News and Features

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

  • Announcing the Spring 2021 Central Piedmont Dean's and President's Lists

    Congratulations to our spring 2021 Central Piedmont Dean's and President's List students!

    These lists recognize students enrolled in for-college-credit programs who achieved a high grade point average (GPA) with no Incomplete ("I") or Withdraw ("W") grades and who have completed at least 12 hours of credit in courses numbered 100 through 299. Dean's List students earned a 3.50 or higher GPA; President's List students earned a 4.00 or higher GPA.

    These students have worked very hard over the semester and have well earned this accomplishment.

  • Message to College on Coronavirus: Face masks no longer required on campus

    On Friday, May 14, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced the following changes to his previously mandated statewide COVID-19 restrictions. This relaxation of safety measures went into effect immediately on May 14.

    • No statewide face mask requirement in most settings
    • No mandatory indoor or outdoor mass gathering limits
    • No mandatory indoor or outdoor capacity limits
    • No mandatory social distancing requirements

    The Governor’s new executive order is based on new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

    Effective immediately, Central Piedmont Community College will not impose any restrictions beyond those the Governor has specified. Face coverings and social distancing protocols, while still encouraged for unvaccinated people, are no longer required by the college.

    Nothing prevents employees and students from continuing to wear face coverings if they so choose. Please keep in mind individuals should not be asked to disclose their vaccination status or why they are wearing a face covering. This is private information and should be respected.

    During this transition time, please be understanding as our employees and students make their decisions concerning face masks on campus. Please continue to monitor yourself for any COVID-19-related symptoms, and stay home if you feel ill at all. Please report if you are exposed to, tested for, or diagnosed with COVID-19 by sending an email to wecare@cpcc.edu.

    The Governor and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services strongly recommend unvaccinated persons eligible for vaccination in the state be vaccinated as soon as possible. All persons in North Carolina age 12 and older are eligible. Likewise, Central Piedmont encourages all members of the college community – students, faculty and staff – to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

    Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine by accessing the following resources: StarMed HealthWalgreensCVSNovant Health, and Atrium Health.

  • Message to College on Coronavirus: Governor Cooper Announces Social Distancing and Mask-Wearing Requirements Lifted

    North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced today, May 14, that he was lifting immediately many of the state’s COVID-19 social-distancing and mask-wearing requirements. In most settings, indoors and outdoors, the state will no longer require people to wear a mask or be socially distant. 

    This means there are no pandemic capacity limits for indoor and outdoor spaces. The Governor said fully vaccinated persons no longer need to wear masks in most indoor settings. However, state health officials still recommend that unvaccinated people in North Carolina continue to wear masks.

    Masks still will be required in some public spaces such as public transportation, healthcare facilities, and correctional facilities. Masks also are still required in childcare settings such schools, daycare facilities, and summer camps because children younger than 12 still are not eligible for vaccination.

    Businesses, retail establishments, and other facilities in the state are still allowed to require social distancing and masks.

    Any changes to Central Piedmont’s current social-distancing and mask-wearing requirements will be announced in the coming days.

    The Governor and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services strongly recommend that unvaccinated persons eligible for vaccination in the state be vaccinated as soon as possible. All persons in North Carolina age 12 and older can be vaccinated. 

    Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine by accessing the following resources: StarMed Health, Walgreens, CVS, Novant Health, and Atrium Health.

     

  • College hosts 2021 commencement ceremonies

    Central Piedmont Community College hosted multiple commencement ceremonies outdoors on its Overcash Lawn, located in front of Overcash Center on Central Campus, on May 12 and 13, to ensure the celebration of its 2021 graduates was conducted safely and in accordance with NCDHHS and CDC guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  

    The following outdoor commencement ceremonies were held:

    • Wednesday, May 12, 2021

      • 11 a.m.: Health Science programs
      • 2 p.m.:  Skilled Trades, College and Career Readiness
         
    • Thursday, May 13, 2021
      • 9 a.m.:  Business, Engineering, and Technology
      • 11 a.m.: Transfer Degree Programs
      • 2 p.m.: Transfer Degree Programs

    More than 800 students from the 2021 spring semester, as well as the 2020 summer and fall semesters, “marched” and received their college degrees during the first outdoor commencement ceremony the college has hosted in 35 years. (The last outdoor ceremony was held in 1986, on the Central Campus Quad.) More than 2,430 students were eligible to graduate this year.

    During the May 12 festivities, Mr. Marco Gallardo Cuervo, who graduated from Central Piedmont with an Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technology degree, addressed his fellow graduates. Ms. Emma Hoff, an Associate in Arts student delivered the May 13 commencement address to her peers.This is the fourth consecutive year Central Piedmont has had student keynote speakers at graduation. 

    View photos from the college’s ceremonies.

  • College offering increased number of on-campus classes for summer and fall semesters

    Central Piedmont Community College will offer an increased number of on-campus, in-person classes during the upcoming summer and fall semesters. The college also plans to offer 1,000 afternoon, evening, and weekend class sections during the fall.

    More than a third of Central Piedmont’s summer semester classes, which begin May 17, will include on-campus sessions. The fall 2021 semester will resemble the fall 2019 semester with a majority of class sections being offered on campus. 

    With pandemic safety protocols in place, Central Piedmont continued offering on-campus classes in programs that require in-person instruction in May 2020. Now, with everyone in North Carolina age 16 and older eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines, the college will expand its on-campus class offerings to include courses that had been offered primarily online since pandemic began.

    The college will continue to follow safety practices, such as requiring masks and social distancing indoors, as long as recommended by the N.C. Department Health & Human Services. By the fall semester, class sizes will be back to their pre-COVID levels; usually 20 or fewer students per class.

    “Central Piedmont is happy to bring so many classes back to campus this summer and fall,” said Jeff Lowrance, vice president for communications, marketing and public relations. “Students have told us they prefer to attend classes on campus where they can interact with their classmates, talk easily with their instructors, inquire about services in person, and just gain a better sense and feeling of community.

    “At the same time, we know many students will be trying to work while going to school, so the college is making a real effort to offer more afternoon, evening, and weekend classes to better meet students’ busy schedules,” Lowrance added.

    Central Piedmont will continue to offer a significant number of classes online for students who prefer remote learning or whose schedules or family responsibilities accommodate online classes more readily.

  • College adds SALUTE Chapter

    Central Piedmont’s Military Family and Veterans Services is proud to announce that it has added a SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society to its already impressive list of student clubs and organizations. The Chapter of SALUTE at Central Piedmont will provide veteran students with a rewarding community of resources, opportunities, and support.

    “SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society is pleased to be the first and only academic honor society to recognize students who serve their country and community, and who demonstrate outstanding academic performance,” said Karla Schwartz, national director for the SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society. “A Central Piedmont student’s designation into SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society will help distinguish them to employers and educational institutions by signifying their military honorable service, academic excellence, and a commitment to superior success, which can all lead to achieving meaningful employment and educational opportunities in the future.”

    The benefits of membership include:

    • A certificate and military-style challenge coin commemorating membership
    • Access to unique scholarship opportunities
    • Assistance with resumes and engagement in local leadership positions
    • Opportunities to network, as well as receive and give assistance to fellow student veteran members
    • Wear SALUTE Honors regalia to demonstrate academic achievements as a veteran at graduation
    • Participate in local and national SALUTE programs

    “The Chapter of SALUTE at Central Piedmont will help our student veterans persist and complete,” said Richard Bartell, director of Military Families and Veterans Services at Central Piedmont. “In addition to providing additional scholarships to fund students’ education, the chapter will help them engage and connect with their peers, providing them with the support network they need to achieve their academic goals.”

    The honor society application window opens May 2021. For more information on the Chapter of SALUTE at Central Piedmont and how to join, visit Military Families and Veterans Services.

  • 2021 Hagemeyer Educational Advancement and Young Alumni Award of Excellence recipients named

    Central Piedmont Community College has named Lynne Tatum Little, RDH, owner of LTL Consulting, the 2021 Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award recipient, and James “Dan” Bailey, president and CEO of Steele’s Mechanical, the 2021 Young Alumni Award of Excellence recipient. The awards recognize former Central Piedmont students who have benefited significantly from experiences at Central Piedmont and whose efforts have helped the community. 

    Lynne Tatum Little, RDH ‘88 (Associate in Applied Science, Dental Hygiene)
    A successful consultant and business owner, Lynne Tatum Little attributes her leadership abilities to her experience at Central Piedmont and the discipline required in her coursework. Lynne owns LTL Consulting and has been active within the dental hygiene profession, serving as commissioner of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, board member of the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners, and past president of the North Carolina Dental Hygienists’ Association. Additionally, she has served on the Central Piedmont Community College Foundation Board since 2016, committing herself to the mission and success of the college as a dedicated volunteer and donor.

    James “Dan” Bailey ‘12 (Associate in Arts)
    As a U.S. Army military veteran who served as a construction engineer and paratrooper, Dan Bailey has acquired skills that would last him a lifetime. He considers Central Piedmont his home and the place where he gained invaluable leadership skills not to only lead, but also to follow. Today, Dan serves as president and CEO of Steele’s Mechanical, where he has grown the 49-year old HVAC company from a local business to one of the fastest-growing mechanical contractors in the region. He’s accomplished this all while continuing to serve the community as a tutor, coach, and supporter of organizations throughout the Carolinas.

    The Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award is named after the college’s first president who served in the position for 23 years. The Young Alumni Award of Excellence was introduced in 2019 to recognize graduates who have completed in the last 10 years and who have made significant contributions to the community in their short time away from Central Piedmont. To learn more about the awards and past recipients, visit cpccfoundation.org/awards.

  • Wells Fargo announces significant grants focused on advancing economic mobility and racial equity in Charlotte

    Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) will deliver more than $3.2 million in grants to address a range of critical community needs across Charlotte, including advancing economic mobility, improving racial equity, supporting minority-owned small businesses and advancing entrepreneurship for the next generation of business leaders.

    Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf announced the grants earlier today at a special event held in Biddle Hall and Auditorium, on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Johnson C. Smith University and United Way of Central Carolinas will each receive grants for $1 million, while Central Piedmont Community College’s Small Business Resource Center will receive an Open For Business grant from Wells Fargo for $625,000. Other organizations receiving grants include Aspire Community Capital, Charlotte is Creative, City Start-Up Labs, the Latin American Chamber of Commerce, Prospera, and the Women’s Business Center.

    “While we are seeing signs of economic improvement, we also realize that not all of our communities are benefiting equally in this recovery,” said Scharf. “That is why Wells Fargo is being intentional about supporting a more inclusive economic recovery, with a focus on racial and social equity, economic mobility and investments in low and moderate income communities. We are pleased to announce these grants for the Charlotte area and will continue to focus on ways we can support positive change.”

    The announcements coincide with and help celebrate the return of the Wells Fargo Championship to Charlotte. The PGA TOUR event, which was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, has raised more than $24 million for charitable organizations since 2003. The Wells Fargo Championship provides significant economic impact to the Charlotte-area economy – estimated at more than $50 million annually.

    Wells Fargo recently announced equity investments in 11 African American Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) as part of its March 10, 2020, pledge to invest up to $50 million in Black-owned banks. The investments are part of Wells Fargo’s commitment to supporting economic growth in African American communities where MDIs, often community based banks, provide mortgage credit, small business lending, and other banking services. Self Help Credit Union and M&F Bank, two of the MDIs that are receiving funding from Wells Fargo, have branches on Beatties Ford Road.

    Making an impact in Charlotte and North Carolina
    Wells Fargo has been a longstanding community supporter in Charlotte and across North Carolina. Over the last 10 years, Wells Fargo and the Wells Fargo Foundation have provided nonprofit organizations in North Carolina with more than $190 million in grants. The $3.2 million in grants announced today will support key organizations in their efforts to address critical community needs across Charlotte, including:

    • Johnson C. Smith University: Funding will focus on minority student scholarships, experiential learning supporting entrepreneurship and small business ownership, student financial health education and credit score development.
    • United Way of Central Carolinas: The grant from the Wells Fargo Community Impact Fund will support economic mobility for low income neighborhoods and advancing racial equity via Unite Charlotte.
    • Central Piedmont Community College – Small Business Resource Center: The grant from Wells Fargo’s Open For Business (OFB) fund will be focused on supporting underrepresented small business owners in the Charlotte region. OFB is a roughly $420-million small business recovery effort Wells Fargo created by donating all of the gross processing fees received from participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in 2020. The OFB Fund provides grants to nonprofits serving small businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly racially and ethnically diverse and women-owned small businesses.
    • Aspire Community Capital: The grant will support entrepreneurs from low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities in Charlotte.
    • Charlotte is Creative: The grant will impact creatives as entrepreneurs by supporting them with funding, mentorship, business skills training and social capital connections.
    • City Start-Up Labs: The grant will focus on helping bridge the entrepreneurial divide where under-represented populations of African American millennials and returning citizens (previously incarcerated) are not adequately and proportionally able to participate in startup activity and business building.
    • Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte: The grant will help fund a business and entrepreneurship hub supporting Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs and business owners in Charlotte.
    • Prospera: The funds will provide bilingual (English/Spanish) assistance to Hispanic small business owners and entrepreneurs in Charlotte.
    • Women’s Business Center: The funds will help women-owned businesses in Charlotte start and grow.

    About Wells Fargo
    Wells Fargo & Company is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets and proudly serves one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of all middle market companies and small businesses in the U.S. We provide a diversified set of banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth and Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 30 on Fortune’s 2020 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable, inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health and a low-carbon economy. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

    Additional information may be found at www.wellsfargo.com | Twitter: @WellsFargo.

  • Small Business Center announces the ‘53 Ideas Pitch Competition’

    Central Piedmont Community College’s Small Business Center will partner with small business centers in the state’s Southwest region on the 2021 “53 Ideas Pitch Competition.” Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, this pitch competition is intended to help address income inequality and equity through entrepreneurship. Anyone with an idea has the opportunity to compete for cash awards, plus take advantage of training resources, and find social connections to help remove barriers and to launch a viable business. The top prize winner of the competition will receive $10,000 in seed money for a start-up business. 

    “Last year, ideas came pouring in across the 10-county region. The community responded, and the response to the ‘53 Ideas’ pitch competition was different. Contestants did not mirror the historical demographics of entrepreneurs,” said Renee Hode, regional director for the NC Small Business Center Network. 

    More than half of the participants at last year’s competition were women; more than half of them were minorities, with the majority earning less than $50,000 a year. 

    Studies show that four out of five entrepreneurs do not access bank loans or venture capital. Instead, their sources of funding are personal network, generational wealth or connections to networks. The “53 Ideas Pitch Competition” exists to help lessen this inequality in entrepreneurship. 

    “Any successful business starts with an idea,” said Lori Thomas, executive director projects and market resources at Central Piedmont. “Share your idea with us, tell us your plan, and Central Piedmont will provide the resources and training to help you make it happen.” 

    The “53 Ideas Pitch Competition” is an open call for business ideas from residents across the region. Individuals will have 53 seconds to pitch their idea in the form of a video submission that may be uploaded to 53ideas.com. For open, inclusive access, if someone has an idea but does not have the technology to submit an entry they can visit their local small business center for help and access to enter the competition. 

    Judges will review the submissions and select the top 53 pitches. Top entrants will each receive a $50 award, as well as the opportunity to advance in the competition. Training and coaching on pitching, financing, forecasting, and general business will be available to every participant, even if they do not make the top 53. These free resources will be offered by Small Business Centers located at community colleges throughout the region, including Central Piedmont, Cleveland, Gaston, Mitchell, Rowan-Cabarrus, South Piedmont and Stanly. 

    After the training period, the top-53 entrants will participate in a closed virtual pitch event, where the judges will narrow the field down to 10. The top 10 will receive $250 each and go on to compete on a virtual stage for the top awards: first place receives $10,000, second place earns $5,000, and third place receives $2,500 in seed funding to help turn their ideas into a viable business. 

    To learn more about the “53 Ideas Pitch Competition” or to upload a video submission by the May 31 deadline, visit 53ideas.com.

  • STRIVE Scholars program is building tomorrow’s Pre-K educators

    The Mecklenburg County Pre-K initiative, the Foundation for the Carolinas, the Comprehensive Early Learning Center, and the Central Piedmont Foundation have awarded Central Piedmont’s early childhood education program a $4 million grant to create the STRIVE Scholars program.

    The program provides full tuition, fees, books, and materials funding to academically qualified students preparing to become educators of young children in Mecklenburg County.

    According to research conducted by Mecklenburg County, Charlotte’s workforce lacks the postsecondary education necessary to assure the quality of its lead and assistant Pre-K teachers in the classroom.

    The college’s STRIVE Scholars program seeks to address this workforce need by providing students who are pursuing an Associate in Applied Science or certificate in early childhood education with better access to a higher education and need-based support services, including:

    • technology
    • transportation
    • child care

    In addition, the program will provide Scholars with comprehensive support services, such as academic advising, mentoring, and more, to ensure their academic success.

    The early childhood education program is grateful and excited to be a part of this important initiative to bring universal pre-kindergarten to Mecklenburg County. Learn more about the STRIVE Scholarship.

    Attend a STRIVE information session virtually.