News and Features

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

  • Esparza, Rhodes appointed to Central Piedmont Board of Trustees

    Gabriel J. Esparza and Khalif J. Rhodes, both of Charlotte, have been appointed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners to the Central Piedmont Community College Board of Trustees.

    Esparza is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years of experience leading businesses spanning both large corporations and nimble start-ups. He serves as both advisor and investor in a variety of entrepreneurial ventures. In one notable example, he played an integral part of the success story at RapidSOS – a gov-tech platform that radically transformed the way people communicate with 911, making it a data-driven experience that transmits precise location and other critical information to first responders.

    Esparza’s term on the Central Piedmont board runs through June 2023. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in International Relations and Psychology from Stanford University.

    Rhodes is an attorney and founder of The Rhodes Firm, PLLC. He established the firm in 2012, after earning his J.D. and LL.M., from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. During his tenure at The Rhodes Firm, he has assisted various small to medium-sized businesses in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate compliance and due diligence. In 2017, he was appointed the Chief Magistrate of the 26th Judicial District. Under his guidance, Mecklenburg County attempted to address the significant disparities in the criminal justice system. He was a part of a team that re-wrote Mecklenburg County's bail policy.

    Rhodes’ appointment as a Central Piedmont Trustee runs through June 2025. In addition to his law degrees, he earned a BA in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University.

    “I am excited to welcome Mr. Esparza and Mr. Rhodes to the Central Piedmont Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “This is an important period in the history of the college as we endeavor to help so many Mecklenburg County residents rebuild their careers or start their higher education journeys in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The college will rely on its Board of Trustees for experienced insight and wise counsel."

  • College dedicates the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center

    Central Piedmont Community College today dedicated the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center on the college’s Central Campus. The naming is in recognition of a $2.5-million grant from The Leon Levine Foundation to support health sciences education and health careers preparation at Central Piedmont.

    College leaders and community partners including Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president, Central Piedmont; Linda Lockman-Brooks, chair, Board of Trustees, Central Piedmont; Weston M. Andress, president, Board of Trustees, Central Piedmont Community College Foundation; and Thomas W. Lawrence III, president and director, The Leon Levine Foundation were in attendance at the 11 a.m., ribbon cutting event.

    “Not many partnerships last 20 years and yet today, we write the beginning of another chapter in this amazing story [between Central Piedmont and The Leon Levine Foundation],” said Lawrence. “What has happened in this particular 20-year partnership? Hundreds of students educated, thousands of lives transformed, and now, with this grant, the crossing of $10 million of investment entrusted to Central Piedmont by The Leon Levine Foundation.”

    The Leon Levine Health Sciences Center opened its doors in August 2020, and boasts 74,450 square-feet of space. The facility was designed by Creech & Associates, working with Morris-Berg Architects; was constructed by Rodgers; and provides a home base for multiple health professions programs, including:

    • dental assisting
    • biomedical equipment technology
    • surgical technology
    • polysomnography

    It also hosts a state-of-the-art virtual-anatomy classroom.

    The Leon Levine Foundation grant comes to the college as part of its ongoing “Powering a Stronger Future Campaign,” which seeks to raise $40 million to support students, programs, and faculty development.

    Learn more about Central Piedmont’s healthcare programs.

    Watch the event recap video.

  • Civil rights icon, former mayor visits college

    The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Council at Central Piedmont brought civil rights icon and former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt to Central Piedmont’s Halton Theater stage on Oct. 14, to serve as a panelist during its EDI event titled, “A Story of Perseverance in Driving Change.”

    Mr. Gantt was joined on stage by moderator Dr. Charles Mitchell, equity and opportunity presidential fellow at Central Piedmont, as well as panelists Dr. Tracie Clark, vice president for strategy and organizational excellence, and Dr. Chris Cathcart, vice president for student affairs, at Central Piedmont.

    During the event, Central Piedmont employees and students had the opportunity to hear the group discuss the power of collaboration and allyship in creating change and moving the EDI needle in a positive direction, and how Central Piedmont can continue pushing forward in supporting its students and the Charlotte community. 

    “Central Piedmont is a very special place. This institution - at its most critical level - allows folks from all circumstances in life to get on a ladder of mobility upward,” explained Gantt. “I like the word ‘transformation.’ Central Piedmont makes a difference in the things that students can do. It puts individuals on a ladder, that can be built as high as they want it … and that’s why the college is a very important place. I’ve tried over the years to understand its value to the community and to be as supportive of it whenever I can.”

    Mr. Gantt was Charlotte's first African-American mayor and the first African-American student enrolled at Clemson University. His visit is one of the enrichment opportunities the college is using to help advance its EDI strategy, which college leadership has identified as mission-critical work. Over the past year, Central Piedmont has hosted a number of EDI related events for both its employees and students to attend. Examples include: inclusive leadership trainings, Black History Month events, inclusive teaching practice sessions, examining best EDI practices from other institutions, courageous conversations, and more.

    Central Piedmont is offering such events to foster the growth of its employees and the institution as a whole. The goal is to deliver a superior collegiate experience for students that supports their success both personally and professionally, while embedding an enhanced EDI philosophy and awareness in the college’s daily practices and processes.

    View video from the event.

    Past Central Piedmont EDI Events/Initiatives:

  • Central Piedmont to Launch Practical Nursing Program in January

    Central Piedmont Community College will launch the Dickson Practical Nursing Program in January, with the start of the spring 2022 semester. The 11-month, three-semester diploma program will open with a class of 18 students. The North Carolina Board of Nursing has approved Central Piedmont to establish and offer the program.

    Graduates of the Dickson Practical Nursing Program will be eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN), which is required for practice as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). LPNs work under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN), with employment opportunities found in hospitals; rehabilitation, long-term care, and home health facilities; clinics; and physicians’ offices. LPNs serve an important role in the healthcare delivery system, ensuring quality care for patients. They assist physicians and RNs in providing critical and essential services, including monitoring patients’ vital signs and supervising nursing assistants and collaborating with other members of the healthcare team.

    The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte awarded Central Piedmont a $500,000 grant to develop a new LPN program at the college to provide students an accelerated path to a meaningful, family-sustaining career in the healthcare industry and address specific employment needs within the Charlotte region’s healthcare sector. The Dickson Practical Nursing Program will enable students to earn their professional credential in one year, preparing them for employment more quickly. This is especially important, given the median LPN salary is $48,055, which offers a viable economic-mobility pathway for lower-income residents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

    After opening the program with 18 students, Central Piedmont will expand the second class to 24 seats. The college will monitor local needs for LPNs and will adjust the size of future classes to meet demand. The program will be based on the Central Campus.

    Individuals interested in learning more about the Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont can contact Jeanette Cheshire, the college’s associate dean of nursing and nurse aid, at 704-330-6451 or via email.

    Learn more about all of the sources of financial assistance currently available to Central Piedmont students.

  • College dedicates Ruth G. Shaw Advanced Technology Center

    Central Piedmont Community College dedicated the Ruth G. Shaw Advanced Technology Center, located on the college’s Central Campus, on Sept. 24. Dr. Shaw served as the college’s second president from 1986 to 1992. She attended and spoke at the dedication ceremony.

    The 79,194 square-foot Advanced Technology Center is a cutting-edge, state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing, engineering, logistics, and energy-related careers training facility that opened in 2018. Its prominent location on Central Piedmont’s Central Campus points to its importance in developing a highly-skilled workforce in Mecklenburg County and the college’s ongoing efforts to provide opportunities for increased economic mobility.

    Constructed by Rodgers Builders, the $25.5 million facility was designed by FWA Group with LTArchitecture and features:

    • Mechatronics and Automation Labs
    • Virtual Reality Labs
    • An Engineering FabLab
    • A CNC Machining Lab
    • Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Labs
    • 13 Computer Labs
    • 11 Specialized Equipment Labs
    • Faculty and Staff Offices
    • An accessibility bridge to the next door Levine IT Building

    “The Ruth G. Shaw Advanced Technology Center has become the cornerstone of our technology driven advanced manufacturing and engineering programs. It is a state-of-the-art training facility with which the college is proud to honor Dr. Ruth Shaw’s legacy,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “From our two-year associate degree students to the incumbent workers who come here to learn new skills, the Ruth G. Shaw Advanced Technology Center is helping advanced manufacturing, engineering, and logistics expand their importance to the Mecklenburg County employment base and overall economy.”

  • College Recognized as 2020 Tree Campus Higher Education Institution

    The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Central Piedmont as a 2020 Tree Campus Higher Education institution. 

    Tree Campus Higher Education, a national program launched by the Arbor Day Foundation in 2008, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.

    To earn this distinction, Central Piedmont had to meet five core standards for effective campus forest management:

    • Establish a tree advisory committee
    • Show evidence of a campus tree-care plan
    • Show dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program
    • Observe Arbor Day
    • Sponsor student service-learning projects

    Congratulations to Central Piedmont’s Grounds and Site Coordinator Zachary Harris, and the college’s tree advisory committee, who have demonstrated the leadership and forethought needed to earn this national recognition. The college prides itself on using its tree canopies to not only keep its campuses cool, but also to create spaces that improve the physical and mental health of its many employees and students.

    Learn more about the Arbor Day Foundation. 

  • Central Piedmont offers students debt-free college options

    Central Piedmont Community College is excited to announce that as of Aug. 20, it has disbursed almost $1.1 million in North Carolina Longleaf Commitment Grant funding to more than 1,300 students enrolled in fall 2021 classes.

    The North Carolina Longleaf Commitment Grant program was launched by Governor Roy Cooper last May to provide 2021 North Carolina high school graduates, who planned to attend a North Carolina community college, with financial assistance to cover their tuition and fees toward a two-year degree or attaining transfer credit.

    As part of the program, full-time eligible students are guaranteed to receive $700 to $2,800 per academic year, for a total of two years. Part-time students may receive a partial award. The Longleaf Commitment Grant ends at the conclusion of the 2023 spring semester.

    With this funding in mind, Central Piedmont reminds area residents that:

    • debt-free college is possible thanks to the upwards of $3 million in scholarships and grants it is able to provide, and
    • seats remain available for the fall semester, including classes in its upcoming four- and eight-week sessions. The college’s four-week sessions begin on Sept. 13, Oct. 13, and Nov. 10. Central Piedmont’s second eight-week session starts on Oct. 13.

    To learn how to register for fall 2021 classes, visit cpcc.edu/admissions/registration. For more information on the N.C. Longleaf Commitment Grant, visit cpcc.edu/financial-aid/grants/nc-longleaf-commitment. To find information about all of the types of financial assistance available to Central Piedmont students, see cpcc.edu/financial-aid/attend-college-debt-free.

  • New Pathway for Teachers Created from Community Colleges to UNC

    North Carolina education leaders signed an agreement on Aug. 23, to address the critical teacher shortage in the state. President Thomas Stith of the North Carolina Community College System and President Peter Hans of the University of North Carolina System made a joint announcement of their new Comprehensive Articulation Agreement that will increase opportunities for community college students to transfer to teacher education programs within the UNC System. It is effective beginning fall 2021.

    The “Uniform Articulation Agreement in Teacher Education / Educator Preparation” is focused on developing a seamless transfer pathway for students who begin teacher preparation studies in the Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation (AATP) and the Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation (ASTP) programs at a community college and then transfer to one of the educator preparation programs within the UNC System to complete a bachelor’s degree and become a licensed teacher in the K-12 system.

    The agreement includes 52 of North Carolina’s “Great 58” community colleges – including Central Piedmont – and 15 universities within the UNC System. Additional community colleges will offer the new transfer degrees for fall 2022.

    Learn more about Central Piedmont’s Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation (AATP) and the Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation (ASTP) programs.

  • Congratulations to our Spring 2021 ACA Scholarship Winners

    Congratulations to our spring 2021 ACA Scholarship winners!

    Each fall and spring semester, the college's Academic Related Courses (ACA) area selects seven recipients for the ACA Scholarship for awards of $600 each. To apply, students had to write an essay answering the question “Being resilient (the ability to recover quickly from difficult conditions) is a life skill that we often do not recognize. How have you been resilient in your journey as a community college student, and what does this journey look like?" Applicants are reviewed based on meeting the scholarship eligibility requirements and on their essay's quality of writing.

    The spring 2021 scholarship recipients are Alfa Kpa, Shaheedah Martin, Ian McKiddy, Jennifer Colindres Miranda, Noah Parker, Katherine Sosa, and Rodolfo Tandazo. Read their winning essays:

    Learn more about the ACA Scholarship.

  • The Hammer Student Art and Literature Magazine Spring 2021

    The spring 2021 issue of "The Hammer" magazine is now available.