Western Piedmont Community College


Paralegal Technology at Western Piedmont Community College

Western Piedmont Community College appears in our ranking of the 10 Most Affordable Online Associate’s in Paralegal Studies Degree Programs.

Western Piedmont Community College offers degree programs that students can finish in two years while gaining the skills and experience they need to work in related careers. One of the college’s top choices for students who want to work in the legal field is its program in paralegal technology. Designed for those who want to assist lawyers in the courtroom and in their offices, the program includes 67 credits of classes.

This program provides students with an outline that shows them the curriculum they must complete. The outline also shows them what classes they need to take and when they should take each course. They will gain credits from some general education courses, which might include Principles of Macroeconomics, Introduction to Ethics, Introduction to Sociology, General Psychology and Music Appreciation. The eight courses that make up the paralegal technology core include Legal Research and Writing, Civil Litigation, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Wills, Estates and Trusts.

The college also asks students to take classes that will prepare them for their future job duties. Introduction to Computers is a required class that teaches students how to use computer programs and software. In the Principles of Financial Accounting class, they learn how to manage the finances of a legal office. Other courses can include Medical Evidence Analysis and Ethics and Professionalism. The program helps students earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Students can earn a basic law enforcement training certificate too. While most certificate holders will enroll in the police academy, others use that certificate to show that they understand the role that law enforcement professionals have in the legal field.

About Western Piedmont Community College

Western Piedmont Community College is a community college in North Carolina. Established in 1964 after receiving a state charter, the school originally held classes on the Central School campus. As it did not yet have a standalone campus, the college offered small classes in some of the buildings belonging to that school. When enrollment climbed to more than 400 students a few years later, the college decided to build its own campus. That campus opened in 1968 and had enough space that the college could expand its curriculum and hold its own ceremonies for graduates. The college grew even faster in the 1970s and received funds from the state to further expand its campus. Also called WPCC, it now offers dozens of degree programs and has an enrollment that includes thousands of students.

One advantage of attending WPCC is that its classes are quite small. Many students will take classes with less than 10 to 20 others in the room. Its campus houses the Sam J. Ervin Library, named after the senator of the same name from the state. This library offers resources for students and quiet spaces where they can study and work on their assignments. WPCC is also home to the Continuing Education Center, which is a 25,000 square foot building. This center offers opportunities for adults and others who want to continue working on their degrees after taking some time off school. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 students, WPCC is now one of the largest community colleges in North Carolina.

Western Piedmont Community College Accreditation Details

WPCC has more types of accreditation than other community colleges in the state have. Its regional accreditation, which is what lets students take their credits to other schools and bring credits into their programs, comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The college has approval for its paralegal and similar programs from the North Carolina Department of Justice because it meets the criminal justice standards established by that department. Some of the programs at WPCC with full accreditation include those in nursing, medical assisting, dental assisting and early childhood education.

Western Piedmont Community College Application Requirements

WPCC has both a rolling admissions policy and an open door policy. Those policies mean that any student with an interest in higher education can enroll in the college and start classes. The college will accept any student who is at least 18 years old and has a high school diploma. It only asks that incoming students have an interest in learning and that they feel college can help them. Those students will use the online application and submit it through the WPCC website. The college does not have a paper application and will not accept applications submitted through other means. High school graduates must provide their standardized test scores and transcripts. The college uses their test scores to place students in certain classes. Those who did not take the ACT or SAT will need to take placement tests through the college.

Nontraditional students include those who completed a home school program and those who have a GED. While those students can apply to the college, they need to use the online application and then submit some type of transcript. The college will accept a GED score or a copy of a home school curriculum in lieu of a high school transcript. Students who want to transfer from another college or university must submit the online application and their college transcripts.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for full-time students who are North Carolina residents is $2,513 per semester. Full-time students who are nonresidents will pay $8,657 each semester. Part-time students who take less than 12 credits pay a tuition rate based on the number of credits they register for that semester. WPCC has a tuition calculator on its website that lets students see how much they will pay. This calculator also shows them how much they can save based on the financial aid that they get.

WPCC offers resources for students that teach them how they can get help paying for child care while in college and what tax benefits they can take advantage of while in school. It also offers scholarship information, including the types of scholarships available and how students can apply. Those scholarships include awards of up to $3,000 a year. Students can apply for a payment plan too, which costs $25 and allows them to make convenient payments to pay off their tuition. Any student with an interest in the paralegal technology program at Western Piedmont Community College should apply for financial aid.