Potomac State College of WVU

General Information - WVU Potomac State College

Potomac State College is a division of West Virginia University serving both the residential and commuter student. The College's curriculum includes Associate of Arts (A.A.) transfer programs and Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) career and technical programs. The College also offers a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree with emphases in Business Management and Criminal Justice. The College also offers West Virginia University's Regents Bachelor of Arts (R.B.A.) baccalaureate degree.

West Virginia University is a member of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The University's educational programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The provisions of this catalog are not to be considered an irrevocable contract between the student and the College. The College reserves the right to change any course offerings, fees, requirements and regulations at any time within the student's term of enrollment.

Students are responsible for meeting in full the requirements for graduation set forth by the College. The student's adviser assists in the planning of a program, but the final responsibility for meeting the requirements for graduation rests with the student.

The West Virgina University community is committed to creating and fostering a positive learning and working environment based on open communication, mutual respect, and inclusion. Inquiries may be directed to the Chief Diversity Officer of West Virginia University at 304-293-5600 or diversity@mail.wvu.edu.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Potomac State College programs and courses will be accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you are a student with a disability and may require accommodations for a course or your academic program, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 304-788-7405 or 304-293-6700, access2@mail.wvu.edu

History of WVU Potomac State College

Potomac State College was created in 1901 as "Keyser Preparatory Branch of the West Virginia University" by an act of the legislature at the urging of Mineral County Delegate Francis M. Reynolds, who was concerned about the quality of secondary education in the area. The bill provided an appropriation of $20,000 for buildings and empowered the governor to appoint a Board of Regents to govern the school.

Colonel Thomas B. Davis, a local businessman, donated more than 16 acres of land as a site for the new school. That location, formerly Fort Fuller, was a critical fortress in maintaining open roads leading to the South Branch and Shenandoah Valleys and in retaining Union control of the B&O Railroad during the Civil War; the railroad was a major supply route for the Union Army. Two notable figures each served as commander of Fort Fuller, also called Fort Kelly; Major Lew Wallace, who later wrote Ben Hur, and Major Benjamin Harrison, future President of the United States. The land on which the school is built came to be known as Fort Hill.

When it opened its doors for classes in October 1902 as West Virginia Preparatory School, the institution consisted of a mult-purpose administration building fronted by a four-sided clock tower. The building housed offices, classrooms, the library, and gymnasium. Lloyd F. Friend was appointed principal and teacher and was joined by four other teachers.

Potomac State continues today as a fully integrated division of West Virginia University enacted under a higher education reform measure, House Bill 2224, passed by the 2003 state legislative session. The integration became official on July 1, 2005.

College Mission

To provide access to a better life through a quality educational experience at an affordable cost.

College Philosophy

We believe our most important concern is the total development of the individual student. Therefore, we commit to providing a comprehensive environment that invigorates the total individual: intellectually, creatively, culturally, physically, and socially. Potomac State College encourages students to:

  • explore, discover and develop their special aptitudes and interests and to reach beyond their own perceived limitations;
  • acquire the knowledge, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, teamwork, ethical, and social skills needed to support their immediate educational goals, as well as life-long learning in a world characterized by change;
  • experience leadership;
  • nurture social responsibility and receptive attitudes compatible with citizenship within a global society.

We support our faculty and staff in providing programs of study and instructional delivery that balance individual learning styles; didactic, cooperative and experiential learning environments; and outcome-based standards for academic excellence.

Commitment to Assessment

West Virginia University conducts comprehensive and systematic assessment of student learning across all locations and delivery methods. Continuous improvement of student learning is faculty-driven, conducted at the course, program, and institutional levels, and grounded in the work of the Undergraduate Council, the Graduate Council, and the University Assessment Council (UAC). UAC members from the WVU Morgantown Campus, the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, and Potomac State College of WVU align assessment with the WVU mission and strategic plan and collaborate with the Faculty Senate General Education Foundations (GEF) committee to conduct assessment of the GEF program. The Council works to strengthen the effectiveness of assessment across all programs by:

  • Facilitating faculty professional development in assessment.
  • Providing consulting to departments to enhance their assessment planning and reporting.
  • Compiling supporting documentation and evidence of the assessment work at WVU.
  • Serving as an institutional-level clearinghouse for assessment best practices.
  • Providing sustained attention on centralized, consistent, and systematic processes and policies across the University to reduce variability in assessment quality and engagement.
  • Overseeing, reviewing, and commenting upon program review policies, processes, and reports.

In this section:

Governor of West Virginia

  • Jim Justice, Governor

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West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

  • Paul L. Hill, Chancellor, Charleston
  • Bruce Berry, Chair, Morgantown
  • Jenny Allen, Vice Chair, Shepherdstown 
  • Kathy G. Eddy, Secretary, Parkersburg
  • Michael J. Farrell, Huntington
  • Kay H. Goodwin, Ex-Officio, Cabinet Secretary, Department of Education and the Arts, Charleston
  • John Leon, Fairmont
  • Michael J. Martirano, Ex-Officio, State Superintendent of Schools
  • Andrew A. "Drew" Payne III, Charleston
  • Clarence Pennington, Ex-Officio, Chair, WV Council for Community and Technical College Education, Martinsburg

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West Virginia University Board of Governors

  • Thomas V. Flaherty, Chair, Charleston
  • William D. Wilmoth, Vice Chair, Wheeling
  • Diane Lewis, Secretary, Morgantown
  • David B. Alvarez, Bridgeport
  • Gregory Babe, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Ellen S. Cappellanti, Charleston
  • James W. Dailey II, Martinsburg
  • Robert K. Griffith, Faculty Representative, Morgantown
  • J. Thomas Jones, Morgantown
  • Raymond J. Lane, Menlo Park, CA
  • Dixie Martinelli, Classified Staff Representative, Morgantown
  • Julie Merow, Student Representative, Morgantown
  • William O. Nutting, Wheeling
  • Edward L. Robinson, Charleston 
  • J. Robert "JR" Rogers, Hurricane
  • Richard Turton, Faculty Representative, Morgantown
  • Kimberly Weaver, Baltimore, MD

The WVU Board of Governors is the governing body of WVU. The Higher Education Policy Commission in West Virginia is responsible for developing, establishing, and overseeing the implementation of a public policy agenda for the state's four-year colleges and universities.

West Virginia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, disability, veteran status, religion, sexual orientation, color, or national origin in the administration of any of its educational programs or activities or with respect to admission or employment. Further, faculty, staff, students, and applicants are protected from retaliation for filing complaints or assisting in an investigation under the University’s Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Plan. Inquiries regarding the University’s non-discrimination policy may be sent to the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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West Virginia University Administration

  • E. Gordon Gee, President
  • Joyce McConnell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Potomac State College of WVU Administration

  • Jennifer Orlikoff, Campus President
  • Gregory Ochoa, Dean of Academic Affairs
  • Phillip Douthitt, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
  • William Letrent, Dean of Students
  • Harlan Shreve, Executive Director of Campus Operations
  • Beth Little, Director of Enrollment Services
  • Rene Trezise, Director of University Relations
  • Carol Combs, Auxiliary Services Director
  • Michael Simpson, Facilities Director