On May 14, 1956, the North Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church met in Goldsboro and approved a petition from the people of Rocky Mount to locate a college in their community. In early September, the first trustees established temporary headquarters in the Ricks Hotel. One of the first actions of the Board was to name the institution North Carolina Wesleyan College. The College was officially chartered by the State of North Carolina on October 25, 1956.
Capital investments totaling approximately $2 million made possible the construction of the main buildings on the 200-acre site donated by the M.C. Braswell heirs of Rocky Mount, and four years later 92 students enrolled in the first class at North Carolina Wesleyan College. In 1964, 33 students received their degrees at the College’s first Commencement.
Since those early days, nearly 9,000 students have earned bachelor’s degrees in the arts and sciences. Alumni from Rocky Mount, neighboring communities, numerous states, and several foreign countries affirm Wesleyan’s value as an important resource for higher education in Eastern North Carolina.
The College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of North Carolina Wesleyan College.
The College is a member of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church, the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, the National Association of Colleges and Universities Business Officers, and the American Council on Education. Women graduates are eligible for membership in the American Association of University Women.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction grants North Carolina teaching certificates to graduates of North Carolina Wesleyan who have completed the prescribed certification program and who are recommended by the College. The teacher education program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
The Adult & Professional Studies programs offer learning opportunities for adult students who seek career advancement or personal enrichment. The program serves the Rocky Mount area and has additional campuses in Raleigh-Durham, Goldsboro, and Wilmington.
North Carolina Wesleyan College, a private institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church, prepares students for professional advancement, life-long learning, and responsible participation in their communities.
Campus and Community
The liberal arts and sciences are the foundation of Wesleyan’s curriculum for all undergraduate degree programs. Students choose from a variety of majors, all of which help prepare students for rewarding personal lives, good citizenship, and productive careers. Instruction emphasizes critical thinking, analytical reasoning, reading, writing, speaking, informed decision-making, and information skills. The College understands the increasing importance of a global perspective and of helping students learn to function in a complex society. It provides a learning environment that encourages ethical and spiritual development
The College provides degree programs and other educational opportunities for residential, commuting, and adult students. The traditional program in Rocky Mount for residential and commuting students emphasizes small classes and individual attention. It also encourages student development through co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The non-traditional ASPIRE program is designed for students who wish to strengthen their academic background, enhance their professional knowledge and skills, and advance their careers. It is tailored to the learning styles and schedules of working adults. Both programs provide student support services to ensure academic success.
The College has a special commitment to the Rocky Mount area and to eastern North Carolina. Through individual faculty, staff, and alumni activity, and through its educational and cultural programs, the College promotes the development of the region. The Wesleyan community includes students from diverse cultural and racial backgrounds. The College works to create an environment in which students, faculty, and staff come together in a dynamic learning community.