News and Features

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

  • Congratulations to our Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 ACA Scholarship Winners

    Congratulations to our fall 2023 and spring 2024 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 2023

    Fall 2023 Essays (PDF)

    • Yaretzhy Melo-Garcia
    • Lori Jenrette
    • Jaclyn Muckey
    • Sandra Tomas
    • Nandipa Kuuya
    • Maramawit Teketel
    • Thuy Pham

    Spring 2024

    Spring 2024 Essays (PDF)

    • Momoko Ozaki
    • Elise Ramirez
    • Samantha Stone
    • David Kushnir
    • Nicolas Golafshan
    • Preshonna Stowe
    • Aayush Niroula

  • Central Piedmont earns reaccreditation

    The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has reaffirmed the accreditation of Central Piedmont Community College. This 10-year reaffirmation comes after off-site and on-site reviews of the college and its academic programs.

    Central Piedmont’s reaffirmation means the college overall and its academic programs remain fully accredited. Central Piedmont received official notice of its reaffirmed accreditation on July 1. Central Piedmont’s next reaffirmation process will come in 2033-34.

    SACSCOC is an institutional accreditor for quality assurance in higher education. SACSCOC accredits institutions that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees, including those offered via distance and correspondence education, and direct assessment within these institutions. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among its members in the United States and international institutions of higher education approved by the SACSCOC Executive Council, Board of Trustees, and the Appeals Committee of the College Delegate Assembly.

    Accreditation by SACSCOC signifies the institution 1) has a mission appropriate to higher education, 2) has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission, and 3) maintains clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees its offers, and that indicate whether it is successful in achieving its stated objectives.

    To gain or maintain accreditation with SACSCOC, an institution must comply with the standards contained in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement and with the policies and procedures of the commission. SACSCOC applies the requirements of its principles to all applicant, candidate, and member institutions, regardless of type of institution (public, private for-profit, or private not-for-profit).

  • Central Piedmont Launches High School Instructor Certificate Program

    Bachelor's degree graduates who want to teach part-time in North Carolina high schools now have an avenue through Central Piedmont.

    Central Piedmont’s High School Adjunct Instructor certificate program provides a course of study leading to the development of the general pedagogy and competencies needed to become an adjunct instructor in a public high school in North Carolina. 

    Coursework includes classroom management and pedagogy, effective instructional methods, foundations of education, educational technology, and other related topics. Potential candidates should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and apply through the College Foundation of North Carolina website.

    For more information about Central Piedmont’s K-12 teacher preparation programs, contact Jennifer Perkins, program chair, K-12 education.  

    "As a provider of K-12 teacher preparation programs, Central Piedmont can impact the current teaching shortage in the Charlotte region and across North Carolina," Perkins said. "The high school adjunct instructor certificate program is a direct path to prepare those interested in teaching part-time by providing the coursework and support to be successful in a high school classroom."

  • Grant Provides Tools, One-Time Cash Supplements to Central Piedmont Students

    Thanks to a grant from Faison Enterprises, Inc., 70 Central Piedmont Community College students in the Construction Management, Electrical Systems Technology, and Welding programs received a tool set valued at nearly $500 to help jump-start their careers.

    Tools included safety glasses, helmets, multimeters, measuring tapes, backpacks, and more. Central Piedmont instructors selected the tools to best work for the students as they begin their careers. 

    In addition to the tool sets, the students also received a $750 cash supplement to use however they need as they embark on the next step in their academic and career journey. 

    “This is an amazing gift,” said Colton Droke, an electrical systems technology student. “I didn’t have the money to afford something like this, and this a great opportunity. I’ve been using my grandfather’s toolbox, which is more like a tackle box, and a variety of hand-me-down tools. I’ll use this every day.” 

    “This will help me immediately,” added Farris Robertson, a dual enrollment student studying carpentry. “I’m very grateful because I would have had to purchase this out of my own pocket, and now I can use that money elsewhere.” 

    “Faison is very excited to partner with Central Piedmont and launch this pilot program,” said Kris Fetter, President and CEO of Faison. “Central Piedmont is such an important institution serving the Charlotte community. We want these students to receive the best education in these fields of study so they can enter the workforce and have a productive, meaningful career.”

    Faison Enterprises, Inc. was founded in 1988 by Henry J. Faison. His vision was to create a firm that focused primarily on real estate investing, but above all to be a good corporate citizen. The firm’s mission is to honor the legacy of Mr. Faison by partnering with nonprofits on transformative initiatives. The pilot program at Central Piedmont fulfills one of the firm’s objectives in promoting career/workforce readiness. For more information, please see

  • Rick Hendrick and Hendrick Automotive Group make gift of land to Central Piedmont for new training center

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Hendrick Automotive Group and local business leader Rick Hendrick have given Central Piedmont Community College approximately 23 acres of land adjacent to the college’s Levine Campus in Matthews. Central Piedmont will use the donated property to build a new first responder training facility. 

    The gift is the latest milestone in a long-time relationship between Central Piedmont, the Hendrick family, and Charlotte-based Hendrick Automotive Group. The college opened the Joe Hendrick Center for Automotive Technology in 2006 at the Levine Campus. Each year, the center, named for Joseph R. Hendrick Jr., father of Rick Hendrick, serves more than 3,000 students who aspire to be automotive technicians as well as employed technicians who seek updated skills. A gift from the Hendrick family allowed the college to construct the center. 

    “Institutions of higher education can flourish and make an enhanced impact only when they have corporate and community partners who are willing to collaborate and dream with them. Central Piedmont has such a partner in Rick Hendrick and Hendrick Automotive Group,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “This generous gift will allow the college to realize its vision of building a first responder training facility in southeast Mecklenburg County, where none currently exists. The college appreciates its long-running partnership with the Hendrick family and Hendrick Automotive Group.” 

    Plans for the first responder training center include law enforcement, fire and rescue, EMS, forensics, detention, and telecommunicator facilities. Outdoor training spaces will include a scenario training village and emergency driving range. Indoor facilities will provide a firing range and a fire and rescue area with specialized equipment for comprehensive training. The center will be constructed in phases, with the first phase opening in 2027, and phase two opening in 2028. 

    “Central Piedmont is a cornerstone of the Charlotte community and our broader region,” said Hendrick, the chairman and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group. “Over many years, we’ve been humbled by our relationship with the school, and we’re delighted to support the continued growth of its exceptional Levine Campus. When we broke ground on the Joe Hendrick Center back in 2005, I could not have predicted how substantial its impact would be. With the knowledge that Central Piedmont will use this land to develop a world-class training facility for our first responders, today’s announcement is especially meaningful. My family and our teammates at Hendrick Automotive Group are truly honored to be involved.” 

    In addition to its law enforcement, fire and rescue, EMS and forensics programs, Central Piedmont offers an associate degree program in Public Safety Administration. The two-year program provides students multiple tracks to tailor their experience toward their desired career or current field of expertise.   

    The college has designed the Public Safety Administration curriculum to provide students, as well as practitioners, with knowledge and skills in the technical, managerial and administrative areas necessary for entrance or advancement within various public safety and government organizations. Students completing the program can pursue careers within fire and police departments, emergency management organizations, governmental agencies, industrial firms, correctional facilities, private industries, insurance organizations, educational organizations, security and protective organizations, and through self-employment opportunities. 

    See the Central Piedmont website for more information about the college’s first responder and public safety administration programs. 

    *Editor’s Note: To support our branding initiatives, please refer to the college as:
    First reference: Central Piedmont Community College  
    Second reference: Central Piedmont  
    The college no longer uses the “CPCC” acronym.  

    About Central Piedmont  

    Central Piedmont Community College is highly accessible and convenient to people of all ages who seek a real-world, affordable, hands-on education that will transform their lives and strengthen the economic, social, and cultural environment of Mecklenburg County. Central Piedmont is also a smart investment. At a fraction of the cost, students learn by doing, receiving a combination of technical and soft skills training from quality faculty who prepare them to enter the workforce and make a difference in their family, business, community, and world. Founded in 1963, Central Piedmont Community College has eight locations throughout Mecklenburg County, offering nearly 300 degree, diploma, and certification programs; customized corporate training; market-focused continuing education; and special interest classes. For more information, visit, or connect with the college on social media at  

    About Hendrick Automotive Group 

    Representing 131 franchises and 25 manufacturer nameplates from the Carolinas to California, Hendrick Automotive Group is the largest privately held automotive retail organization in the United States. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the company employs more than 10,000 people in its 94 dealership locations, 21 collision centers and four accessories distributor installers in 13 states. For more information, please visit

  • Central Piedmont’s Truist Honors Scholars Prepared for Beyond What’s Next

    Central Piedmont Community College’s Truist Honors Program understands the importance of preparing scholars for the next step in their life journey.

    Central Piedmont’s first research subcommittee of Truist Honors Scholars developed dissertation-like proposals and research-based academic presentations to present at academic conferences followed by an Honors Program Expo, where scholars presented to a group of students, faculty, staff, and college leaders.

    The goal of the research subcommittee is to educate and expose undergraduate honors scholars to experiences and opportunities related to their interests and long-term goals whether they plan to earn a degree, transfer, or enter the workplace. The program defines success as preparing scholars for beyond what’s next.

    Scholars worked for months to understand the terms associated with research, how to conduct a literature review, the use of theories to support their research, the population of interest, and the justification of choices made to support their proposal method and design. Universities and employers value individuals who know the usefulness of research in addition to knowing how to utilize data to tell a story, make decisions, and develop plans.

    Ultimately, they desire critical thinking, communication, collaboration, information and technology literacy, individuals who are comfortable with research and data, and understand the practical application without the fear that many students have when they hear the word research.

    Truist Honors Scholars can participate in designated honors courses, honors curated events, and/or immersion experiences aligned with research, scholarship, and innovation. All of these align with the foundations of Central Piedmont’s Honors Program from the hands-on experience of developing a research proposal, identifying existing literature and credible resources, applying research to the local and global community, and using their leadership skills to create clearly defined goals during the research process.

    Throughout their experiences, scholars are required to reflect and describe their academic, professional, and personal growth as well as the impact of these experiences on their future. Truist Honors Scholars described these experiences as life-changing for a variety of reasons, but the number one reason is that they now know they can do it.

    Deninne Pritchett, honors program faculty director, shares that “even as a seasoned professional and terminal degree holder,” she learns more about research every day, as well as ways to improve how to investigate, display, and manage data. She adds, “If there had been a focus on research, data, and reporting during my community college years, I would have understood more about developing original research than I did at the beginning of my PhD journey.”

    This highlights the importance of Central Piedmont’s Truist Honors Scholars’ taste of doctoral life while attending community college which opens a whole new world of possibilities.

    Central Piedmont hopes to fuel students’ interest and passion for research by launching the Piedmont Interdisciplinary Studies Journal (PISJ), a peer-reviewed academic journal for undergraduate and graduate researchers to publish starting in Fall 2024. The honors program-supported journal will accept scholarly work from various academic fields: empirical research, literature reviews, theoretical analysis, book reviews, and literature-supported student topic papers.

    Contact Dr. Deninne Pritchett for details about the Truist Honors Program and the Piedmont Interdisciplinary Studies Journal.

  • Central Piedmont receives $1 million gift from Coca-Cola Consolidated for scholarships, program support

    CHARLOTTE, NC – Central Piedmont Community College has received a $1 million gift from Coca-Cola Consolidated to support U.S. military veterans and first responder scholarships, provide program support, and assist with other critical needs at the college.

    Central Piedmont provides its military veteran students a range of services in a purposeful and caring way aimed at helping them transition from military service to civilian success in the classroom and the community while accessing all available veterans benefits. The college’s first responder or public safety programs include Basic Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice, Emergency Medicine, Fire Protection, and Public Safety Administration.

    Headquartered in Charlotte, Coca-Cola Consolidated is the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States, serving consumers, customers and communities for more than 122 years. The company makes, sells and distributes beverages of The Coca-Cola Company and other partner companies in more than 300 brands and flavors across 14 states and the District of Columbia to approximately 60 million consumers. Coca-Cola Consolidated was named the “World’s Most Admired Company” by Fortune and “America’s Most Successful Midsize Company” by Forbes in 2024.

    “We are honored to partner with Central Piedmont to support U.S. military veterans and first responders in this way,” said Morgan Everett, Vice Chair, Coca-Cola Consolidated. “Our purpose to serve others includes extending a pathway to opportunity, and we hope this gift will provide critical job-readiness skills to our community members as they enter the workforce.”

    Recognizing the growing need for public safety professionals in Mecklenburg County, Central Piedmont launched a new associate degree program in Public Safety Administration in August 2023. The two-year program offers students multiple tracks to tailor their experience toward their desired career or current field of expertise. The program tracks include security and loss prevention, emergency and fire management, law enforcement, and corrections.

    “Central Piedmont thanks Coca-Cola Consolidated for its generous gift in support of our military veteran and first responder students,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “This gift will ease the financial burdens of deserving students who have chosen to serve their country and protect our community. Coca-Cola Consolidated’s support will have a significant and positive impact for generations to come.”

    The Coca-Cola Consolidated gift is the latest initiative in a multi-year partnership between the company and the college. Coca-Cola Consolidated and Central Piedmont also have collaborated to develop a unique workplace learning program. The Coca-Cola Consolidated Apprenticeship Program is a hands-on learning opportunity that provides 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. Through the program, apprentices work approximately 20 hours weekly while completing three to four college courses each semester. Apprentices transition to full-time positions upon successful completion of the program.

    About Central Piedmont

    Central Piedmont Community College is highly accessible and convenient to people of all ages who seek a real-world, affordable, hands-on education that will transform their lives and strengthen the economic, social, and cultural environment of Mecklenburg County. Central Piedmont is a smart investment. At a fraction of the cost, students learn by doing, receiving a combination of technical and soft skills training from quality faculty who prepare them to enter the workforce and make a difference in their family, business, community, and world. Founded in 1963, Central Piedmont Community College has eight locations throughout Mecklenburg County, offering nearly 300 degree, diploma, and certification programs; customized corporate training; market-focused continuing education; and special interest classes. For more information, visit, or connect with the college on social media.

    About Coca-Cola Consolidated, Inc.

    Coca-Cola Consolidated is the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States. Our Purpose is to honor God in all we do, to serve others, to pursue excellence and to grow profitably. For over 122 years, we have been deeply committed to the consumers, customers and communities we serve and are passionate about the broad portfolio of beverages and services we offer. We make, sell and distribute beverages of The Coca-Cola Company and other partner companies in more than 300 brands and flavors across 14 states and the District of Columbia, to approximately 60 million consumers.

    Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Coca-Cola Consolidated is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “COKE.” More information about the Company is available online. Follow Coca-Cola Consolidated on Facebook, X, Instagram and LinkedIn. 

  • Recent Central Piedmont graduate wins Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

    The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has announced the selection of 60 community college students from across the United States as recipients of the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. This highly competitive award allows students to complete their undergraduate degrees at four-year institutions with minimal financial burden. 

    Monisha “Mo” Pirela, who graduated from Central Piedmont Community College on May 9, is one of the scholarship recipients. Pirela earned an associate in applied science degree in Architectural Technology at Central Piedmont. A Truist Honors Scholar and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Pirela will attend UNC Charlotte with the start of it fall 2024 semester. Pirela is the only 2024 Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship recipient from North Carolina.

    According to Community College Research Center data, transfer pathways from community colleges are a significant contributor to enrollment and diversity at four-year institutions. However, a lack of scholarship opportunities for transfer students, as well as other obstacles like losing credits during the transfer process, continue to keep bachelor’s degree completion rates low.

    One objective of the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is to give scholars the opportunity to graduate with as little debt as possible. The award, which is last-dollar funding after all other institutional aid, can provide as much as $55,000 a year. In addition to the financial support, Cooke Transfer Scholars receive comprehensive educational advising – guidance that is crucial for navigating their transition to four-year colleges and planning their career paths. Cooke Scholars also benefit from access to internship opportunities, study abroad and graduate school funding, as well as a dynamic network of over 3,000 Cooke Scholars and Alumni. 

    This year’s application saw nearly 1,700 applications from more than 380 community colleges. Applicants were evaluated on their academic prowess, financial need, and leadership qualities.

    Central Piedmont offers its students a number of direct-transfer pathway options, which are guaranteed admission programs through which students who earn an associate degree can transfer directly to a four-year college or university. Several of the pathway programs include scholarships and other financial assistance. See the Central Piedmont website for more details.

    The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded almost $282 million in scholarships to more than 3,300 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $133 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.

  • Central Piedmont holds spring 2024 commencement ceremony

    Central Piedmont Community College held its 2024 spring commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 9, at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte. More than 1,025 students “marched” and received their college credentials during the morning and afternoon ceremonies. 

    Central Piedmont’s tradition is to have graduating students serve as commencement keynote speakers. During the morning festivities, Ndianor Gbandala, a 2024 graduate, addressed her peers by delivering the commencement address. Brianna Duncan, also a 2024 graduate, spoke at the afternoon ceremony. Gbandala graduated with an associate degree in Medical Laboratory Technology. Duncan has earned an associate degree in Nursing. 

    Both Gbandala and Duncan shared how they overcame struggles and challenges to complete their program of studies and received warm rounds of applause from their fellow graduates and audience members.

    Students graduating from Central Piedmont with a degree, diploma, or certificate could participate in either the morning or afternoon ceremony. Central Piedmont combined its for-credit and non-degree program conferrals into both ceremonies, allowing graduates to “walk” at the time that best fits their families’ schedules.

  • Plant Sale Puts Spotlight on Horticulture Technology Program

    Featuring an array of vegetables, flowers, trees, and ferns, Central Piedmont’s Horticulture Technology students held their semi-annual plant sale on Cato Campus April 19-20. 

    The plant sales draw not just employees and students from the Central Piedmont community, but plenty from the public as well. 

    Jacquelyn Sumrell, a first-year student who is making a career change and eventually would like to be a horticulture instructor, said the plant sale provided an opportunity to put her skills learned in the program to practical use. 

    “We do everything in this process, from cleaning up the plants, preparing them for sale, tagging them correctly, and helping spread the word by marketing the sale,” explained Jacquelyn Sumrell, a first-year student. “It’s helped me gain a better understanding of the process of growing a plant from start to finish. I also have a better appreciation of what the customers are looking for and how to help them.” 

    The knowledge of the students was evident in their work with the customers. One prospective buyer asked a student for the best way to deter deer, rabbits, and squirrels from his garden, and was directed to the peppers to keep the wildlife at bay. 

    Kelly Black, who is in her ninth year as an instructor in the program, praised the way the students have worked this year to ensure the success of the spring sale. 

    “They take a lot of pride in the program,” Black said. “To take something they grow, then sell it to a customer, is special for them. They love the hands-on work that is involved in it.” 

    Given the length of time it takes for some of the plants to propagate, students in this cohort are also finishing what previous classes started last year. That cycle will continue and is a point of pride for students in the program, some of whom return to the plant sale to see their work. 

    As part of their coursework, the students are required to take a business class to help prepare them for that part of the work, and Black said they research the costs and set their own prices for selling the various plants.  

    “We want them to have the experience of running their own business,” she said.