Getting to Know CPCC

History of the College

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 one of the largest community colleges in North Carolina, 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.

Vision, Mission and Values of CPCC

Vision Statement

In 2002, the CPCC Board of Trustees reaffirmed the following vision statement: Central Piedmont Community College intends to become the national leader in workforce development.

Mission Statement

Central Piedmont Community College is an innovative and comprehensive college that advances the life-long educational development of students consistent with their needs, interests, and abilities while strengthening the economic, social, and cultural life of its diverse community.

The College accomplishes this purpose by providing high-quality, flexible pre-baccalaureate and career-focused educational programs and services which are academically, geographically, and financially accessible. This purpose requires a fundamental commitment to student success through teaching and learning excellence within a supportive environment.

Institutional Values


  • How do we provide a supportive environment that is student-centered and promotes life-long learning?
  • How do we place the needs of learners first?
  • How do our resource allocations match the needs for student learning?
  • How do we work together across the College to meet learners’ needs?


  • How do we encourage collaborative partnerships that enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in our community?
  • How do we honor and promote diversity through our people, curricula, and processes?
  • How do we foster community within the College?
  • How do we provide a welcoming and accepting environment?


  • How do we act upon learners’ feedback on their learning experiences at the College?
  • How do we create a work environment that fosters learning?
  • How do we anticipate and respond to the needs of our students, community, and business partners?


  • How do we deliver quality processes, services, and learning experiences?
  • How do we encourage faculty and staff to enhance their skills and knowledge?
  • How do we demonstrate that we expect excellence for all students, faculty, and staff?
  • How do we recognize and celebrate achievements?


  • How do we provide an ethical and respectful environment?
  • How do we foster honest and fair relationships?
  • How do we recognize our obligation to be good stewards of our resources?
  • How do we continue to earn the public’s trust through principled leadership?


  • How do we reduce financial, environmental, social, and educational barriers to promote student learning and success?
  • How do we ensure that a range of choices in programs and services are accessible to diverse learners?
  • How do we create a positive environment that expands opportunities and experiences for all members of our community?


  • How do we foster an environment that encourages an open exchange of ideas?
  • How do we encourage and reward exploration, inquiry, risk-taking, and entrepreneurship?
  • How do we anticipate change and respond with innovative programs and service to internal and external trends?