificates are available in architectural design, basic leadership, CAD animation, Certified Nursing Assistant, Communication Arts, Communication Skills, Entrepreneurial Studies, Graphic Design, Health Insurance Customer Services, Leadership, Medical Office Assistant, MS Office, Project Management, Purchasing Competency, Real Estate, and Welding Maintenance.
Fast Track Certificates are available in: Certified Nursing Assistant, Dental Assistant, Home Health Aide, Home Inspection, Introduction to Construction Technology, Medical Office Assistant, Phlebotomy Technician, and Real Estate Pre-Licensure.
Flexible Degrees include the Board of Governers Associate’s Degree, in which credit is awarded for life and work experience; the Occupational Development Associate’s Degree, which is an intense apprenticeship program combined with general education courses for labor union members; the Technical Studies Associate’s Degree, which combined technical school and general education classes with outside education; the Multi-Disciplinary Studies Bachelor’s Degree, which combines any three minors into an individually designed major to suit unique career goals; the Regent Bachelor of Arts, which awards credit to students over the age of 23 with valuable life experiences.
Caperton Center for Applied Technology
The university collaborates with the Wood County Schools and a number of area businesses, industries, and labor organizations to administrate the Caperton Center for Applied Technology. At the Caperton Center, high school students can earn college credit in technical classes; WVU Parkersburg students can work toward their associate or bachelor’s degrees; and area residents can upgrade their technical schools or learn new ones.
The Student Life Academy
The Student Life Academy at WVU Parkersburg offers non-credit classes for students otherwise engaged in credit courses as well as the general public. Examples of popular classes within the Academy include Networking, Etiquette for Fine Dining, Trip Planning, Business Fashion, and Interviewing Skills.
Workforce and Community Education
WVU Parkersburg’s Workforce and Community Education program provides professional and technical programs, seminars, workshops, institutes, and consulting services to area business and industry. Some of the workforce training programs at WVU Parkersburg include Mold Inspection, Home Energy Surveyor, Home Inspection Test Prep, and Heavy Equipment Training. WVU Parkersburg also has programs to teach employers and employees about disability-based accommodations and laws.
Most Popular Fields of Study
In keeping with their mission to offer high-quality education to any adult who wishes to pursue it, WVU Parkersburg offers open admissions. Applicants need to either have a high school diploma or a GED to begin college level studies; the college also offers basic adult education and GED preparation for students not yet ready to begin college level work. Some programs, particularly in nursing and other medical disciplines, have further requirements, so check with the department in which you wish to study before registering for classes.
In addition to the wide range of state and federal financial aid options available to college and university students in West Virginia, WVU Parkersburg offers several of their own need- and merit-based scholarships.
Student Financial Aid Details
There are a wealth of student clubs and organizations at WVU Parkersburg to meet a variety of personal and professional interests. Some of the more popular professional organizations include American Welding Society, Criminal Justice Organization, Student Nursing Association, and Society for Accounting. Socially active groups include Environmental Action Group, Multicultural Awareness Club, Student Ambassadors, and a 4-H group. The student newspaper is the Chronicle.
There is no student housing on campus, but the student affairs office has many resources to connect students with affordable area housing as needed.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The athletics department at WVU Parkersburg are known as the Riverhawks. WVUP does not compete in intercollegiate varsity athletics. The university fields club sports, including volleyball, basketball, softball, table tennis, and soccer.
The WVU Parkersburg Fitness Center offers students free access to aerobic classes, Wii Fit, recumbent bikes, rowers, elliptical trainers, stair machines, treadmills, free weights, and more.
- About West Virginia University at Parkersburg. West Virginia University at Parkersburg. Web. 27 July 2011.
- Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.
- Fitness. West Virginia University at Parkersburg. Web. 27 July 2011.
- Flexible Degrees. West Virginia University at Parkersburg. Web. 27 July 2011.
- Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.