News and Features

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

  • Central Piedmont Students Launch Meal Service Business

    With menus inspired by their heritage, Central Piedmont’s Baking and Pastry Arts students have enjoyed a successful launch to Tasty Traditions Bakehouse & Takeout, a capstone project that doubles as a business venture for the students. 

    Entering its second week, the students on Harris Campus sold out all their meals during their opening week of business and expect similar results moving forward. 

    Offerings have ranged from Moroccan Chicken Salad to Pollo Guisdao to Pork Musubi and have represented a departure from typical selections one might expect from students in the program. 

    “We wanted to do something ambitious for this class,” student Natalie Fischer said. “We knew we could just do a standard bakery pre-order, but we wanted to offer meals. It would challenge us more as students, but also be a benefit to staff and students here who usually have to Doordash their lunch.” 

    There are nine students in the capstone class, and they rotate responsibilities during the course to further help prepare them for all the ins-and-outs of the food industry. 

    “I’m in the front of the house now, making sure orders are packed and fulfilled,” student Ashlen Ramos explained. “We have a marketing team that oversees social media, distributing flyers, and using word of mouth to promote the business. Then you have the back of the house, which is really the backbone of this, to make sure orders are prepared and ready every day.” 

    Instructor Jennifer Cubillos said the knowledge gained during previous classes, including a course on cost control and one in marketing, helps prepare the students to take the reins and run the business.  

    “A lot of our students want to be entrepreneurs and own their own business, and this is a testing ground for that,” Cubillos said. “We want our students to understand the practice of creativity and the practice of leadership. The students are managing themselves with real money and real product. They must collaborate with each other – kitchens are team sports.” 

    The success of Tasty Traditions and the overall program has gained some attention off-campus as well. People not affiliated with the college have purchased meals, and Queens University recently placed an order for sugar cookies. 

    There are two weeks left to order meals through Tasty Traditions, and they also offer graduation cake sales as well. You can also follow Tasty Traditions on Facebook and Instagram

  • Central Piedmont and Lees-McRae College establish ‘Guaranteed Admission Program’

    Agreement will help Central Piedmont students take direct transfer path to Lees-McRae

    Leaders of Central Piedmont Community College and Lees-McRae College signed an agreement today to establish a Guaranteed Admission Program, providing Central Piedmont students a new transfer pathway to a bachelor’s degree.

    The Lees-McRae Guaranteed Admission Program (GAP) will automatically admit Central Piedmont students who have earned an Associate of Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science or Associate in Fine Arts degree and meet specific grade-point-average requirements. Students in the program also will be eligible to receive merit scholarships up to 50 percent of Lees-McRae’s annual tuition.

    Dr. Lee King, Lees-McRae College president; Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont; and other leaders from both institutions signed the agreement during a morning ceremony at Central Piedmont’s Central Campus, in Charlotte. The Lees-McRae Guaranteed Admission Program with Central Piedmont will open to students in August with the start of the fall 2024 semester.

    “This agreement provides an incredible opportunity for more students to receive a Lees-McRae education,” King said. “We’re grateful for this partnership with Central Piedmont and for the great work they do as educators.”

    Leaders from both institutions agree that transfer pathway agreements like the Guaranteed Admission Program are important in North Carolina’s efforts to increase the number of residents with a high-quality credential or post-secondary degree. The myFutureNC initiative has set a goal of two-million more North Carolinians with a credential or degree by 2030 to support the state’s economy.

    “The Lees-McRae Guaranteed Admission Program is a wonderful opportunity for Central Piedmont students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree and beyond,” Deitemeyer said. “The Lees-McRae campus in Banner Elk and the college’s superb faculty and staff offer a unique environment for Central Piedmont graduates to grow and flourish. I am eager to see and hear about the great experiences and success our students will have at Lees-McRae.”

  • Central Piedmont, UNC Charlotte renew transfer partnership

    Central Piedmont Community College and UNC Charlotte – the Charlotte region's two largest higher-ed institutions – are strengthening their five-year commitment to growing the workforce in Charlotte-Mecklenburg through an updated partnership agreement. 

    The agreement, recently signed by the leaders of the two institutions, builds on 49erNext, UNC Charlotte’s successful co-admission program first launched in 2019, and formally recognizes an added pathway for Central Piedmont students to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the high-demand area of data science. 

    “Central Piedmont Community College is UNC Charlotte’s largest transfer partner by far,” said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. “This renewed agreement affirms our longstanding commitment to provide accessible, affordable, quality higher education to students here in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.” 

    “The 49erNext program has been a great success because it offers students a direct pathway to a four-year degree as well as an avenue to greater economic mobility,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “The program is a tremendous benefit to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community as we seek to produce more individuals with bachelor’s degrees to meet our growing workforce demands. 49erNext also is a wonderful example of the region’s two largest institutions of higher education working together to serve students and be economic development accelerators.”

    Through the updated formalized agreement, Central Piedmont students in the Associate in Applied Science programs in Information Technology/Data Analysis, Information Technology/ Full Stack Programming, and Information Technology/ Software Development now have a path to pursue a bachelor’s degree in data science, the first degree of its kind in North Carolina. Students can transfer up to 64 credit hours toward their bachelor’s degree. 

    A bachelor’s in data science, offered through UNC Charlotte's fast-growing School of Data Science, creates opportunities for high-demand careers such as data science engineer, data analyst, research engineer, and data science developer. 

    Several new agreements are also in the pipeline between UNC Charlotte and Central Piedmont, as the institutions continue to streamline student transfer processes. 

    For 2022-23: 

    • About 17% of Charlotte’s 23,000 undergraduates had transfer credits from Central Piedmont.
    • 16% of UNC Charlotte bachelor graduates were Central Piedmont transfers. 

    UNC Charlotte is the No. 1 destination for North Carolina community college transfer students. 49erNext first launched with Central Piedmont in 2019 and has grown to include six community college partners. The program maximizes transfer credits through degree plans and regular data exchange between UNC Charlotte and the participating community college to ensure students’ progress toward the timely completion of a baccalaureate degree.

    Last fall, 93% of 49erNext transfer students were admitted into their preferred majors. 

  • Duke Energy Employees Donate to the Professional Clothing Closet

    Duke Energy employees made a significant donation to the Central Piedmont Community College Professional Clothing Closet. The generous contribution, comprising thousands of items, including suits, dress shirts, shoes, dresses, blouses, belts, jewelry, and other accessories, substantially enhances student resources.

    The Professional Clothing Closet, operating weekly on Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., is an initiative by Central Piedmont to assist students in preparing for interviews and their forthcoming professional careers. Located on the Central Campus, in the Worrell Building, Room 1152, the closet allows current students to select up to four outfits to build their professional wardrobe free of charge.

    How to Participate

    Students interested in using the Professional Clothing Closet can sign up for a shopping date. This initiative is part of Central Piedmont's commitment to supporting students academically and in their career readiness.

    Donation Details

    Central Piedmont welcomes ongoing donations to the Professional Clothing Closet. Community members can contribute by dropping off items every Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Accepted items include business suits, skirts, ties, professional shoes, blouses, belts, jewelry, blazers, slacks, and dress shirts. Donors are kindly requested to ensure all items are clean and in good condition.

    For More Information

    For additional details about the Professional Clothing Closet or to inquire about donations, please contact Mia Mallory or Dena Shonts.

    Central Piedmont Community College is grateful for the support of Duke Energy employees and the broader community in making this valuable resource a success for students.

  • Central Piedmont students can apply for Next NC Scholarships of at least $3,000

    The new “Next NC Scholarship” is a financial aid program that helps most North Carolinians from households making $80,000 or less pursue higher education by fully covering tuition and fees at any community college in the state. The assistance is not a loan, so students will not have to pay the money back. 

    The Next NC Scholarship combines the federal Pell Grant with the state-funded financial aid program to form a simplified and predictable scholarship award that is easier to understand and makes education more affordable so a greater number of North Carolina students can pursue a degree or shorter-term credential. 

    Qualifying students attending Central Piedmont or any other N.C. community college will receive at least $3,000. That means having their tuition and fees 100 percent covered. Students can also use the scholarship award to pay for books, food, and housing. 

    To apply for a Next NC Scholarship, students simply need to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. If students are eligible, they will receive the Next NC Scholarship with no additional forms to fill out. The Next NC Scholarship priority filing date is Aug. 15, 2024, for N.C. community colleges.

    To receive the Next NC Scholarship, students must be: 

    • A North Carolina resident who is eligible for in-state tuition 
    • A high school graduate (high school equivalency completers are eligible) 
    • From a household with an annual adjusted gross income (AGI) of $80,000 or less 
    • Enrolled in an eligible community college curriculum program for the 2024-2025 academic year
    • Taking at least six credit hours per semester (part-time students will receive a partial award) 
    • Meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards of the school, the student attends 
    • A student who has completed the 2024- 2025 FAFSA, with a resulting Student Aid Index (SAI) at or below 7,500 (once complete, Central Piedmont’s financial aid office will determine and confirm eligibility.)

    For more information about the Next NC Scholarship Program and other financial aid opportunities at Central Piedmont Community College, visit the Grants page or contact a financial aid counselor via email.

  • Central Piedmont to expand nursing programs to serve more students

    Central Piedmont Community College will expand its nursing programs to accommodate more students and help meet the need for more registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.

    Central Piedmont will expand its Associate Degree in Nursing Program from 200 to 300 students beginning May 2024. In turn, Central Piedmont will more than double the size of its Practical Nursing Program from 24 to 64 students. The Dickson Practical Nursing Program will add a second start date, giving students the option of beginning the program in either January or August.

    By expanding its nursing programs, Central Piedmont will offer two new options for students – an accelerated associate degree in nursing track and an LPN-to-associate-degree in nursing bridge program.

    The accelerated associate degree in nursing program will give motivated students who can attend school full-time (up to 37 hours per week) the opportunity to complete their studies in 14-15 months. In addition to the rigorous class schedule, students will need to study outside of class 10-15 hours per week. The program will open with its first class in May 2024.

    The LPN-to-ADN bridge option is designed to give licensed practical nurses a path to earn their associate degree in nursing and become registered nurses. The program will span three semesters and take one year to complete. The program, which will include on-campus and online classes, will open May 2025.

    “Central Piedmont is excited to offer more opportunities for individuals to pursue careers in nursing,” said Karen Summers, Central Piedmont dean of health sciences. “Nursing is a high-demand, high-need health career field, particularly in the Mecklenburg County region. We look forward to welcoming more students into our nursing programs.”

    See the Central Piedmont website for information about the more than 20 healthcare programs offered by the college or contact the college via email.

    For information specifically about the accelerated associate degree in nursing program that will open in May, visit the college website.

  • Central Piedmont Community College Expands Tuition Prepayment Program with the City of Charlotte

    Central Piedmont Community College is proud to announce the successful launch of the first full year of the tuition prepayment program in collaboration with the City of Charlotte. This innovative program began in October 2022 and has welcomed back City of Charlotte employee scholars this fall, marking a significant step towards educational empowerment and career advancement for city employees.

    As of fall 2023, 219 City of Charlotte employees have applied for the tuition prepayment program, with 121 participating in classes. Programs include a diverse range of course delivery methods, with 108 taking online courses, 11 in person, and 2 in hybrid formats.

    The program offers flexibility for the spring 2024 term with 16-week, 12-week, 8-week, and 4-week sessions. Already, 76 City of Charlotte employees are poised to begin classes on January 8th, highlighting the ongoing success and accessibility of the program.

    Central Piedmont remains committed to providing a comprehensive educational experience, offering associate degree programs in business administration, civil engineering, and certification and professional development courses like HR Offerings, Grant Writing, and Cyber Security.

    Marcia Colson, Associate VP of Applied Programs & Workforce Pathways, celebrates this partnership, stating, "The City of Charlotte is our third largest employer sponsorship. We are swiftly approaching the 200-student mark, a testament to the program's efficacy and the city's dedication to its workforce."

    "The personal and professional development of our employees is essential to creating upward mobility within our organization," said Sheila Simpson, City of Charlotte Director of Human Resources. "Our partnership with Central Piedmont removes a financial barrier and provides an opportunity for employees to learn new skills and explore new careers available with the city. I'm happy that our staff are taking advantage of this program as they continue to grow and provide quality service to our community."

    City employees hail the program as a gateway to new career opportunities. One student said, "The Tuition Prepayment Program is a great opportunity for people looking to broaden their career horizons." Another adds, "This kind of opportunity is virtually unheard of...I highly recommend taking advantage of this rare opportunity for a free education."

    The prepayment program is available for all City of Charlotte employees. Employees interested in the tuition prepayment program must complete an internal application with the City of Charlotte human resources department.

    This partnership underscores the shared commitment of the City of Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College to upskill and reskill employees, preparing them for the dynamic challenges of their current and future roles within the City of Charlotte.

  • Congratulations to our Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 ACA Scholarship Winners

    Congratulations to our fall 2022 and spring 2023 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.

    Learn more about the ACA Scholarship.

    Scholarship Winners

    Fall 2022

    Fall 2022 Essays (PDF)

    1. Jenifer Bendezu
    2. Stephanie Smith
    3. Isabella Covarrubias
    4. Christopher Weber
    5. Angella Hamilton
    6. Martine Bourgoin
    7. Devin Hewitt

    Spring 2023

    Spring 2023 Essays (PDF)

    1. Tiffany Zamora
    2. Madeline Palka
    3. Eliana Liantonio
    4. Tiffany Kelty
    5. Caitlin Londa
    6. Elena Creason
    7. Helen Alabi

  • Central Piedmont Community College Launches Application Cycle for Coca-Cola Consolidated Apprenticeship Program

    Central Piedmont Community College is thrilled to announce that the application cycle for the Coca-Cola Consolidated Apprenticeship Program is now open. This hands-on learning opportunity is designed to "earn and learn," providing paid apprenticeships to stimulate interest in high-demand positions in the manufacturing, equipment repair, and logistics sectors at Coke Consolidated's facilities in the Charlotte area.

    Application Cycle Now Open:

    Central Piedmont is accepting interest inquiries for the program, which begins in Summer 2024 and spans 12 months. After expressing interest, Coke Consolidated will contact candidates to provide additional information and to complete the application process. During the program, apprentices will work approximately 20 hours weekly while completing three to four college courses each semester. Apprentices will transition to full-time positions upon successful completion of the program.

    Coke Consolidated launched an apprenticeship program at Central Piedmont Community College in spring 2023 to provide formal learning through Central Piedmont and on the job experience in high-demand skilled labor positions in the following business areas at Coke Consolidated: manufacturing, equipment services and fleet maintenance at our Charlotte-area facilities. 

    Program Details

    Eligible applicants will gain paid experience through part-time roles at Coca-Cola Consolidated and its transportation subsidiary Red Classic Transportation, alongside financial support for career certificates, preparing them for positions such as:

    The fundamental requirement for these apprenticeships is a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification.

    Information Sessions:

    Central Piedmont invites prospective candidates to attend an Information Session to engage with representatives from Coke Consolidated and the college. These sessions offer detailed insights into the apprenticeship program and the career certificates that can pave the way for a future at Coke Consolidated.

    Register for Information Sessions:

    In-person and virtual attendance options:

    Virtual only:

    Central Piedmont is proud to work with Coke Consolidated to offer these apprenticeships, reinforcing our dedication to creating career pathways that align with industry needs and student success.

    For complete program information, visit

  • Central Piedmont graduates first class in new utility line worker program

    Central Piedmont Community College graduated and celebrated the first class in its new utility line worker program at a Dec. 15 ceremony, held at the Harper Campus, in Charlotte. The graduates will help meet a growing need in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region for well-trained, highly skilled utility line workers.

    The first class of utility line workers from Central Piedmont is comprised of five males and one female – Kendall Brathwaite, Fernando Cediel, Andrele Hilaire, Caleb Malin, Quaron Potts, and Brady Powell. Speakers during the graduation ceremony included Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont President; Stephen Gerhardt, senior program developer, and Powell, who offered student remarks.

    Central Piedmont announced the creation of the program in late 2022 and began conducting classes and training in late-July 2023. Duke Energy provided a start-up boost by giving the college a grant of $500,000. The Pike Corporation also helped by providing much needed equipment to establish the program at the college’s Harper Campus.

    The college is using the Duke Energy grant to provide instructional support and purchase equipment, materials and supplies needed to sustain the program. The Duke Energy Foundation recently announced it was providing the college a grant of $48,000 to further support the effort. As Central Piedmont continues to grow the program, its goal will be to produce more than 100 graduates every 12 months.

    As part of the program, students undertake a rigorous curriculum and achieve a 580-hour academic and field training goal. Students who complete the 16-week program will be able to enter the workforce quickly and will have earned multiple, specialized industry training credentials, including OSHA, CPR, Arc Flash Safety for Utilities, Bucket Truck Rescue, Class A CDL License, Pole Top Rescue, and Work Zone Flagger.

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates about 23,000 openings for line installers and repairers will be available each year, on average, over the next decade. With this trend in mind, the college, Duke Energy and Pike have partnered to develop a pipeline of diverse, skilled, and talented utility line workers by investing in the education and career development of local, Mecklenburg County citizens.

    See the college website for more information about the utility line worker program at Central Piedmont, or call 704-330-4223.