Central Piedmont, Bank of America virtual event seeks to support racial equity in higher education, strengthen local workforce and community
Central Piedmont Community College and Bank of America today hosted a virtual event featuring Dr. Tim Renick, executive director of Georgia State University’s National Institute for Student Success, who presented, “Georgia State’s Journey to Eliminating the Racial Equity Gap.” Attendees included Central Piedmont employees, board members and student leaders; Bank of America executives, and Charlotte city and county government officials. Also participating were local higher education partners and community nonprofit leaders in education, workforce development and college and career readiness.
For more than a decade, Dr. Renick has used Georgia State’s data to drive sustainable change and eliminate the racial equity gap at his institution. As a result of his work, Georgia State - which is also home to Perimeter College, a major provider of associate degrees and student transfer opportunities in Georgia - annually graduates more African-American students than any other public or nonprofit higher education institution in the country and ranks ninth in the nation for advancing social mobility. Dr. Renick has emerged as a national expert on how colleges and universities can decrease disparities in their graduation rates and achievements based on race, ethnicity, and income.
“At Georgia State, we’re motivated by a desire to make an impact, not only in the lives of our own students, but also in the lives of students across the country,” said Dr. Renick. “That's why our team at Georgia State University has made such a conscious and significant commitment to dedicating our time and resources to sharing with others the important lessons we have learned.”
Dr. Renick’s accomplishments at Georgia State complement the equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) goals established and continuously reviewed and enhanced at both Central Piedmont and Bank of America.
Over the past year, Central Piedmont has accelerated its EDI work, hosting a number of events and training sessions for employees and students to attend that support EDI awareness, drive culture change, and reinforce EDI initiatives at all six of its campuses. In addition, the college has looked closely at its talent acquisition and hiring processes to ensure equity and diversity is embedded across all of its areas and departments.
“All of the EDI work Central Piedmont is doing is supported by the college’s shared values and strategic goals,” explained Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “In 2019, the college adopted a new set of guiding values and strategic goals; the desire to reach a greater level of equity throughout the college is found in both.
“Dr. Renick’s presentation and the experience of Georgia State provide a path and a set of best practices Central Piedmont can work to incorporate. We want to do all we can to ensure our students achieve success and our faculty and staff feel valued and appreciated.”
Similarly, Bank of America has turned its attention toward advancing EDI initiatives within the communities it serves. Last summer, it announced a $1 billion, four-year commitment of support to address economic and racial inequalities that had been accelerated by the global pandemic. As part of that commitment, it pledged $25 million to support career reskilling programs through partnerships with higher education institutions, including community colleges like Central Piedmont.
“Acquiring an education and jobs skills not only improves an employed individual’s quality of life but also contributes to the health of our local economy and community. Access to quality, affordable education and job skills training is key to removing economic barriers facing minority individuals and communities,” said Charles Bowman, Bank of America’s Charlotte Market president. “Central Piedmont has a proven track record of offering courses and training for roles in the fields most in demand within our community. Bank of America supports the college’s focus on helping students of color complete the education and training necessary for entering the workforce and earning a sustainable living wage.”
Following his formal presentation to Central Piedmont, Bank of America, and city and county representatives, Dr. Renick individually met with:
- Central Piedmont’s leadership team to discuss how the college could best advance racial equality, and
- Bank of America’s market presidents, located across the country, to discuss what other partnership possibilities may exist to help colleges nationwide create sustainable change on their campuses.
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Student named a 2021 New Century Workforce Scholar
John “Dylan” Whitley, a turfgrass management student at Central Piedmont Community College, has been named a 2021 New Century Workforce Scholar. The Salisbury, N.C., native will receive a $1,250 scholarship in recognition of this accomplishment. More than 2,000 students were nominated for the scholarship from more than 1,200 college campuses across the country. Only one New Century Workforce Scholar is selected from each state; and Whitley was chosen as the North Carolina recipient.
New Century Workforce Scholars are selected based on their academic accomplishments, leadership, activities and how they extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. Whitley matched the award’s criteria well. As a Central Piedmont student, he is involved in the college’s Student Life activities as a member of the Turfgrass Club and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, while excelling inside the classroom with a 3.8 grade point average.
“Dylan is an exemplary student, and he is motivated to reach his academic goals by his desire to provide a good life for his family, and as a new dad,” said Jen Conway, a Phi Theta Kappa All-USA nominator and Student Life coordinator at Central Piedmont.
“Phi Theta Kappa recognizes leadership as one of our hallmarks, so Dylan’s application stood out as he discussed his approach to leadership and the care that should be given to employees. Leadership can come from anywhere, no matter your title, and Dylan reflected on that sentiment as he detailed the importance of being a leader, not just a boss. We were excited to nominate him, and thrilled he represents Central Piedmont and our chapter, as the winner from North Carolina,” Conway added.
The New Century Workforce scholarship, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, is the first of its kind to support students at associate degree-granting institutions on a national scale as they plan to enter the workforce upon the completion of a degree or certificate. Whitley is currently finishing up his associate degree in turfgrass management at Central Piedmont, and plans to secure employment in the industry after graduating in December 2021.
“We congratulate Dylan for receiving this prestigious scholarship, and we are honored to partner with The Coca Cola Foundation to recognize his outstanding achievements,” said Phi Theta Kappa’s President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner. “Scholarship programs like this are integral for creating opportunities for students to succeed as they prepare to enter the workforce and for putting college completion within reach.”
Whitley, and his fellow New Century Workforce Scholars, will be recognized in the fall.
Message to College on Coronavirus: Governor Cooper Eases Pandemic Restrictions
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced today he will ease several statewide COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, including increasing the size of gatherings and capacity limits in retail stores and restaurants. The Executive Order will take effect March 26 at 5 p.m. and is set to expire April 30 at 5 p.m.
“We can move forward with easing restrictions if we do it safely,” Cooper said.
The changes include:
- The gathering-size limit will increase to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. (Previous limits have been 25 indoors and 50 people outdoors).
- Retail stores, salons, museums, and aquariums will be allowed to open at 100-percent capacity (up from 50 percent).
- Restaurants, breweries, and gyms can be open at 75-percent capacity indoors (up from 50 percent) and 100 percent outdoors.
- Bars, conference centers, music venues, and sports arenas will be allowed to open at 50-percent capacity (up from 30 percent).
- The statewide alcohol-sales curfew is being removed. (The curfew has been 11 p.m. since Feb. 26).
The state’s mask/face covering mandate remains in effect. All businesses still must maintain social distancing measures, which could limit the capacity of some establishments.
A COVID-19 vaccination clinic for Central Piedmont employees will take place in the Worrell Building, on Central Campus, Tuesday, April 6, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Time slots are available. Register for an appointment today.
The vaccine adds one more layer of protection and can further help protect your family, co-workers, and our students. Let’s gain control of the spread and get back to the places and people we miss.
In the meantime, the college urges you to continue to do your part and practice the 3W’s (wearing masks, washing hands, and waiting — keeping a distance — at least 6-feet apart) until the vaccine becomes available to all. Learn more about the state’s vaccination distribution plan.
College preparing for SACSCOC reaffirmation
Central Piedmont is preparing for its Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) reaffirmation in 2024. Our accreditation is vitally important since it impacts the college’s ability to award degrees, diplomas, and certificates to students. It even affects students' ability to receive financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education.
We need help from our employees and students in developing a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is a requirement of the college’s SACSCOC reaffirmation process. The QEP topic will focus on an issue Central Piedmont can improve upon that deals with student learning outcomes and student success.
Current students and employees can help in the coming months by:
- virtually attending “Campus Conversations” events in March or April
- completing an online survey, arriving in your Central Piedmont inbox in late August
- submitting a research proposal this fall that focuses on a specific student barrier or challenge
View our “Introduction to the SACSCOC QEP Process” video for more details on the accreditation process.
Message to the College on Coronavirus: Governor Cooper Eases Some COVID-19 Restrictions
In a February 24, news conference, N.C. Governor Roy Cooper announced he will begin to ease some statewide COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The current statewide curfew or state-at-home order was set to expire February 28.
Restrictions being reduced include:
- Alcohol sales cutoff at restaurants and bars will be extended from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Bars will be able to open indoors at 30% capacity or 250 people, whichever is less. The order takes effect Friday at 5 p.m. and lasts until March 26.
- Movie theaters are allowed to operate now at 30% capacity, with a cap of 250 people.
- Outdoor amphitheaters and concert venues can reopen at 30% capacity.
- The statewide curfew for all non-essential travel from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. also is expiring, so restaurants and bars will be able to extend their hours.
- More spectators will be allowed at high school, college and professional sports events. The number allowed will depend on the venue size. Arenas with a capacity of as many as 5,000 people will be able to open with up to 15% capacity, as long as they follow safety protocols.
For more information and resources on COVID-19, please visit the college's coronavirus information page.
Central Piedmont’s COVID-19 Response
Central Piedmont adapted quickly to a radically different environment in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. Over the last year, the college has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic promptly by quickly developing new safety protocols and practices and addressing it students’ and employees’ needs in the following ways:
- moving more than 1,500 class sections online. Staff also moved all necessary student services to online/virtual delivery.
- providing more than 1,270 laptops and 1,120 Wi-Fi hotspots as free loaners to students and employees. (As long as students are enrolled, they can keep and use the devices free-of-charge.)
- raising more than $120,000 specifically for the Student and Employee Emergency Funds.
- developing safety protocols and contact tracing procedures. (Even though some students and employees have contracted COVID, the college knows of no cases in which a person caught the virus from someone else on campus.)
- welcoming students back in programs that require in-person instruction. Some students returned to campus as early as May 2020
- hosting a drive-through graduation ceremony for 2020 graduates at Cato Campus in July.
- establishing Central Piedmont Cares. To date, the Central Piedmont Cares and Single Stop teams have assisted more than 70 employees and 3,800 students. Categories of assistance provided include financial needs, food pantry, medical concerns, mental/emotional wellness, technology, and legal services.
- expanding on-campus instruction for the summer 2021 semesters.
Given the ongoing rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, Central Piedmont hopes to return to normal on-campus operations in time for the fall 2021 semester. Regardless of when things get back to “normal,” the college will continue its work around student success and community service, both of which are guided by its vision, mission, and values.
To learn more Central Piedmont’s other COVID-related news, visit cpcc.edu/news and select “COVID-19/coronavirus updates” from the left navigation.
Central Piedmont, Bank of America and Year Up receive 2021 Distinguished Partners in Excellence Award
The N.C. State Board of Community Colleges has awarded Central Piedmont Community College its 2021 Distinguished Partners in Excellence Award for its successful, ongoing partnership with Bank of America and Year Up.
The State Board’s Distinguished Partners in Excellence Award honors an exemplary employer, business or industry group that has demonstrated decisive involvement and a firm commitment to the professional development of its employees and/or to the development of North Carolina's workforce through its partnership efforts with one or more of the 58 community colleges.
Central Piedmont’s partnership with Year Up and Bank of America represents the award’s criteria well. The Year Up Charlotte program – which receives support from the Duke Endowment and the John M. Belk Endowment as well as Bank of America – strives to prepare low-income students throughout the Charlotte region for economically mobile careers. Nationwide, more than 90 percent of Year Up students identify as a person of color.
“We are proud of the partnership between Central Piedmont Community College, Year Up and Bank of America to continue to strengthen the economic mobility opportunities within the Charlotte market. Collectively our partnership provided the students the tools, but it is important to note these motivated and smart young adults leveraged the resources and proudly exceed all of our expectations,” said Charles Bowman, Bank of America’s Charlotte Market President. “We look forward to deepening the partnership and continuing to make a positive impact for the young adults and adults of this community and region.”
Launched in 2019, Year Up Charlotte offers first-semester students the opportunity to take credit-bearing technical courses taught by Central Piedmont faculty along with professional skills classes taught by staff of the national non-profit Year Up. Students earn a stipend and have access to the college’s many services, including its library and tutoring resources.
“Through their commitment and support, Central Piedmont and Bank of America have given Year Up Charlotte students the opportunity to learn in-demand skills and make an impact in corporate America,” said Elise Ford, site director for Year Up Charlotte. “We are thrilled to continue partnering with Central Piedmont and Bank of America as we work to empower more young people to redefine what talent looks like and where it comes from.”
In their second semester, Year Up Charlotte students enter a full-time, credit-earning internship at Bank of America or another corporate partner. There is no cost for students to participate in the program. Bank of America’s advocacy and strong leadership role, coupled with Year Up’s outcomes, have led other Charlotte-area companies to extend workplace-learning opportunities for the involved student population.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in spring 2020, Central Piedmont and Year Up provided laptops and personal Wi-Fi hotspots so students could continue their instruction online. Bank of America provided the interns with the same technology their employees use so they could work remotely.
“Central Piedmont is honored to receive the Distinguished Partners in Excellence Award with Bank of America and Year Up,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “When the
Year Up Charlotte program was launched at Central Piedmont in 2019, it was the largest opening class of students in Year Up’s history. From that point forward, with Bank of America’s generous support and intense engagement, Year Up Charlotte has been a superb, high-quality program that is transforming the lives of students. Central Piedmont’s goal is to help ensure the Year Up Charlotte program continues to be a model for other schools and cities to replicate.”
Of the partnership’s first cohort, 70 percent of graduates are now working at Bank of America full-time; 10 percent are enrolled in school full-time.
Year Up is a national nonprofit organization that serves more the 5,000 young people annually.
Message to the College on Coronavirus: Spring Semester 2021 Hybrid Classes Can Begin Meeting On-Campus Feb. 3
Spring semester 2021 hybrid classes can begin meeting on-campus Wednesday, Feb. 3. Students taking hybrid classes will check with their instructors over the next couple of days to confirm when their classes will meet on campus.
Students in classes that have been meeting on campus will continue coming to campus as specified by their instructors.
Students with questions about class meeting schedules have been asked to contact their instructors.
If you will be coming to campus for the first time this semester, remember to read the Employee Guide for Returning to Campus. Also, remember to complete the Health Acknowledgement form the Monday of each week you will be on campus.
Central Piedmont thanks its employees for working so hard this semester. Keep up the good work, and please stay safe.
Message to the College on Coronavirus: Gov. Cooper extends statewide curfew to Feb. 28
N.C. Governor Roy Cooper announced today an extension of the statewide curfew that first went into effect for North Carolinians and businesses on Dec. 11. The extension announced today will remain in effect until at least 5 p.m., on Feb. 28, 2021.
The extended “modified stay-at-home order” requires people to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and most retail and entertainment businesses to close by 10 p.m. All on-site alcohol sales are required to end by 9 p.m.
Travel to and from work, to obtain food, medical care, fuel or social services, or to take care of a family member is exempted from the curfew.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Resources reports that while the post-holiday spike in COVID-19 cases across the state seems to have peaked, the state is still in a dangerous position. Hospitals across North Carolina remain at near capacity, and a new more-contagious variant of the virus has been identified in the state.
The college encourages all community members to stay vigilant in maintaining all of our safety practices. Please keep wearing a facemask, practicing social distancing, washing your hands frequently, and monitoring yourself for any possible COVID-19 symptoms. Avoid large indoor gatherings and public spaces where people are not wearing masks. Should you develop any symptoms or feel ill at all, please stay home and consult a physician.