The Burke County School system is recognized as one of the most progressive in the State. In addition to the public schools there are several private school alternatives including two religiously affiliated schools - Christian School and The Children's School - and a fully accredited private facility.Burke County Schools are on the forefront of the latest developments in education, focusing on meeting the needs of all children. The consolidated public school system in Burke County has about 14,600 students, 2,500 employees, one primary school, 14 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 4 high schools, an alternative school, and a school for children with special needs. All the Burke County public schools are accredited by both the State of North Carolina and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
One of the two State supported schools for the deaf is within the Morganton city limits. The duly accredited North Carolina School for the Deaf was commissioned in 1891 and opened in 1894. The school serves students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing in grades K-12. About 60% of its buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton is a public two-year college, which offers associate degrees in a variety of arts and science programs, as well as a strong curriculum in vocational and continuing education. Each year more than 2,000 students enroll in WPCC's curriculum programs, and more than 13,000 adults receive additional training through the college's Continuing Education division. The college is located on a 329-acre campus within the City limits adjacent to I-40.