News and Features

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

  • Honeywell makes $1-million gift to establish STEM Scholars Academy

    Honeywell, a global leader in aerospace, building technologies, performance materials, and technologies, has made a $1-million gift commitment to Central Piedmont Community College to establish the Honeywell STEM Scholars Academy at the college. The gift will come to Central Piedmont in annual installments of $200,000 over the next five years.

    The gift and the creation of the Honeywell STEM Scholars Academy were announced during a Sept. 6 event , at Honeywell’s global headquarters, in Charlotte.

    The Honeywell STEM Scholars Academy will boost diversity among students enrolled in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) programs at the college who are pursuing a certification, degree, and careers in a high-demand STEM-related field. The college plans to involve 100 students in the academy, beginning in fall 2022, and seeks to engage 125 additional students each year, over the next four years.

    “Many thanks to Honeywell for this generous gift that will help the college transform even more lives while filling a real need in this community — graduating more students with a background in STEM,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “The STEM Scholars Academy will seek to recruit and retain students from populations currently underrepresented in STEM fields. This will help Central Piedmont better address the local workforce’s demands and prepare our students for greater economic mobility and career prospects in the future.”

    As a Honeywell STEM Scholars Academy student, participants will have the opportunity to focus on one of three STEM academic pathways at Central Piedmont – engineering, health sciences, or information technology – and have access to a variety of Central Piedmont’s student support services, including tutoring, coaching, peer mentoring, career counseling, and more.

    "Honeywell’s investment in STEM education is about helping to advance economic mobility for minority students by removing financial barriers to education and guiding them toward in-demand careers,” said Karen Mattimore, chief human resources officer and senior vice president for Honeywell. “Honeywell is a key employer in STEM fields because we understand investing in education will contribute to a strong pipeline of career-ready graduates.”

    In addition to having the opportunity to take advantage of Central Piedmont’s many academic resources, academy students will receive STEM education and training opportunities through the Carolina Youth Coalition, a non-profit organization that prepares high-achieving, under-resourced students to enter, excel in, and graduate from college so they can become full participants in society.

  • Central Piedmont named to Forbes’ List of ‘America’s Best-in-State Employers’

    Forbes partnered with Statista to compile its annual list of “America’s Best-in-State Employers.” Central Piedmont is ranked #81 among the top 100 North Carolina businesses.

    The ranking is based on a survey of 70,000 American employees, representing 25 different industries, who offered their feedback on the organization’s employee experience, specifically its working conditions, salary, potential for growth, and diversity. Individuals directly affiliated with the college, as well as those who are indirectly associated with Central Piedmont, were surveyed. View the complete list of honorees.

    “This recognition reinforces Central Piedmont’s reputation as an employer that provides abundant opportunities and a positive and inclusive work environment,” said Mark Short, the college’s chief of staff and leader of talent development. “Of the thousands of employers eligible for this designation, only a select few were awarded in each state. This supports Central Piedmont’s commitment to its faculty and staff members and their overall professional development.”  

    Central Piedmont is an attractive option for individuals seeking employment. The college is recognized as a Mecklenburg County resource for workforce development, academic excellence, and cultural enrichment. At present, some 40,000 students attend Central Piedmont. 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.

  • Central Piedmont dedicates $113.4 million Parr Center

    College leaders, local elected officials and the benefactors for whom the building is named all took part in Central Piedmont Community College’s dedication of the 184,000 square-foot Parr Center today.

    The Parr Center is the largest building constructed in the college’s 59-year history and serves as its first-ever student union. With its prominent location on Elizabeth Avenue, the Parr Center is the new front door to the college’s Central Campus and its signature building. Named for college benefactors Wilton L. and Mary W. Parr and their generous support of Central Piedmont over many years, the Parr Center is located on the footprint of two previous college structures – the Terrell Building and the Hagemeyer Learning Resource Center. The Parr Center’s positioning allowed the college to expand the size of the main quad and provides striking new architecture along Elizabeth Avenue, the main street through Central Campus. The center opened to students and the public on July 5.

    “We believe this building will help students be successful,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “The services they receive here, and the space provided where they can study, collaborate, mediate and, yes, rest, will help them persist and stay on the path to completion.”

    The Parr Center was constructed with Mecklenburg County bonds funds. George Dunlap, chair of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, remarked those funds were well spent. “The Parr Center is a wonderful example of the county using its resources to help those institutions that serve this community,” Dunlap said. “Working together – the county and the college – we have achieved this, and we all have a reason to be proud.”

    Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said she was pleased the college designed the facility with students as the focus. “When I look at this magnificent new facility, knowing that it was conceived and built to serve students and enhance the student experience at Central Piedmont, I know it is another example of the college staying true to its mission,” Lyles said.

    Approximately 200 people attended the outdoor ceremony, which paid tribute to Dr. Richard Hagemeyer, Central Piedmont’s first president and the namesake of the new Hagemeyer Library, located in the Parr Center. Also honored were Wilton and Mary Parr for their decades-long support of the college.

    “I am proud of my association with Central Piedmont Community College. I truly enjoyed taking classes here; they were fantastic,” Wilton Parr said. “It’s my hope that current students and those to come all have a great experience as I did. I’m truly honored to have the Parr name on this wonderful building.”

    Other speakers at the ceremony included Linda Lockman-Brooks, chair of the Central Piedmont Board of Trustees; Matthew Hart, principal architect with Morris-Berg; Pat Rodgers, president and CEO of Rodgers Builders; and Kay Mahoney, Central Piedmont Student Government Association president.

    Parr Center Details:

    Square Footage: 184,000

    Project Cost:  $113.4 million

    Source of funding: Mecklenburg County bonds and other county funds
    Project Managers: Rodgers and R.J. Leeper Construction
    Architects: Morris Berg and Moody Nolan Architects

    Parr Center Features:

    • the Hagemeyer Library, a 21st-century library with an outdoor reading room, and abundant study spaces;
    • a Student Union, with Welcome Center, Admissions, Students Services, Testing Center, Advising Services, Student Life, Mentoring & Bridge programs, and International programs;
    • Academic Learning Center;
    • a theater with seating for 450;
    • the Pauline Dove Art Gallery;
    • student commons with a collaborative stair;
    • food services, featuring Catalyst Coffee Bar, grab-n-go items, and a dining area;
    • multiple outdoor/rooftop terraces;
    • six multipurpose rooms;
    • collaboration/group-study rooms – available for use by students, faculty, and staff; and
    • enlarged outdoor quad space, designed for outdoor programming.

    Learn more about the Parr Center.

  • College Kicks Off Fall 2022 Semester

    Thousands of students from Mecklenburg County and beyond converged at Central Piedmont, on Monday, Aug. 15, as the college kicked off its 2022 fall semester.

    Throughout the day, Student Engagement teams and other staff members were stationed at information tables across all six Central Piedmont campuses to guide students to classes, answer their questions, and provide them with important college information, such as valuable campus resources, parking guidelines, and available extracurricular activities.

    Central Piedmont’s president, Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, was also on site at Central Campus, welcoming students as they continued or took their first steps toward earning a real-world, affordable, hands-on education.

    College representatives at Central Campus were particularly excited to share with students that the college’s new 183,000 square-foot Parr Center -- home to a student union, theater, art gallery, and the Hagemeyer Library -- was now open and available to meet all of their learning, hospitality, entertainment, and student support needs going forward.

  • CITY OF CHARLOTTE AND CENTRAL PIEDMONT ENTER A WORKFORCE AND EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP DURING SIGNING EVENT

    The City of Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College formalized a partnership for workforce development and education during a signing ceremony on Monday.

    The partnership will provide better access to education, job training, career counseling and more for city employees and Central Piedmont students. For employees who do not currently hold post-secondary credentials, the city will pre-pay tuition and associated fees at Central Piedmont toward an associate degree or certificate programs. By offering a pre-payment program, the partnership is promoting upward mobility and removing a financial barrier.

    “It’s important we invest in our employees and provide opportunities to join our workforce,” said City Manager Marcus D. Jones. “Through this partnership, we are preparing and reskilling our workforce for jobs of the future.”

    Central Piedmont students will also have the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience through City of Charlotte apprenticeships, co-ops and internship programs. The city has 13 registered apprenticeship occupations with 36 combined former and current participants. The co-op program is new and there are two participants in the year-long program. The city has more than 25 career fields students can explore, from construction to administration.

    "Central Piedmont is thrilled and proud to establish this partnership with the City of Charlotte," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, college president. "The college is eager to welcome and work with City of Charlotte employees as they seek further education and the re-skilling needed to advance their careers. At the same time, we are delighted our students will have the opportunity to gain invaluable experience and skills through work-based learning programs with the city. We believe this partnership, in time, can become a model for other cities and colleges to implement."

    Central Piedmont offers more than 300 degree, diploma and certification programs through its six campuses located throughout Mecklenburg County. In addition to receiving a quality education, program participants will also have access to a variety of the college’s student support services, including tutoring, coaching, career counseling and more.

    Together, the City of Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College are creating opportunities for upward mobility for city employees and the community.

  • Lucia Zapata Griffith, Chris Paterson appointed, and Arthur Griffin reappointed to Central Piedmont Board of Trustees

    Lucia Zapata Griffith, CEO and founding principal of Metro Landmarks Construction and Metro Landmarks Architecture; and Chris Paterson, president/CEO and board director of Carolina Complete Health, have been appointed to the Central Piedmont Community College Board of Trustees. Arthur Griffin Jr., community leader and retired senior vice president for McGraw-Hill Education, has been reappointed to the board.

    Lucia Zapata Griffith was appointed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) Board, with her four-year term running through June 2026. She founded and has led Metro Landmarks Construction and Metro Landmarks Architecture since 1996. Prior to then, she was a partner and principal architect with AR&D. She also is the co-founder and owner of Poplar, a restaurant located in the Morrison House, a historic landmark in downtown Charlotte. Her other community involvement includes serving as a member of the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council, and as a board member for Foundation for the Carolinas, Levine Museum of the New South, Circle de Luz, and as an advisory committee member for the Bechtler Museum.

    Chris Paterson was appointed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and his term also will run through June 2026. Paterson, who holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Ohio State University, has worked for the Centene Corporation and its subsidiaries since 2009. Prior to his current leadership role with Carolina Complete Health, he served as community affairs officer and vice president. Before then he was the president, CEO and board director of Sunshine Health. His current service on other boards includes those of Carolina Complete Health Plan, the Association for Home and Hospice Care of North Carolina, and Care4Carolina Business Advisory Council.

    Arthur Griffin was reappointed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners for another four-year term running through June 2026. Griffin has chaired the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and served 17 years on the CMS Board. During this period, he served as a member of the National Assessment of Educational Progress Advisory Committee (NAEP); guest lecturer at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education; University of Virginia’s Partnership for Leaders in Education; and resident faculty member of the Texas Institute for School Board Members. He was a member with distinction on the Executive Committee of the Council of the Great City Schools and Steering Committee member of the Council of Urban Boards of Education.

    “We are happy to welcome Lucia Zapata Griffith and Chris Paterson to Central Piedmont’s Board of Trustees. Both bring expertise and professional knowledge that will be invaluable to the board. As the college begins work on a new facilities master plan and continually evaluates its health careers programs for possible expansion, their contribution and counsel will be appreciated,” said Central Piedmont president Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer.

    “We are delighted and fortunate to have Arthur Griffin for another term on the board. He understands well the college’s mission in the community and always champions our students and how the college might serve them better. He continues to encourage our efforts to serve as Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s primary workforce development partner,” Deitemeyer added.

  • Central Piedmont and Wingate Partner to Launch Gateway to Wingate Program

    Central Piedmont Community College and Wingate University announced today the launch of the Gateway to Wingate program – a new pathway to a bachelor’s degree for Central Piedmont students that will expand college access.

    Wingate University and Central Piedmont have entered into an agreement to improve transfer student access and success through a collaborative baccalaureate degree-completion program. The agreement is designed to give academically qualified Central Piedmont students a seamless admissions process, high-quality academic advising, and affordable access to a baccalaureate degree program at Wingate. Central Piedmont students can enter the program as soon as the start of the 2022 fall semester in August. A separate agreement provides a pathway for qualified Central Piedmont students to enter Wingate’s Doctorate of Pharmacy program, which has facilities in Wingate and in Hendersonville, N.C. 

    “We are excited and honored to announce this public-private partnership, knowing it will be a great benefit to Central Piedmont students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “We are thrilled to offer this option and pathway to our students who will grow and thrive at Wingate, where they will enjoy smaller class sizes, superb advising, excellent teaching, and a supportive campus community.

    “At the same time, this transfer pathway is a wonderful example of higher education partners in the Charlotte region working together to broaden access to a bachelor’s degree and greater opportunities beyond,” Deitemeyer added.

    Gateway to Wingate students who complete an Associate in Science (AS), Associate in Arts (AA), or Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) at Central Piedmont with a cumulative grade-point average of 2.50, and are in good academic standing, will be guaranteed admission to Wingate University.

    When enrolled, Gateway to Wingate students will receive access to Student Success Services, collaborative academic advising, collaborative financial aid counseling, collaborative career counseling, and long-term planning for admission and preparation for Wingate University graduate programs, free of charge. Gateway to Wingate students also are eligible for the Gateway Scholarship. Gateway Scholarship recipients will pay no more than $2,500 per year in tuition at Wingate.

    “Our state needs two million people with postsecondary degrees or certificates by 2030, and that won’t happen unless colleges of all stripes work together,” said Dr. Rhett Brown, president of Wingate University. “That’s why we couldn’t be more pleased to have this opportunity to work with Central Piedmont to break down barriers — whether cost, transferability or time-to-degree — so students get the support they need to prepare for the careers they want. We look forward to opening the door for associate-degree holders to build on the success they’ve already achieved at Central Piedmont.”

    Since 2018, more than 80 Central Piedmont students have transferred to Wingate. Both institutions expect this number to grow significantly with the launch of the Gateway to Wingate program.

    Learn more about the Gateway to Wingate program.

  • College hosts representatives from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    On July 15, Judee Badibanga, a special adviser to the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in charge of poverty alleviation, visited Central Piedmont along with several of his associates to tour the college’s Shaw Advanced Technology Center, located on Central Campus.

    Dr. Alain Miatudila, associate dean of engineering, led the small group of international leaders and managers on a tour of the facility, home to:

    • Mechatronics and Automation Labs
    • Virtual Reality (VR) Labs
    • Engineering FabLab (fabrication lab)
    • CNC Machining Lab
    • Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Labs
    • 13 Computer Labs
    • 11 Specialized Equipment Labs

    The DRC team’s visit was one of several it’s made with American business leaders and educational institutions while in the U.S., as it strives to learn how the DRC can lift its people out of poverty using education, investments, and sound governance.

  • College named Metallica Scholars Initiative recipient for fourth-consecutive year

    For the fourth-consecutive year, Central Piedmont Community College was selected to participate in the Metallica Scholars Initiative and receive $10,000 in funding to support its career and technical education programs.

    Funded by Metallica’s All Within My Hands (AWMH) and led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Metallica Scholars Initiative was created in 2018 to fundamentally improve the earning potential for students who become Metallica Scholars.

    Central Piedmont will continue to use the grant funds – in addition to a $10,000 matching gift from the Central Piedmont Foundation – to provide direct support for students enrolled in its healthcare career programs who need financial assistance to complete their studies and become licensed healthcare professionals. The goal of the initiative is to ensure all graduating healthcare students have funding to pay for their licensure/certification exams so they can quickly enter the workforce fully licensed/certified.

    “The Metallica Scholars program has proven to provide significant resources for community college students looking to learn the skills needed for today’s workforce,” said Walter G. Bumphus, AACC’s president and CEO. “We are honored to partner with the All Within My Hands Foundation to continue to expand this opportunity for community colleges and their students.”

    Learn more about the Metallica Scholars Initiative at Central Piedmont.

    View the complete list of new and returning schools selected to participate in the Metallica Scholars Initiative.

     

  • Associate Degree in Nursing program achieves highest three-year pass rate in the state

    Central Piedmont had the highest three-year pass rate in the state -- 98 percent -- along with Alamance Community College, for the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. The state pass rate average is 90 percent and the national pass rate is 82 percent.

    Central Piedmont's nursing program is the oldest nursing program in the N.C. Community College System and has graduated more than 3,000 students since its inception in 1965. 

    According to the North Carolina Board of Nursing, "A nursing program leading to an associate degree is generally two years in length and is offered by a college that awards associate and/or applied science degrees. The nursing curriculum includes classroom and clinical experiences for patients across the lifespan in hospital, long term care, and community settings.Graduates of approved associate/applied science programs earn a college degree and are eligible to apply to take NCLEX-RN. A Registered Nurse license is awarded upon successful "Pass" on NCLEX and satisfaction of other licensure requirements."

    Learn more information about our Christa A. Overcash Associate Degree in Nursing at cpcc.edu/nursing.