News and Features

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

  • Central Piedmont’s Inaugural Year Up Class Graduates

    Central Piedmont Community College announces its inaugural Year Up Charlotte class of 40 students graduated on July 23 during a virtual commencement ceremony, hosted by Year Up Charlotte and its long-term partner, Bank of America.

    The college began partnering with the national nonprofit Year Up in August 2019, when the organization launched its Charlotte location with generous support from Bank of America, the John M. Belk Endowment, and the Duke Endowment. The intensive, yearlong program prepares students (ages 18–26) for entry-level technology and customer-facing roles in fields such as business operations, information technology, and software development and support.

    Trinity Simpson, one of the students graduating from Year Up Charlotte’s first class, delivered the keynote speech at the July 23 commencement ceremony. Simpson feared that if he stayed in his small town in North Carolina, he would “be working a minimum wage job with no opportunity and become another statistic.” He has completed his Year Up internship at Bank of America in cyber security and has accepted an offer as an operations control analyst at the bank.

    The students enrolled in Central Piedmont’s Year Up program at the beginning of the 2019 fall semester. Participants spent their first semester taking technical and professional skills classes taught by Central Piedmont and Year Up staff, and then participated in a full-time, credit-bearing internship at a corporate partner firm during the spring term, learning the real-world skills they would need to excel in the workforce.

    “The Year Up Program provides a challenging and nurturing space for students to get the skills they need to succeed in today’s workforce,” said JJ McEachern, dean of enrollment management at Central Piedmont. “As a result, it’s one of the most successful partnerships in higher education. It not only supports students during their educational journey, but also through the career phases of their life.”

    The program is provided to students at no cost. Throughout the year-long program, students earn college credits and receive access to a robust offering of services and supports from Year Up to promote their success, including an educational stipend. They also have access to Central Piedmont’s many services, including the college’s library and tutoring resources,

    Nationwide, 90% of Year Up graduates are employed or attending college within four months of completing Year Up, with average starting salaries of $42,000/year. Because of the program’s ability to help move the economic mobility needle, it has garnered the support of multiple community partners across the Charlotte region, including the John M. Belk Endowment, the Duke Endowment, Bank of America, and Leading on Opportunity.

  • Announcing the Summer 2020 Central Piedmont Dean's and President's Lists

    Congratulations to our summer 2020 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.

  • Drive-Thru Graduation Ceremonies Celebrate Class of 2020

    In celebration of its Class of 2020, Central Piedmont hosted drive-thru graduation ceremonies July 29 and 30 on its Cato Campus, located in northeast Charlotte. More than 440 Central Piedmont 2020 graduates participated in the two-day event, which included ceremonies for the college’s traditional undergraduate programs, as well as its College and Career Readiness programs (high school completion, Accelerated Career Training, and NCWorks Next Gen).

    Central Piedmont’s graduation committee designed the college’s drive-thru graduation ceremonies with the health and well-being of its faculty/staff, students, and their family and friends in mind. As a result, all event volunteers and graduates were asked to wear face coverings, and social distancing and state guidelines were followed during the ceremonies.

    “It was important we recognize our 2020 graduates’ accomplishments, especially during this unprecedented time, when so many of them had to overcome multiple obstacles to achieve their educational goals this year,” said Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont, who was on-site both days to personally congratulate graduates. “The Class of 2020 is a resilient group of individuals. I look forward to hearing their many success stories and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”

    The college offers nearly 300 programs to get students real-world ready. Affordable and flexible Central Piedmont classes can help students earn the skills to fast track into a career pathway or lay the foundation for a four-year degree. Registration for the fall 2020 term is open. The college looks forward to welcoming new and returning students on Aug. 10.

    View the graduation event photo gallery or watch the ceremony live-streams on Facebook.

  • Congratulations to our Spring 2020 ACA Scholarship Winners

    Congratulations to our spring 2020 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 must write an essay answering the question "What makes a successful community college student?" Applicants are reviewed based on meeting the scholarship eligibility requirements and on their essay's quality of writing. The spring 2020 scholarship recipients are Abigail Brown, Hannah Cochran, Allison Fine, Meagan Keough, Jane Oles, Daria Rizvanova, Summer Schroter, and Joy Udah. Read their winning essays:

    To learn more about the ACA Scholarship, visit the college scholarships page or contact ACA, English, and Humanities at 704.330.6506.

  • Announcing the Spring 2020 Central Piedmont Dean's and President's Lists

    Congratulations to our spring 2020 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.

  • Central Piedmont student writer’s work featured in Teen Vogue

    Central Piedmont student Michael-Michelle Pratt, a student in the college’s Associate in Arts degree program, recently had an op-ed piece featured in the June issue of Teen Vogue called, “Growing Up Black Between Trayvon Martin and George Floyd Has My Generation at a Boiling Point.”

    When Pratt began sharing her thoughts on systemic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement on Twitter earlier this year, she had no idea her comments would attract the attention of the political editor at Teen Vogue, who began following her online.

    In her online musings, Pratt discussed that while the recent death of George Floyd was causing a resurgence in the Black Lives Matter movement, no one was talking about how the tragedy had impacted her generation — Generation Z, a segment of the population that had largely grown up between the deaths of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and George Floyd in 2020. She pitched the article topic to the editor at Teen Vogue, and they accepted.

    “I wanted my article to explain to readers that the events of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd and others are not isolated incidents that happened in a bubble,” said Pratt. “I wanted to explain that everything that is happening today is a combination of past and present frustration — that it has all built up to this critical moment, a boiling point that we’re about to see spill over.”

    In the op-ed, Pratt discusses first learning about the Trayvon Martin shooting; the impact it had on her adolescence/family; how the incident inspired her to begin following strong female, African-American writers (Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker); and how it propelled her to seek out leadership opportunities that would allow her to not only fight back against oppression, but to also find her voice.

    Thankfully, Pratt has discovered an outlet for her voice at Central Piedmont’s Levine Campus in Matthews, NC, where she participates in the campus’s Student Writers Assembles Guild (SWAG), a student creative writing club formed in 2016 that provides individuals with a creative space to write poetry, short stories, articles, screenplays and more.

    “Michael-Michelle is a talented writer and poet,” said Elizabeth West, an associate instructor and faculty advisor for Central Piedmont’s SWAG.“She has a strong voice and is brave enough to use it to enact change in our community. She has a sweet, quiet demeanor in person, but her words ring loud and strong on the page. She is a wonderful SWAG member and we are all so proud of her accomplishments.”

    Pratt plans to graduate from Central Piedmont in August 2021 and pursue a career in journalism or film to become a director/screenwriter. “While I love being able to discuss my opinions on the cultural climate in which we all live in articles, I love being able to create my own world in a screenplay,” said Pratt.

    Learn more about Central Piedmont’s Associate in Arts program. For information on the college’s Student Writers Assembles Guild (SWAG), please email elizabeth.west@cpcc.edu.

  • 'The Hammer' Student Art and Literature Magazine Spring 2020

    The spring 2020 issue of "The Hammer" magazine is now available.

  • A Message to the College Community

    A message to all Central Piedmont students and employees from Dr. Deitemeyer:

    Since early March, our college, city, state, and nation have been focused on the unanticipated effects of COVID-19. Our primary objective has been to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe and to determine the best path forward as we return to campus. That work continues, and we remain steadfast in ensuring our college and campuses can provide educational, social, and emotional support for our community. What our college means to so many is vital, and we must be more vibrant and ready to serve with new exceptional standards of excellence.

    These months have been unprecedented in so many ways. I never imagined as we wrapped up the academic year our college, community, state, and nation would be immersed in more devastating circumstances that give us great pause about the care, safety, treatment, and concern for our fellow man: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. In the last few weeks COVID-19 has been in the forefront of our minds, but in the last few days, we have been reminded that there is more than a healthcare pandemic impacting our nation, our state, our community.

    Central Piedmont is troubled and saddened by the events in Minneapolis and other cities around our nation, including here in Charlotte. The college acknowledges the pain, anger, fear, and other emotions felt deeply by those involved and even those watching from afar. The college knows these events affect many of our students and employees. It is our hope and prayer that everyone stays safe, that wise and peaceful actions win out over violence, and justice prevails for all involved.

    This college has always condemned racism and bigotry and the unfair treatment of minorities, and will continue to do so. You will recall Central Piedmont champions equity as an institutional value and an institutional goal, and we do not take that lightly. Our college is committed to breaking down barriers to student access and achievement and providing pathways to family-sustaining careers or to further education. We embrace diversity and respect all individuals and the journeys they make to reach our college. Our work on equity is so important, and the courage we are showing as an institution will be even more important as our community heals and moves forward.

    As leaders in our community, we must demonstrate our willingness to discuss our differences, share our perspectives, grieve together, and question how such events continue to occur. While we do, I ask that we continue to champion our mission and be a catalyst for opportunity in our community and move forward with intentionality to identify and address the inequities and systemic racism we see in our community. As an institution of higher learning, we must be a safe haven for our students, faculty, and staff. As one college, we need to acknowledge members of our college community are hurting, and they need us more than ever.

    If you are feeling concern, stress, or anxiety, the college reminds you counseling services are available to students and employees. Students simply need to complete the online Counseling Services form, and a college counselor will respond.

    Our Central Piedmont Cares team members are here to assist students and employees. Team members are ready to help at wecare@cpcc.edu, or see the Central Piedmont Cares website for more information.

  • Surgical Technology Students Earn 100 Percent Pass Rate on Certification Exam

    The surgical technology program is pleased to announce that the May Class of 2020 successfully obtained a 100% passing on the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) CST exam. The certification demonstrates the individual meets the national standard for knowledge associated with a surgical technologist and surgical first assistance practice.

    By earning this designation, student show potential employers they possess a mastery of a broad range of skills related to surgical procedures, aseptic technique, and patient care. And, because certification is voluntary, the choice to become certified exhibits a pride in the profession, the desire to be recognized for mastery of scientific principles, as well as an ongoing commitment to quality patient care.

    Please join us in congratulating the following surgical tech students: Daniel Castaneda, Brandy Brown, Hali Burnette, Rachel Dumford, Alexis Scarborough, Samantha Marangone, Alizaya Thomas-White, Dustin Truong, Evelyn Brinkley, and Tatyana Shykal.

    Learn more about Central Piedmont’s surgical technology program.

  • Two Central Piedmont students to matriculate to Ivy League schools in fall 2020

    Central Piedmont Community College is excited that two of its 2020 graduates — Koichi Takara and Christopher St. Hilaire — will matriculate to Ivy League schools in fall 2020. Both Takara and St. Hilaire overcame a number of obstacles to reach this milestone in their academic journey.

    Koichi Takara

    After living in Japan for the majority of his childhood, Takara moved to California and graduated from one of their highest-rated public high schools. His résumé was padded with an outstanding SAT score, 4.2 GPA, and an abundance of extracurricular activities. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, as he was rejected from six of his top seven college choices. To make matters worse, he could not afford the one school that accepted him. As a result, he moved to Huntersville, NC, and enrolled at Central Piedmont where he flourished. During his time at Central Piedmont, he served as president of the Student Government Association and was an active member of the college’s Rotaract, Phi Theta Kappa chapter, and the NC Scholars of Global Distinction. After graduating from Central Piedmont on May 14, Takara plans to attend Cornell University as a junior on a full scholarship. He’ll major in industrial labor relations. Says Takara, “coming to Central Piedmont was the best decision of my life.”

    Christopher St. Hilaire

    St. Hilaire felt isolated in high school and dropped out at just 15 years of age. He later completed his studies, earning his GED from Central Piedmont in 2015. He immediately joined the workforce, working as a server at Ballantyne Country Club. A club member recognized St. Hilaire’s potential and urged him to go back to school. Thankfully, St. Hilaire heeded his friend’s advice and enrolled where he was most familiar: Central Piedmont. Back on campus, St. Hilaire decided to be a part of everything the college community had to offer – Student Government Association, Rotaract, Model UN, and Phi Theta Kappa. He excelled at Central Piedmont, and will graduate this week with an associate (transfer) degree. This fall, St. Hilaire will move to New Jersey, where he will study philosophy at Princeton University on a full scholarship as one of only 13 community college students in the country to be admitted to the Ivy League school for the fall term. “Central Piedmont welcomed me back with open arms and getting involved in its many student life and leadership activities made it all worthwhile,” says St. Hilaire.

    For more Central Piedmont student success stories, please visit the college’s Facebook page.