Wilkes Community College unveils new plan, new look

Staff Report
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WILKESBORO — In August, Dr. Jeff Cox, WCC president, presented to the board of trustees a five-year strategic plan and a new branding look meant to reflect the college’s ongoing commitment and future aspirations as the premier learning college serving Wilkes, Ashe and Alleghany counties.

Since January, Dr. Jeff Cox and the Wilkes Community College team have worked hand-in-hand with partners from community organizations, regional universities, K12 schools, business, and industry in Wilkes, Ashe and Alleghany to develop goals, objectives, and actionable strategies focused on empowering the workforce of the future.

“The driving force behind this effort,” said Cox, “is a desire to see more people in our service area earn credentials that support workforce needs and provide a family-sustaining income. We are deeply concerned about persistent poverty rates, lack of livable wages, and industry partners who simultaneously cannot find qualified workers. As a college, we embrace our role as a bridge between K12 schools and the workforce or continued higher education.”

Streamlined financial aid and scholarships, expanded tutoring, better alignment with industry workforce trends and needs, and implementation of the evidence-based “Guided Pathways” model are just a few strategies meant to propel the college toward its long-term goals and objectives. Additionally, the college is looking to expand its work-based learning, internships, and apprenticeship opportunities for students with local business and industry partners. For more information about WCC’s strategic plan, please visit the website at www.wilkescc.edu/strategicplanning.

During the strategic planning process, the college took the opportunity to refresh its visual identity with new logos and branding. Designed in-house and spearheaded by marketing director Andrea Gimlin and graphics expert Susan Tolley, the new logo adds elements that reflect the entire service area of Wilkes, Ashe, and Alleghany counties. The blues and greens of the color scheme reflect upon the scenery of our region. The new visual identity is expected to increase recognition and help the college establish itself more closely with the communities it serves.

The new look was revealed to faculty and staff on Aug. 15. The re-branding will be rolled out in phases over the next 12 to 18 months, beginning with the college’s website and social media.

Wilkes Community College, a member of the North Carolina Community College System, is a public, two-year, open-door institution serving the people of Wilkes, Ashe and Alleghany counties and beyond. Established in 1965, WCC continues to build on a strong history of meeting the educational needs and cultural interests of our students, community, and workforce. WCC prepares learners for success in a dynamic world.

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Staff Report