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Mission and purpose

Mission Statement

As an integral community partner, Isothermal Community College exists to improve life through learning by providing innovative, affordable educational programs and inclusive opportunities for personal, professional, economic, and cultural development.  

Vision Statement

To be the benchmark for excellence in learning, innovation, service, and economic development


In improving life through learning, we recognize and accept our pivotal leadership role by valuing:

  • a shared commitment to the well-being and enrichment of individuals
  • lifelong opportunities for personal and professional growth
  • responsibility as a catalyst for positive economic development, innovation, community growth, creativity, and the arts
  • a climate of integrity, accountability, and respect for individuals
  • a culture of collaboration and communication
  • achievement realized through perseverance, critical thinking, and personal responsibility for learning
  • diversity and the exchange of ideas
  • excellence in programs and services
  • assessment and the spirit of reflection
  • the elimination of barriers to learning
  • the learning college culture

Isothermal Community College, a member of the North Carolina Community College System, is a comprehensive, two-year, public institution that serves the individuals in Rutherford and Polk counties. 

In addition to individual courses, the College offers certificate, diploma, and degree programs enabling students to either transfer to a four-year institution or acquire skills for new or current employment, as well as function effectively as responsible citizens. The College also provides training for area business and industry, personal enrichment courses, remedial and developmental courses, and community service activities.

Isothermal Community College provides educational and employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, veteran status, or disability. For more information contact: Stephen Matheny, Vice President, Administrative Services, Isothermal Community College, P.O. Box 804, Spindale, NC 28160 or call 828-395-1293

Isothermal Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate Degrees. Inquiries relating to the accreditation status of the College may be made to Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097: Telephone number 404-679-4500, at

The Isothermal Distinction

Students who complete programs at Isothermal Community College are expected to be able to function effectively as contributing citizens of our society. Our programs, regardless of their content areas, are designed to enable graduates to achieve the following general competencies:

  • Communicate effectively through writing, speaking, and demonstration of information literacy
  • Analyze problems and make valid conclusions
  • Demonstrate quantitative skills
  • Demonstrate basic technology skills
  • Perform technical skills in their chosen occupations

We also value, promote, and emphasize the following soft skills:

  • Demonstrate positive interpersonal skills through cooperative learning and group interaction
  • Use critical listening skills to understand, evaluate, and respond appropriately to verbal communication
  • Develop an awareness of global issues and the interconnectedness and interdependence of persons, places, and events on earth from a current as well as historical perspective

Achieving these competencies requires a commitment on the part of both Isothermal and its students to the satisfaction of certain goals and expectations.


In their commitment to learning and to the achievement of a true learning-centered community, Isothermal personnel will:

  • Meet student needs by demonstrating professional, friendly, and courteous service in all aspects of student life
  • Maintain high professional and academic standards
  • Serve as role models in the development of leadership skills
  • Respect diversity and treat all students fairly
  • Be available to students and helpful with student problems
  • Communicate clear learning objectives and expected outcomes
  • Provide timely feedback in the assessment of learning outcomes
  • Stay current in subject matter
  • Practice effective teaching/learning strategies that promote critical thinking


In their commitment to learning, students will:

  • Accept responsibility for learning
  • Attend and participate in all classes
  • Complete required exercises and assignments as directed
  • Develop a time management plan that includes adequate time for study
  • Maintain an open-minded attitude toward learning
  • Strive to become independent critical thinkers
  • Seek help as needed from appropriate sources
  • Be respectful and considerate of others
  • Assume responsibility for knowing and adhering to all college policies
  • Acknowledge that learning how to learn is the ultimate objective of education
  • Recognize that struggle and discomfort often precede the rewards that accompany goal completion and success

With this commitment on the part of all concerned, an exciting partnership will grow and thrive, thus creating a community of learners whose mission is to improve life through learning.