In 1963, Mecklenburg College and the Central Industrial Education Center were merged to establish Central Piedmont Community College, one of the first of the 58 colleges in the NC Community College System under the leadership of Dr. Richard Hagemeyer. The substantial increase in the educational and training needs of the community since 1963 have required commensurate expansion of the College’s instructional programs and facilities.
In 1963, there were 23 degree and diploma programs; now there are more than 100 degree, diploma,and certificate programs, along with a comprehensive literacy program, and an extensive array of corporate and continuing education offerings. In 1963, the College occupied the structures formerly used by Charlotte’s Central High School.
Dr. Ruth Shaw was selected the College's second president after Dr. Hagemeyer's retirement in 1986. During Dr. Shaw's tenure, the College trustees in 1989 authorized the development of comprehensive campuses in other areas of Mecklenburg County to accommodate the ever increasing needs of the burgeoning Charlotte-Mecklenburg community. As the largest community college in the Carolinas, CPCC now serves over 70,000 people at its six full-service campuses across Mecklenburg County.
CPCC’s standing among institutions of higher learning has kept pace with the development of its programs and facilities. The College was fully accredited to award associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in 1969 by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Today, many of its programs have special accreditation as well. In 1969, it became a member of the League for Innovation in Community Colleges and has been identified as one of the top five of the nation’s two-year colleges in teaching excellence. The College is the county's premier workforce development resource, offering its educational services throughout the area. Currently CPCC is embarking on additional capital improvements and expansion to serve the growing region.
Dr. Tony Zeiss, CPCC's third president, has led the College since December 1992. He is devoted to the mission of CPCC and to serving students and the community through customized training and workforce development.