Central Piedmont to open eye clinic June 15
Thanks to a collaboration between Lions Services, the local ophthalmic community, and Central Piedmont Community College, the college will open an eye clinic in its Leon Levine Health Sciences building, located on its Central Campus, on June 15. The clinic will provide quality eye health care to Central Piedmont students and Charlotte community members who are in need.
Lions Services, a not-for-profit organization renowned for offering free vision exams and glasses to those within the community who needed financial assistance, closed its eye clinic on March 1, 2022, after more than 25 years of service.
Recognizing a need for local individuals to continue to have access to affordable eye care and prescription glasses, Central Piedmont’s Ophthalmic Medical Personnel program will assume the role of Lions Services’ eye clinic within Charlotte-Mecklenburg and open an eye clinic this spring. The clinic will offer a variety of services, including comprehensive eye exams and eye glasses at no cost.
“We’re honored to fill the eye health care void created by the closing of Lions Services’ eye clinic earlier this year,” said Kathleen Rodgers, program chair for Central Piedmont’s Ophthalmic Medical Personnel program. “It’s proven that access to affordable eye care allows all members of the population – from children to senior citizens – to thrive and enjoy an improved quality of life. As Charlotte’s community college, local residents rely on us to provide them with accessible services. Our new eye clinic will give us the opportunity to continue this tradition.”
Lions Services is donating all of its eye equipment and supplies to Central Piedmont for its use. In addition, ophthalmic community members who donated their time and energy to providing eye care services at Lions Services eye clinic, will begin volunteering at Central Piedmont’s eye clinic when it opens June 15. The college’s Ophthalmic Medical Personnel students and faculty will also provide clinical services.
“We are so fortunate that our eye clinic patients will benefit from the vast knowledge and expertise of Charlotte’s experienced eye care professionals who previously served at Lions Services” said Rodgers. “In addition to our patients receiving the quality care they deserve, the clinic will give our Ophthalmic Medical Personnel students a valuable clinical opportunity as well. The initiative is truly a win-win for all involved.”
“We are very appreciative for this commitment by Central Piedmont to ensure continued eye care for Charlotte’s citizens in need. Hundreds of Charlotteans will benefit each month from this service,” said Dr. David Ugland, a retired ophthalmologist and former volunteer at Lions Services’ eye clinic. “As a volunteer ophthalmologist at Lions, I was reminded with each exam of the positive personal and community impact of the clinic. I am grateful that Central Piedmont will continue to provide this valuable service.”
Central Piedmont’s Ophthalmic Medical Personnel program is currently accepting applications for the fall 2022 semester. To learn more, please visit cpcc.edu/programs/ophthalmic-medical-personnel or email email@example.com.
To make a donation in support of Central Piedmont's new eye clinic, please contact the Central Piedmont Foundation at 704.330.6869.
Central Piedmont holds 2022 commencement ceremony
Central Piedmont Community College today hosted its 2021-2022 commencement ceremony at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte. Almost 900 students “marched” and received their college degrees. More than 2,300 students were eligible to graduate this year.
During the morning festivities, Mr. Kevin Tobin, a 2022 graduate, addressed his peers by delivering this year’s commencement address. Ms. Evelyn Hill, also a 2022 graduate, was the commencement speaker at the 2 p.m., ceremony. This is the fifth time Central Piedmont has had student keynote speakers at graduation. Evelyn and Kevin both graduated from Central Piedmont with an Associate in Applied Science degree in human services technology – substance abuse.
Students matriculating from Central Piedmont with a curriculum degree, diploma, or certificate had the option of participating in either the morning or afternoon ceremony. This is the first year Central Piedmont combined its for-credit and non-credit programs into a single ceremony, giving graduates the choice to “walk” in the graduation ceremony that better fit their families’ schedule.
In addition to hearing Evelyn’s powerful message during the 2 p.m., ceremony, attendees also saw Dr. Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont, confer an Honorary Associate Degree in Arts to Mr. Wilton L. Parr, a long-time Central Piedmont student, volunteer, and donor.
Central Piedmont will offer two commencement ceremonies this year to honor its graduates. 2022 summer and fall semester graduates will participate in a special commencement service on December 13, 2022, at 10 a.m., at Bojangles Coliseum. The addition of a fall ceremony will allow the college’s summer and fall graduates to be honored in the same timely way as its spring graduates.
Dr. Deitemeyer named to most influential leader list
Congratulations to Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont, on being named to Business North Carolina’s “Power List 2022,” a comprehensive list of North Carolina’s most influential leaders.
Dr. Deitemeyer is one of 25 leaders named in the list’s education category which features some of the education industry’s most notable leaders whose success is considered essential for the state to make economic and social progress. View the complete list of this year’s honorees.
Business North Carolina has shared the stories of North Carolina’s business community for more than 40 years. Each spring and fall, the publication publishes a special annual publication – the Spring North Carolina Power List and the Fall North Carolina Economic Development Guide.
The special spring issue always includes a list of the state’s most powerful leaders, compiled with insight from the publication’s editorial team and keen observers of state industry. The purpose of the Spring North Carolina Power List is to shed light on the folks who are driving much of the change in the state and who are making a significant impact in their enterprises, industries, and communities.
Kudos to Dr. Deitemeyer on this accomplishment and to her fellow honorees.
Smart Start awards PBS Charlotte grant to fund coding workshops for Pre-K students
Smart Start of Mecklenburg County has awarded WTVI PBS Charlotte a $28,720 Innovation Initiative grant to address the needs of children 0 – 5 years old and their families in Mecklenburg County. Through the end of March, PBS Charlotte is using the money to provide free, weekly computer coding workshops to 65 children enrolled at Hidden Valley Elementary School or who reside in the Hidden Valley corridor, as well as their teachers and parents.
During the 12-week program, Toye Watson, education and outreach coordinator for PBS Charlotte, is “pushing in” to Hidden Valley Elementary School’s Pre-K classes to teach the students foundational coding concepts using the “PBS KIDS ScratchJr” app. ScratchJr utilizes introductory programming language to enable young children (up to 7 years of age) to create their own interactive stories and games featuring their favorite PBS KIDS character.
During each workshop, students further develop their STEM and critical thinking skills, building their characters within the app. To do this, they use basic math concepts to make their characters move, apply simple storytelling concepts to share how their character is interacting with its environment and more. The ScratchJr interface and programming language are developmentally appropriate for younger children and match their cognitive, persona, social and emotional development.
“The future is STEM and technology,” explains Watson. “In fact, one of the fastest moving industries is coding. Studies show that the earlier a child can code, the more likely they are to possess strong mathematical, critical thinking and foundational learning skills – all characteristics that will help them earn a sustainable career in the future.”
In addition to working with the students at the school, Watson is using outside resources, such as the Sugar Creek Library and Sugar Creek Recreation Center, to not only work with Pre-K students in the community, but also to train teachers and parents on how they can best use ScratchJr with the children. These education/training sessions serve many purposes, giving both the teachers and the parents an opportunity to share stories with one another, exchange resources and ask Watson further questions about using ScratchJr in the classroom and at home.
“This initiative convening and mobilizing the community around improving the education outcomes for children 4 to 5 years old in one of the most racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty in Charlotte – the Hidden Valley corridor,” explains Watson. “In 2018-2019, Hidden Valley Elementary School placed in the bottom 50 percent of all schools in North Carolina for overall test scores. My hope is that if we can start educating the children as early as possible, we can provide them with a quality education that puts them in a position of no longer starting their primary education in a deficit, but rather with an advantage.”
The grant’s monies will help Watson accomplish this goal. Funds will be used to:
- purchase Amazon Fire Tablets and WiFi hotspots, to coordinate project work and presentations on the ScratchJr coding program;
- support marketing efforts, to raise awareness of the program within the local community; and
- coordinate a ScratchJr Family Day, to give students and all of their extended family members an opportunity to work together and create a project in ScratchJr.
Throughout the 12-week program, Watson is assessing and tracking data on the effectiveness of the program and its impact on early STEM concepts and skills in the Pre-K children. Students and teachers are taking assessments, and teachers’ journals and childrens’ work samples are being collected to evaluate progress, as well as the program’s impact.
“The promise of an education is that it levels the playing field,” explains Watson. “This grant is helping education live up to its promises.”
Forbes names Central Piedmont to ‘Top 25 Best N.C. Employers’ List
Forbes partnered with Statista to compile their third annual list of “America’s Best Employers by State,” and Central Piedmont ranked #20 among North Carolina’s businesses. The findings are based on a survey conducted from October 2020 to June 2021, of 80,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 500 employees. View the complete list of honorees.
Central Piedmont is an attractive employment option for individuals seeking employment. The college is recognized as Mecklenburg County’s resource for academic excellence and cultural enrichment. In addition, it’s in close proximity to the Queen City’s robust public transportation system, professional sports arenas, and a number of premiere restaurant and shopping outlets that attract visitors from Mecklenburg County and beyond.
At present, close to 40,000 students call Central Piedmont home. With eight locations, it is one of the largest community colleges in the Carolinas and serves people of all ages who seek a real-world, affordable, hands-on education that will transform their lives and strengthen the economic, social, and cultural environment of Mecklenburg County.
To learn how to join the Central Piedmont family, visit the college’s Human Resources Web page.
2020-2021 Annual Report Now Available Online
The Central Piedmont Annual Report is ready to view online at cpccfoundation.org/annualreport.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020-2021, the college continued to serve as the community’s college, providing the support services, courses, and career training its students needed to stay on track, within an environment that fostered a culture of care.
We are grateful for the continued support of our donors, industry partners, and friends who believe in our vision of providing learning experiences that transform lives and strengthen the local community.
Please enjoy this interactive reading experience, while learning more about our 2020-2021 accomplishments and celebrating our many successes with us through videos, photos, and more.
College Recognized as 2020 Tree Campus Higher Education Institution
The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Central Piedmont as a 2020 Tree Campus Higher Education institution.
Tree Campus Higher Education, a national program launched by the Arbor Day Foundation in 2008, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.
To earn this distinction, Central Piedmont had to meet five core standards for effective campus forest management:
- Establish a tree advisory committee
- Show evidence of a campus tree-care plan
- Show dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program
- Observe Arbor Day
- Sponsor student service-learning projects
Congratulations to Central Piedmont’s Grounds and Site Coordinator Zachary Harris, and the college’s tree advisory committee, who have demonstrated the leadership and forethought needed to earn this national recognition. The college prides itself on using its tree canopies to not only keep its campuses cool, but also to create spaces that improve the physical and mental health of its many employees and students.
Dr. Tracie Clark Chosen for National Presidential Fellowship for Community College Leaders
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today announced that Dr. Tracie Clark, vice president of strategy and organization excellence, at Central Piedmont Community College, is one of 40 leaders selected for the 2021-22 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship, a highly selective leadership program preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success.
The Rising Presidents Fellows will embark on the 10-month fellowship beginning in November 2021. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the fellows will be mentored by esteemed current and former community college presidents who have achieved exceptional outcomes for students throughout their careers, and will learn strategies to improve student outcomes in and after college, lead internal change, and create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, employers, and other partners.
Clark has worked at Central Piedmont 21 years in a number of important leadership roles, including communications faculty member, chair of the inaugural Quality Enhancement Plan Development and Implementation Committee, special assistant to the president, chair of the Student Success Leadership Team, and currently as a vice president - strategy and organization excellence.
“To become institutions that truly advance social mobility and talent development, community colleges must have presidents with a clear vision for equitable student success,” said Monica Clark, director of leadership initiatives at the College Excellence Program. “We have selected these fellows because they share that commitment and are well-positioned to become transformational leaders.”
“I am excited and proud that Dr. Tracie Clark will be a 2021-22 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “Dr. Clark epitomizes all of the qualities the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship seeks. She has a been leader, motivator and chief strategist in Central Piedmont’s efforts to improve our student experience and achieve greater levels of student retention and success among all of our students.
“Her leadership has been and will continue to be crucial as Central Piedmont endeavors to build more paths of opportunity and economic mobility for students beginning their higher education journey, seeking skills to build a family-sustaining career, or obtaining additional credentials for career growth,” Deitemeyer added.
The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship responds to the growing need for a new generation of leaders well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents plan to retire in the next decade. While the traditional pathway to the presidency has often excluded women and people of color, the incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is composed of 68 percent women and 70 percent people of color, and represents institutions of varying sizes and locations.
Together, the 2021-22 fellows are leaders at colleges that collectively serve more than 400,000 students. As well, 67 Rising Presidents Fellowship alumni have become presidents of community colleges that collectively serve an additional 953,000 students nationwide.
CoARC Recognizes College's Respiratory Therapy Program
The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) has recognized Central Piedmont with its Distinguished RRT Credentialing Success Award. The award is presented as part of the CoARC's continued efforts to value the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential as a standard of professional achievement.
To qualify for the award, Central Piedmont's respiratory therapy program had to meet the following criteria:
- have three or more years of outcome data
- hold accreditation without a progress report
- document RRT credentialing success of 90% or above
- meet or exceed CoARC thresholds for TMB high cut score and retention
Congratulations to the program's faculty, students, and alumni on this accomplishment!
Students succeed at NY National Model UN Conference
Eleven Central Piedmont students joined thousands of university students, more than half of which matriculated from outside the United States, in the National Model United Nations (MUN) New York 2021 Conference.
Participating in this year’s conference were Central Piedmont students Aakriti Lakshmanan, Aiden Keith, Anthony Kabala, Ashley Braswell, Barbara Batista, Christelle Valentin, Davidson Valmyr, Gwen Thompson, Otisia Bryan, Richard Dougherty and Skyler McNeely.
The MUN Club represented the delegation of The Republic of El Salvador and discussed current global issues in a real-world context. The team performed well, receiving the “Distinguished Delegation” Award for its great committee participation, remaining in character, and proper use of rules of procedure. In addition to receiving team honors, Aakriti Lakshmanan received the “Outstanding Position Paper in a Committee” award, as well as the “Outstanding Delegate in a Committee” award.
Central Piedmont’s Model UN Club is overseen by faculty advisors Teresa Hall and Camelia Taheri.