The History

A member of North Carolina’s system of 58 community and technical colleges, Wayne Community College was originally established as Goldsboro Industrial Education Center. The first on-campus building was completed in November 1960, and until fall 1962 all courses were taught in the evening, and all students were part time.

In the 1962-63 school year, the first full-time courses were offered leading to diplomas in automotive mechanics, electronics, drafting, and practical nursing. During the 1962-63 school year, Goldsboro I.E.C. had 47 students enrolled with eight faculty members; 1963 through 1965 three extension units of Goldsboro I.E.C. were established in Morehead City, Kenansville, and Clinton; later to become Carteret, James Sprunt, and Sampson community colleges.

In January 1964, Goldsboro I.E.C. became Wayne Technical Institute. By fall 1966, the enrollment had increased to approximately 550 curriculum students and more than 1,500 extension students. During the late sixties, several additional classroom buildings were added to the campus.

In November 1967, a community vote approved the necessary financial support, and Wayne Technical Institute became Wayne Community College. By the fall of 1968, the enrollment had risen to nearly 700 curriculum students.

The student population’s rapid growth overwhelmed the facilities. In January 1974, the Board of Trustees commissioned a master plan for campus relocation to Wayne Memorial Drive. The first building on the new campus, constructed in 1978, housed auto-diesel technology, welding, watchmaking, drafting and electronics programs.

A local bond referendum in 1986 provided $9.9 million in construction funds, which were matched by state funds during the years to follow. By the fall of 1992, five buildings were completed. A 1993 statewide bond referendum provided the $6.3 million necessary to add two more buildings on campus and an aviation building at the local airport. All were in use by the winter of 1996.

Enrollment and program offerings continued to grow, and so has the campus. In the fall of 2000, voters overwhelmingly approved a statewide Higher Education Bond that provided Wayne Community College nearly $13 million for construction, renovation and repair. Three buildings were built and several functional areas were reconfigured and renovated, with the last of the new facilities opening in spring 2007.

More improvements and growth are resulting from the “Connect NC Public Improvement Bond” which voters approved in March 2016 and several grants and gifts.  This funding allowed repairs and renovation to existing buildings and systems and new construction which will be completed over the next few years.

Through the decades, Wayne Community College has established a reputation for quality in certificate, diploma, and associate degree programs which prepare students for promising careers. The College also takes pride in its Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Engineering college transfer programs and its graduates who have a high success rate at four-year institutions.

Use of technology in the classroom, modern computer labs, and options for Saturday, evening, and online courses have made instruction at Wayne Community College more effective and convenient for students. As the instruction options have increased, so has Wayne Community College’s enrollment, which now stands at around 12,000 curriculum and non-credit students.

Wayne Community College will strive to maintain its long-standing reputation for quality training and education of our community’s citizens.

Wayne Community College was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in 1970, and was reaffirmed in 1974, 1986, 1995, 2006, and 2016.