Proud Past, Ambitious Future
In 1967, the school directors of Westmoreland County studied the possibility of starting a community college in the county. After local surveys proved favorable, the Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners agreed to sponsor the college and named a board of trustees.
Following approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Westmoreland County Community College was founded in March 1970.
On February 1, 1971, the college conducted its first nine evening classes for 259 students in rented classrooms at Jeannette High School.
Without a permanent home, the college was limited to offering only evening classes. Following a search for a suitable building, the Westinghouse Corporation offered to sell its semiconductor plant in Youngwood to serve as a permanent campus for the college.
In the fall of 1972, the college moved to its present site, in the building now known as Founders Hall. Day classes were offered for the first time and close to 1,500 students enrolled. A major renovation of Founders Hall, known as the Student Achievement Center, will be completed in 2020.
The first permanent facility constructed for Westmoreland, Commissioners Hall, was completed in June 1990.
Science Hall opened to students in June 1994. A state-of-the art addition, the Science Innovation Center, was added in August 2018.
The college dedicated the Business and Industry Center in March 2000 after it was purchased from neighbor Powerex.
The Public Safety Training Center opened in South Huntingdon Township in October 2003 to serve as a training ground for the region’s firefighters, police officers and emergency service personnel.
In 2014, the college opened the 73,500-square-foot Advanced Technology Center at RIDC-Westmoreland in Mt. Pleasant, which offers credit programs, continuing education and contract training for industrial technology and manufacturing occupations.
Today, as Westmoreland plans to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the college enrolls more than 5,000 students and offers more than 100 programs of study at eight locations.