History

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. In 1963 under the leadership of the first president, Dr. Richard Hagemeyer, there were 23 degree and diploma programs; now there are more than 300 degree, diploma, and certificate programs, a college and career readiness program, and corporate and continuing education offerings. In 1963, the College occupied the structures formerly used by Charlotte’s Central High School. The College was fully accredited to award associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in 1969 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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 authorized the development of comprehensive campuses in other areas of Mecklenburg County to accommodate increasing needs and interests of the burgeoning Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.

Dr. Tony Zeiss, CPCC's third president, served from 1992 until 2016. During his twenty-four years of service, he led CPCC to becoming one of the largest community colleges in the Carolinas with six campuses across Mecklenburg County, three educational centers, and a virtual campus with online offerings.  Dr. Zeiss was mission-centered and focused on accomplishing the mission of CPCC by serving students and the community through customized training and workforce development.

Now under the leadership of Dr. Kandi W. Deitemeyer, the College is the county's premier workforce development resource.  Currently, CPCC is embarking on additional capital improvements and expansion to serve the growing region and maintain the college’s fundamental commitment to student success.

For a more comprehensive review of the history of Central Piedmont Community College, consult the following resources:

Oleson-Briggs, S. (2013). Central Piedmont Community College: Legacy and Promise 1993-2013. Charlotte: CPCC Foundation, Inc.

Timblin, C. L. (1995). Central Piedmont Community College: The First Thirty Years 1963-1993. Charlotte: CPCC Foundation, Inc.