News and Features

What's going on in the Central Piedmont community and what Central Piedmont is doing in the community.

  • College to provide customized training for Chime Solutions

    Central Piedmont is partnering with Chime Solutions, an Atlanta-based customer-contact service provider, to offer customized training for the 250 new life/health insurance agent positions the company is bringing to the Queen City.

    As part of its expansion package, Chime Solutions was named a recipient of the North Carolina Community College System’s Customized Training Program.

    The community college system’s Customized Training Program provides education, training, and support services for new, expanding, and existing business and industry in North Carolina. To qualify, businesses must demonstrate an appreciable capital investment, the creation of new jobs, and/or the deployment of new technology.

    Central Piedmont will facilitate the work with Chime Solutions’ leadership team to not only design a customized life and health pre-licensing program, but also a Medicare supplement training program for the company.

    A handful of the college’s community partners will assist with several facets of the customized training program — Charlotte Works and the Urban League of Central Carolinas will support and advertise a virtual job fair for Chime Solutions, and Horizon Professional Education will facilitate the Medicare Supplement training sessions required of each candidate. All of the provided training will be available at no cost to new employees seeking a life/health insurance agent position with the company.

    To become qualified for Chime Solution’s new positions, candidates will receive computer training in Microsoft Excel and take a variety of interpersonal skills classes; while aspiring, new leaders will complete a host of supervisory skills training classes.

    “During a time period when unemployment is high in the Queen City, Chime Solutions recognized the talented workforce available in our area,” said Allison Bowers, director of economic recruitment and corporate learning at Central Piedmont. “We are delighted Charlotte was chosen as their final destination.”

    The college plans to provide the training in-person via multiple sessions over several weeks, so it’s able to adhere to the state’s social distancing guidelines during the current pandemic. Candidates will be required to complete 24 hours of life and health pre-licensing training, as well as additional hours of Medicare supplement training.

    Learn more about the college’s Corporate Learning Center.

  • Central Piedmont student writer’s work featured in Teen Vogue

    Central Piedmont student Michael-Michelle Pratt, a student in the college’s Associate in Arts degree program, recently had an op-ed piece featured in the June issue of Teen Vogue called, “Growing Up Black Between Trayvon Martin and George Floyd Has My Generation at a Boiling Point.”

    When Pratt began sharing her thoughts on systemic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement on Twitter earlier this year, she had no idea her comments would attract the attention of the political editor at Teen Vogue, who began following her online.

    In her online musings, Pratt discussed that while the recent death of George Floyd was causing a resurgence in the Black Lives Matter movement, no one was talking about how the tragedy had impacted her generation — Generation Z, a segment of the population that had largely grown up between the deaths of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and George Floyd in 2020. She pitched the article topic to the editor at Teen Vogue, and they accepted.

    “I wanted my article to explain to readers that the events of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd and others are not isolated incidents that happened in a bubble,” said Pratt. “I wanted to explain that everything that is happening today is a combination of past and present frustration — that it has all built up to this critical moment, a boiling point that we’re about to see spill over.”

    In the op-ed, Pratt discusses first learning about the Trayvon Martin shooting; the impact it had on her adolescence/family; how the incident inspired her to begin following strong female, African-American writers (Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker); and how it propelled her to seek out leadership opportunities that would allow her to not only fight back against oppression, but to also find her voice.

    Thankfully, Pratt has discovered an outlet for her voice at Central Piedmont’s Levine Campus in Matthews, NC, where she participates in the campus’s Student Writers Assembles Guild (SWAG), a student creative writing club formed in 2016 that provides individuals with a creative space to write poetry, short stories, articles, screenplays and more.

    “Michael-Michelle is a talented writer and poet,” said Elizabeth West, an associate instructor and faculty advisor for Central Piedmont’s SWAG.“She has a strong voice and is brave enough to use it to enact change in our community. She has a sweet, quiet demeanor in person, but her words ring loud and strong on the page. She is a wonderful SWAG member and we are all so proud of her accomplishments.”

    Pratt plans to graduate from Central Piedmont in August 2021 and pursue a career in journalism or film to become a director/screenwriter. “While I love being able to discuss my opinions on the cultural climate in which we all live in articles, I love being able to create my own world in a screenplay,” said Pratt.

    Learn more about Central Piedmont’s Associate in Arts program. For information on the college’s Student Writers Assembles Guild (SWAG), please email elizabeth.west@cpcc.edu.

  • PNC Foundation $25,000 grant supports college’s Single Stop program, Emergency Fund

    The PNC Foundation has awarded Central Piedmont Community College a $25,000 grant to support the college’s Single Stop program, an initiative that connects students to the support services they need to succeed in college and administers the college’s Emergency Fund.

    “Our entire community has been affected by COVID-19, and the pandemic has been particularly difficult for students who have lost employment and income ― and who depend on campus resources for access to learning and technology,” said Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas and a Central Piedmont Foundation board member. “During this challenging time, we want the Central Piedmont student community to know that we understand and are committed to helping address some of the hardships they are facing.”

    Since 2016, Central Piedmont’s Single Stop program has served as a free, on-campus resource, removing barriers for students with critical needs by connecting them with resources to help them flourish academically, obtain good jobs and achieve financial stability ― through one-on-one meetings with experts representing the financial, tax and legal fields.

    In addition to matching qualifying students with specific tools to help fuel upward mobility in their lives, Single Stop administers monies available through the college’s Emergency Fund, which provides one-time support of up to $500 for students who have emergency needs related to housing, utilities, medical expenses, food, technology and more.

    The PNC Foundation’s gift is timely. The college will use the grant to help purchase the following items, which have been identified as students’ most pressing needs during the coronavirus pandemic:

    • Grocery/food gift cards. These items will allow students to purchase food, medicine and other essential products.
       
    • Technology access (laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots). The college has witnessed a surge in students needing laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots since it moved much of its course instruction online.
       
    • Resources for budgeting during a crisis. Single Stop's financial counselors are implementing and delivering online and virtual sessions for individuals and groups who need crisis budgeting assistance. Each emergency grant recipient is contacted by a financial counselor with tips on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic from a financial perspective.
       

    “As a result of the pandemic, the college has witnessed an increase in the number of students needing resources to sustain their everyday lives in addition to their studies,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “Many agencies in the Charlotte area have had to close temporarily, limiting the resources students can turn to for emergency crisis assistance. The PNC Foundation’s gift will help us streamline the connectivity process, ensuring resources such as nutrition assistance, technology support and financial aid reach the students who need them most in a critical time of need.”

    Learn more about Central Piedmont’s Single Stop program. If interested in supporting the college’s Emergency Fund, visit https://secure.cpccfoundation.org/donation/.

  • Central Piedmont to offer expanded evening, Friday and Saturday courses at three campuses

    Beginning this fall, Central Piedmont Community College will offer expanded course offerings of some of its most in-demand classes on weekday evenings, Fridays, and Saturdays at its Central, Harris, and Levine campuses. The added course sections give students more options so they can complete a two-year, college transfer degree more quickly.

    Central Piedmont’s new course offerings are comprised of more than 70 class sections of 20 high-demand, general education college transfer courses. The classes will be offered in sequential order and focus on a variety of subjects, ranging from biology and public speaking, to psychology and business.

    “We’re excited about our new course offerings and how they will have a positive impact on our students’ lives,” said Edith McElroy, dean of Central Piedmont’s Levine Campus. “By offering more courses in the evenings, and on Fridays and Saturdays, we’re able to better accommodate our students’ busy schedules, setting them up for success both inside and outside of the classroom.”

    This is the first time the college’s Harris Campus has offered high-demand college transfer classes to residents, giving individuals more options to complete an associate degree. In the past, its course offerings were specific to an academic program, such as baking & pastry arts, dental assisting, early childhood education, and others.

    In addition to offering more high-demand classes at Harris Campus, Central Piedmont will boast Saturday-only courses for students interested in earning a general Associate in Arts degree or an Associate in Arts degree in business administration in two years. Students seeking either of these degrees will be placed on a learning track that will require them to complete two to three courses, every eight weeks.

    The additional courses and weekend accessibility will also give residents the opportunity to experience Central Piedmont — a college that believes in providing individuals with an affordable, hands-on education that will prepare them for the real world so they can make a difference in their community and beyond.

    To learn more about Central Piedmont’s expanded weekday evening, Friday, and Saturday classes, please visit our transfer degree page or contact Suzanne Marcoux at 704.330.4278 or suzanne.marcoux@cpcc.edu.

  • College launches 'community' ad campaign

    Central Piedmont understands there are so many traditional age students and adults in Mecklenburg County with questions about the future. “Will they be able to go back to or start college?” “Is it time to make a career change to something with greater consistency and stability?” 

    With this in mind, the college’s Communications, Marketing, & Public Relations team worked with the Charlotte marketing and advertising agency, Mythic, to produce 60-second, 30-second, and 15-second “community” commercial spots.

    The team asked faculty, staff, and students to submit content showing how they were coming together while apart during this unprecedented time.

    Communications, Marketing, & Public Relations received a number of responses and submissions, which were incorporated into the ads that will run across Charlotte, on network and cable tv, as well as on digital/streaming platforms, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

    The ad's message is simple. It highlights Central Piedmont’s sense of community, and that when a student chooses to attend Central Piedmont, they immediately become a part of something bigger – an institution, a community, that will help them conquer possibility.

  • May 20, 2020 Message to the College on Coronavirus: NC Moves into Phase Two of COVID-19 Reopening

    North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Wed., May 20, signed an executive order moving the state into “Phase Two” of its COVID-19 pandemic reopening plan. The state’s ongoing stay-at-home order will end on Friday, May 22, at 5 p.m.

    Phase two allows restaurants, which had been limited to take-out or delivery service, to open at 50% capacity for dine-in customers. Personal care services, like hair salons, can open at 50% capacity. Swimming pools can also open at 50% capacity. Summer camps, including overnight camps, also may reopen with restrictions. Childcare centers may reopen to all families.

    Bars, nightclubs, indoor fitness facilities, public playgrounds and indoor entertainment facilities like movie theaters and bowling alleys will remain closed. Mass gathering restrictions allow no more than 10 people indoors and no more than 25 outdoors.

    Professional and college athletes may resume training as long as they adhere to the mass gathering restrictions. Cooper said religious services are exempt from the order, which will run through June 26.

    Central Piedmont’s summer 2020 classes began May 20. The vast majority of these classes began online and some will be part online, part in-person. Most summer students should not come to campus over the next few weeks. All summer classes with scheduled meeting dates at a campus location will begin as fully online courses. Instructors will let their students know the exact dates for any on-campus activities later in the semester.

    Students with any questions about classes should contact their instructors.

    The vast majority of Central Piedmont employees will continue to work remotely. College leaders are working on plan for a phased-in return to campus work. The plan will be shared with all employees as soon as it’s completed.

    To see the college’s most recent communication about the return of some on-campus classes, visit May 8, 2020 message to the college on coronavirus: some on-campus classes resuming.

    Visit coronavirus information for all of Central Piedmont's updates on the pandemic.

  • $15,000 AT&T grant to support Central Piedmont’s Emergency Fund

    AT&T has awarded the Central Piedmont Community College Foundation a $15,000 grant in support of the college’s Emergency Fund to provide immediate, short-term, financial support to students and employees who have emergency financial needs related to housing, utilities, medical expenses, food, technology and more.

    “Thanks to AT&T’s gift, the college is better positioned to respond to the growing financial needs of its internal community during this unprecedented time in our history,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “This gift will help us purchase the technology our students, faculty, and staff need to successfully learn and work remotely and provide them with the financial assistance they need for tuition, books, child care, transportation, medical care, and other needs.”

    Given the extraordinary disruptions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the college has seen an increase in requests for assistance from students facing a variety of pressing challenges. The pandemic has significantly exacerbated these challenges. AT&T’s support expands the college’s ability to help students in need at this critical time.

    “Just as all our lives have been impacted by COVID-19, everyone can play a part in helping neighbors and communities through these days,” said Kathleen Evans, regional director of external affairs for AT&T. “We are pleased to be able to support Central Piedmont in making a difference for students and their families.”

    Individuals interested in making a gift to Central Piedmont’s Emergency Fund can visit cpccfoundation.org/donation.

  • May 8, 2020 Message to the College on Coronavirus: Some On-Campus Classes Resuming

    Central Piedmont has worked hard to keep employees and students updated and safe during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For the first time since early March, the college is bringing some students back to campus for in-person classes. As we resume selected in-person classes, keeping everyone as healthy and safe as possible remains our top priority.

    In this first phase of returning students to campus, some health careers and some commercial driver’s license (CDL) students will have the opportunity to resume and complete their spring semester classes that were suspended in March. Some of the health careers classes have resumed already, others will start back on May 11 and 18. The CDL classes could begin as soon as May 18. This will ensure these students stay on track leading up to the Fall 2020 semester.

    These classes will require just few buildings to be open — Belk/Health Careers on Central Campus, Levine I and III on Levine Campus, and the CDL program facility at Merancas Campus. Student Affairs also plans to have few staff members available in Central High and Levine I at limited times to serve current students. The college plans to bring some construction technologies students back to Harper Campus in June.

    Again, this is the first phase in bringing employees and students back to campus. The vast majority of employees and students will continue to work remotely for several more weeks. Supervisors will inform their team members of their phase-in date. As the college works to bring more employees and students back to campus throughout late-spring and summer, if you do not feel comfortable returning to campus at that time, please notify your supervisor and/or Human Resources. If you are in a high-risk category with an underlying health condition or have any other questions or concerns, please contact your supervisor and/or Human Resources. The goal is to provide as much flexibility and keep everyone as safe as possible.

    Coming back to campus will mean we all must focus on being safe by taking the necessary precautions. If you feel poorly at all or come in contact with someone believed to have COVID-19, please stay at home. Do not come to campus. If, within two weeks of your return to campus, you have had a cough, shortness of breath, or two of the following symptoms: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of smell or taste, you might have COVID-19, and you should consult a doctor immediately. Please notify Human Resources.

    Please keep these important safety precautions in mind as you return to campus in the coming weeks.

    • Employees and students will need to wear a face covering during this first phase, in places on campus where social distancing is hard to maintain. Such places include classrooms, labs, restrooms, hallways, stairways, elevators, Student Services areas, campus bookstores, and in-person meetings. If you don’t have a face covering, the college will provide one when you first return to campus. Face coverings must cover your nose and mouth completely and can include masks, homemade masks, and bandanas. The need for face coverings will be re-evaluated as we enter future phases of returning people to campus.
    • Students and employees will have to attest on an online form that they are healthy with no COVID-19 symptoms and have not traveled recently to pandemic hotspots outside Mecklenburg County.
    • To practice social distancing, departments will be asked to use staggered scheduling so all team members aren’t in the office the on same days.
    • The college asks that no more than two persons at a time use an elevator and that they stand as far apart as possible. Please use the stairs if you are able.
    • Please maintain at least six feet between yourself and others on stairways, in hallways, in parking decks and lots, and other campus spaces.
    • Access to some common areas such as lounge spaces, as well as vending machines, could be limited for a while.
    • Meetings should be by phone/Webex whenever possible.
    • In-person meetings should include no more than 10 people. Such meetings should be held in rooms large enough to allow at least six-feet of space between persons.
    • We encourage you to wipe down your keyboard and other high-touch surfaces in your workspace with disinfecting wipes or other cleaning products every morning when you first arrive.
    • You should continue washing your hands regularly and frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds, and avoid touching your face as best you can.

    The college will do its part by having classrooms and labs, restrooms, stairway handrails, elevators, door handles, other frequent touch points, and common areas deep cleaned every evening.

    We are excited to resume some on-campus, in-person classes. We want to do all we can to help students stay on track and complete their programs of study. By everyone working together — wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, washing our hands, staying home if we feel ill, and keeping our campus spaces clean — we can make the resumption of on-campus classes a success while keeping everyone safe.

    Please keep in mind that this is an ever-evolving situation. These directives could change as new developments occur and as we move toward bringing more people back to campus at some point during the summer semester. Thank you for your continued hard work and dedication to support our students and our community.

    Visit coronavirus information for all of Central Piedmont's updates on the pandemic.

  • Small Business Center to launch 'Small Business Rebound Program’

    Central Piedmont Community College’s Small Business Center is excited to announce it has launched a new initiative — the Small Business Rebound Program — to connect small business owners impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with Master in Business Administration (MBA) students from top universities and colleges located across the United States. The program will be available May 11–July 3, 2020.

    The program will provide business owners with exclusive access to business advisors, studying for their MBAs at some of the country’s most elite universities, including Stanford University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Advisors will conduct virtual counseling sessions with participants, helping small business owners identify and apply for loan opportunities, redesign their business models, evaluate their budget, and analyze their cash management process.

    “Growing up in Charlotte, I saw how small businesses defined the character of our community,” said Ladd Hamrick, a Stanford University MBA student. “Our team of MBAs hopes to help by offering what we’ve learned in the classroom, from financial planning and marketing to crisis leadership.”

    One of the many perks of the Small Business Rebound Program is some participants may be eligible for a professional service grant. The MBA business advisors will work with small business owners to help assess and/or gather the information needed to help them apply for the grant.

    If awarded funding, eligible small business owners would have the opportunity to receive four hours of counseling from a Small Business Center Network-affiliated certified public accountant (CPA), digital marketing strategists, human resource expert, or attorney (a $1,200 or $1,500 value), depending on their area of need. Potential services include establishing a financial chart of accounts, developing social media accounts/a Google Business page, creating HR policies, and more.

    “The goal of this program is to help provide small business owners with the sounding board they need to analyze the current state of their business,” said Renee Hode, executive director of Central Piedmont’s Small Business Center. “Advisors will provide guidance, helping each small business owner sustain their business practices during this challenging time in the marketplace.”

    To learn more, visit the Small Business Rebound Program.

  • PNC Foundation grants to support college's early childhood education program

    The PNC Foundation has awarded Central Piedmont Community College two grants totaling $500,000 to support the college’s early childhood education program and help train more pre-K teachers as Mecklenburg County works to provide more pre-K opportunities for local children.

    “As our communities face the serious health and economic challenges presented by the current crisis, it’s important to acknowledge that pre-K education is essential to helping today’s children and tomorrow’s workforce achieve economic mobility,” said Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas and a Central Piedmont Foundation board member. “These grants will help train and develop the pre-K educators who will be integral to the growth, quality and resilience of pre-K education in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.”

    The first grant of $255,000, awarded over five years, will enable the college to hire an early childhood education recruiter/academic coach. With a focus on Charlotte-Mecklenburg's Title 1 high schools and low-income students from other area high schools, the recruiter/academic coach will promote the program in schools and youth programs such as Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas and the City of Charlotte Mayor's Youth Employment Program. Upon identification of interested students, the recruiter will work with students and families to assist with enrollment and registration. Once students are enrolled, the recruiter will serve as an academic coach, shepherding them along their chosen career pathway.

    The college will use the second five-year grant of $245,000 to provide scholarships and other assistance to incumbent child care workers in need of additional college classes and credits to earn an associate degree in early childhood education. Specifically, early childhood education students participating in the Reinforced Instruction for Student Excellence (RISE) developmental math and English program at Central Piedmont will have access to:

    • online tutoring service through Smart Thinking available 24 hours a day/seven days a week;
    • peer mentors;
    • on-site, face-to-face tutors;
    • an academic coach/career navigator; and
    • laptop computers to aid out-of-class learning, for those with demonstrated financial need.

    “The college is grateful to PNC for its generous support of Central Piedmont’s early childhood education program,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “Providing opportunities for more Mecklenburg County children to attend pre-K school is an important economic mobility initiative in the county. The success of this effort will depend in large part on having enough Pre-K teachers.

    “PNC is a true partner with the college and Mecklenburg County as we endeavor to ensure all children have the education they need to pursue their academic and life goals,” Deitemeyer said.