Early College

Central Piedmont Early College is a CMS high school that opened on the Central Campus in August 2023. For the 2024-2025 school year, we will enroll 100 rising ninth graders, and tenth graders as space permits.

What is Early College?

Early College is part of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ (CMS) Cooperative Innovative High Schools and focuses on first generation college preparatory students, underrepresented students, and students who would benefit from accelerated learning opportunities.

As a graduate of Central Piedmont’s Early College, you will earn a high school diploma and up to two years of transferable college credit or an associate’s degree, tuition free. Books and fees will be provided at no charge.

Benefits of Early College

There are many benefits to enrolling in Central Piedmont’s Early College, including:

  • small classes with rigorous academics, including Honors and Advanced Placement courses
  • significant cost savings from earning college credits in high school that you can apply to a two- or four-year degree 
  • options for industry certifications and hands-on coursework in HVAC, electrical, welding, carpentry, and more
  • access to our Career Services team who can help you identify and achieve your career goals
  • opportunities for internships and apprenticeships
  • transportation available to Central Campus through Magnet Express Stops and public transportation

Characteristics of Early College Students

Early College can be a great fit for academically-driven students who are looking for a different high school experience. Successful students typically have the following things in common:

  • are goal-oriented students capable of handling a rigorous, accelerated course load
  • care deeply about their education and future success
  • seek internships and other opportunities
  • are independently motivated learners, skilled in time management, and are willing to seek out and use resources for support

Application Process

CPEC is a magnet high school in CMS. Students apply through the CMS School Choice Lottery. For the 2024-25 school year, lottery applications are due no later than December 29, 2023. Residents of Mecklenburg County who are not currently enrolled in CMS will need to complete a future enrollment as part of the magnet application process.

Apply for Admission to Central Piedmont Early College

  • Apply in CMS

    Complete the CMS School Choice Lottery Process, following all deadlines and requirements as outlined.

  • Apply to Central Piedmont

  • Create Your Central Piedmont Login and Sign Up for Multi-factor Authentication

    Students who are accepted into CPEC will need to have an active Central Piedmont account with a username, email and password. This information will be requested upon your acceptance into the program. 

    Once you get an email with your CP ID number, claim and activate your student login account the following day. (If you have trouble activating your account, contact the ITS Service Desk or a student success navigator.) Your Central Piedmont login is also the first part of your Central Piedmont email. Record your username, password, and Central Piedmont email in a place you will be able to find it later. Once you have access, it's very important that you go into the account management portal and add a secondary email to help you access your account if you ever forget your password. You can then reset your password anytime using the "Forgot Password?" option in the account management portal. You'll also need to set up Duo Mobile MFA. Learn more about how to set up MFA on your device.

Still have questions?

Contact Principal Erik Turner with questions about the Early College at Central Piedmont.