One of the educational gems in Parker County is halfway through enjoying its 150 anniversary. Established in 1869, Weatherford College is the oldest continuing community college west of the Mississippi, older than the University of Texas and Texas A&M University.

While its name is probably pretty familiar to a lot of you, many may not know what all goes on behind the scenes — educationally.

And don’t let the term “junior college” fool you. Weatherford College has more to offer than you think, including the opportunity to attain a bachelor’s degree.

The college recently received staff approval and is asking for formal Board of Nursing approval later this month to offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Soon thereafter, WC will be requesting approval for a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership.

For those aspiring scientists, Weatherford College has something to offer you, too. Thanks to a $299,856 National Science Foundation grant, WC is creating a program to develop skills in robotics — the Industrial Maintenance and Automation Technology program.

The Weatherford campus also recently became the new site for its two-year Occupational Therapy Assistant and Physical Therapy Assistant programs, relocating them from Mineral Wells.

Another interest on the rise at WC is music. Thanks to private philanthropy efforts, the college will be an All-Steinway Institution, meaning the only pianos owned at the college are designed by Steinway & Sons. The designation gives WC a recruiting advantage for student musicians, as well as the ability to enhance fine arts concerts and productions for the community.

The college’s own WC Foundation is also seeing a surge in its philanthropy efforts, led by board President Bob Glenn, with a 126 percent increase year-to-date from 2018-19. Last year, the foundation was able to provide more than $280,000 for student scholarships.

On the national scale, the college’s rodeo program is picking up steam, with three student-athletes performing at the College National Finals Rodeo earlier this year. Other athletic programs, including men’s and women’s basketball and softball and baseball, have enjoyed many years of success, and the board will be considering adding women’s tennis and men’s golf in the near future.

As if these weren’t good enough selling points, there’s one more: the community’s recognition of the institution. Weatherford College was named Large Business of the Year by the Weatherford and East Parker County chamber of commerces, as well as Educational Partner of the Year from Workforce Solutions of North Central Texas.

Needing more info? Check out these and many more offerings from WC at www.wc.edu.

Weatherford Democrat

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