News and Features

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

  • 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.

  • 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 jeanette.cheshire@cpcc.edu.

    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.”

    Learn more about Central Piedmont’s Advanced Manufacturing programs.

  • 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 the articulation agreement.

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

  • Dr. Tracie Clark Chosen for National Presidential Fellowship for Community College Leaders

    The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today announced that Dr. Tracie Clark, vice president of strategy and organization excellence, at Central Piedmont Community College, is one of 40 leaders selected for the 2021-22 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship, a highly selective leadership program preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success.

    The Rising Presidents Fellows will embark on the 10-month fellowship beginning in November 2021. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the fellows will be mentored by esteemed current and former community college presidents who have achieved exceptional outcomes for students throughout their careers, and will learn strategies to improve student outcomes in and after college, lead internal change, and create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, employers, and other partners.

    Clark has worked at Central Piedmont 21 years in a number of important leadership roles, including communications faculty member, chair of the inaugural Quality Enhancement Plan Development and Implementation Committee, special assistant to the president, chair of the Student Success Leadership Team, and currently as a vice president - strategy and organization excellence.

    “To become institutions that truly advance social mobility and talent development, community colleges must have presidents with a clear vision for equitable student success,” said Monica Clark, director of leadership initiatives at the College Excellence Program. “We have selected these fellows because they share that commitment and are well-positioned to become transformational leaders.”

    “I am excited and proud that Dr. Tracie Clark will be a 2021-22 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “Dr. Clark epitomizes all of the qualities the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship seeks. She has a been leader, motivator and chief strategist in Central Piedmont’s efforts to improve our student experience and achieve greater levels of student retention and success among all of our students.

    “Her leadership has been and will continue to be crucial as Central Piedmont endeavors to build more paths of opportunity and economic mobility for students beginning their higher education journey, seeking skills to build a family-sustaining career, or obtaining additional credentials for career growth,” Deitemeyer added.

    The Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship responds to the growing need for a new generation of leaders well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents plan to retire in the next decade. While the traditional pathway to the presidency has often excluded women and people of color, the incoming class of Aspen Rising Presidents Fellows is composed of 68 percent women and 70 percent people of color, and represents institutions of varying sizes and locations.

    Together, the 2021-22 fellows are leaders at colleges that collectively serve more than 400,000 students. As well, 67 Rising Presidents Fellowship alumni have become presidents of community colleges that collectively serve an additional 953,000 students nationwide.

  • College receives $10-million gift commitment to strengthen arts and humanities

    A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has made a $10-million gift commitment to Central Piedmont Community College. The gift is the single-largest individual donation in Central Piedmont’s 58-year history and among the largest gifts ever made to a community college nationwide.

    Central Piedmont will use the gift to transform its role as a community resource for arts and humanities programming and learning. Plans for the gift include:

    • establishing an endowment that provides resources to attract and retain outstanding arts and humanities faculty members;
    • creating a scholarship endowment to provide Opportunity Scholarships for students who are pursuing degrees in arts and humanities;
    • creating and launching an arts and humanities series which will bring renowned authors, artists, and performers to Central Piedmont for the benefit of students, faculty, staff and the greater Charlotte-Mecklenburg community;
    • establishing a public art fund, which will provide resources to commission public art for the enhancement of outdoor spaces at the college, enriching the lives of students, faculty, staff and visitors on a daily basis;
    • enhancing instruction in the visual arts; and
    • creating an endowment to support and expand instruction and learning in the arts and humanities at the college.

    “This magnanimous gift will strengthen Central Piedmont’s capacity to educate, train, and empower well-rounded individuals who will understand, appreciate, and participate in the rich and diverse cultural traditions that strengthen the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “The generous donor believes regardless of students’ academic background and desired education and career pathway, their perspectives should include experiences in the arts and humanities to achieve a better comprehension of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future. Through our conversations, it’s clear the donor believes Central Piedmont is a critical community resource for Mecklenburg County residents beginning their higher education journey, seeking skills to build a family-sustaining career, or needing additional credentials for career growth.

    “A gift of this magnitude will be transformative for the college and the community. As a result of this gift, Central Piedmont students will gain a greatly enhanced appreciation of the arts and humanities, aiding them as they build productive lives of meaning and service. At the same time, Central Piedmont will be able to establish itself as a national leader in arts and humanities education among community colleges,” Deitemeyer added.

    The $10-million gift commitment comes to the college as part of its ongoing “Powering a Stronger Future campaign.” Powering a Stronger Future is an ambitious, five-year, comprehensive, fundraising effort focused on providing students with greater access to outstanding educational and career-preparation opportunities, addressing the workforce needs of business and industry in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The campaign will conclude on June 30, 2022.

  • Introducing the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center

    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 Community College, the college is naming its new health programs facility on its Central Campus the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center.

    Located at the corner of Charlottetowne Avenue and Elizabeth Avenue, the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center opened in August 2020. While many Central Piedmont students still were taking classes remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students in a number of health careers programs that require in-person instruction began taking classes and labs in the new facility immediately.

    Covering approximately 74,450 square-feet of space, the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center provides a home base for multiple health professions programs, including dental assisting, biomedical equipment technology, surgical technology, and polysomnography, and hosts a state-of-the-art virtual-anatomy classroom. In addition, the facility provides students with a number of hospital simulation rooms, including, trauma, mother and child, pediatric, typical patient rooms, an operating room, clinical laboratory, and pharmacy. The building is also home to the geomatics and civil engineering programs and provides several general use classrooms.

    “The Leon Levine Health Sciences Center has already made a significant and positive impact on the learning experience of our health professions students,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “The center is a state-of-the-art, cutting edge facility, in which the college can prepare its students well for the professional work environments they will enter and the equipment they will use.

    “We thank The Leon Levine Foundation for its generous grant, which will help Central Piedmont continue to provide a comprehensive offering of health careers programs that are among the best in North Carolina. Students in our nursing and allied health programs will continue to thrive at Central Piedmont and enter the workforce well-prepared to provide superb care.”

    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. Central Piedmont will use the grant to support programs aimed at providing health careers training and help ensure a broad range of students have access to these programs.

    “We are honored to be part of investing in Central Piedmont Community College’s ability to offer top-notch academic healthcare instruction and a career pathway for generations of students to come,” explained Tom Lawrence, president of The Leon Levine Foundation. “The new facility will also help promote access to quality medical care by creating a pipeline of professionals for the region’s healthcare sector and by providing valuable medical resources to both students and the community.”

    The Leon Levine Health Sciences Center at a glance:

    • Construction began – September 2017
    • Facility opened to students – August 2020
    • Square footage – 74,450
    • Source of funding – 2013 Mecklenburg County bond referendum
    • Architects – Creech & Associates working with Morris-Berg Architects
    • Project manager – Rodgers Builders

    About The Leon Levine Foundation
    Established in 1980 by Leon Levine (Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Family Dollar Stores, Inc.), The Leon Levine Foundation supports programs and organizations that improve the human condition through investments in education, healthcare, human services and Jewish values. Based in Charlotte, N.C., the Foundation invests in nonprofits across North Carolina and South Carolina with strong leadership, a track record of success, and a plan for financial sustainability. Through its investments, the Foundation intends to create pathways to self-sufficiency, champion strategies for permanent change, and facilitate opportunities for growth. Learn more online at https://www.leonlevinefoundation.org/  or follow on Twitter and Facebook @LeonLevineFdn.