News and Features

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

  • Digital student success tool rollout underway at Central Piedmont

    Central Piedmont is partnering with Aviso to provide students, faculty, and staff with a new digital tool to maximize student success and increase retention. It will be our centralized hub to keep students better connected with their success team (navigator and/or academic advisor) and other college resources.

    Aviso allows all departments in the college to have a customized, holistic view of our students to better identify their individual needs and provide a streamlined -- and proactive -- way to help them at every step of their college journey. 

    Aviso also provides an early alerting system and robust data reporting tools to help us identify students who might be at risk -- early enough for us to most effectively intervene -- allowing us to impact students in a positive way to help them reach their individual goals. 

    For students, Aviso will give them personalized access to college resources and easy ways to contact their navigator and/or academic advisor. They’ll get alerts about grades and class progress, and about tasks that need to be completed along their journey at the college. We’ll send reminders about important dates and deadlines through the channels they use most -- text and email -- to make it simple to stay on track and stay connected with their success team. 

    “With the implementation of Aviso Retention, Central Piedmont will have the technology-enabled tools required to make a beneficial and crucial difference in the lives of our students,” said Dr. Chris Cathcart, vice president of student affairs. “Student success is not an independent task but instead a communal effort to identify and implement a strategy that best promotes success among our students. Aviso Retention is a helping hand for institutions ready to make that change.”

    Aviso rollout and training is underway for employees, and the tool will launch to students during the upcoming fall 2021 semester.

  • N.C. Longleaf Commitment Grant provides financial help for college students

    Governor Roy Cooper announced this week the launch of the North Carolina Longleaf Commitment Grant, a program for eligible 2021 North Carolina high school graduates who plan to attend one of North Carolina’s “Great 58” community colleges starting in the fall 2021 semester. 

    Thanks to the new program, high school graduates may be eligible to receive grant funds – not a loan – to cover tuition and fees toward a degree or to attain transfer credit.

    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.

    In addition, the Longleaf Commitment program will provide matching grants to affiliated colleges to help the institutions expand their student advising, success coaching, and related services to support student success after students have enrolled.

    “This is tremendous news for prospective students,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president at Central Piedmont. “The funds provided by the Longleaf Commitment Grant will help our incoming students persist and complete, achieve their academic goals, secure a better paying job, begin a family-sustaining career, or pursue further education.”

    Learn more about the North Carolina Longleaf Commitment Grant, including its eligibility requirements, and get connected to helpful resources.

    Contact the Financial Aid office.

  • College hosts 2021 commencement ceremonies

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

    The following outdoor commencement ceremonies were held:

    • Wednesday, May 12, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • College adds SALUTE Chapter

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

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

    The benefits of membership include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Central Piedmont, Bank of America and Year Up receive 2021 Distinguished Partners in Excellence Award

    The N.C. State Board of Community Colleges has awarded Central Piedmont Community College its 2021 Distinguished Partners in Excellence Award for its successful, ongoing partnership with Bank of America and Year Up.

    The State Board’s Distinguished Partners in Excellence Award honors an exemplary employer, business or industry group that has demonstrated decisive involvement and a firm commitment to the professional development of its employees and/or to the development of North Carolina's workforce through its partnership efforts with one or more of the 58 community colleges.

    Central Piedmont’s partnership with Year Up and Bank of America represents the award’s criteria well. The Year Up Charlotte program – which receives support from the Duke Endowment and the John M. Belk Endowment as well as Bank of America – strives to prepare low-income students throughout the Charlotte region for economically mobile careers. Nationwide, more than 90 percent of Year Up students identify as a person of color.

    “We are proud of the partnership between Central Piedmont Community College, Year Up and Bank of America to continue to strengthen the economic mobility opportunities within the Charlotte market. Collectively our partnership provided the students the tools, but it is important to note these motivated and smart young adults leveraged the resources and proudly exceed all of our expectations,” said Charles Bowman, Bank of America’s Charlotte Market President. “We look forward to deepening the partnership and continuing to make a positive impact for the young adults and adults of this community and region.”

    Launched in 2019, Year Up Charlotte offers first-semester students the opportunity to take credit-bearing technical courses taught by Central Piedmont faculty along with professional skills classes taught by staff of the national non-profit Year Up. Students earn a stipend and have access to the college’s many services, including its library and tutoring resources.

    “Through their commitment and support, Central Piedmont and Bank of America have given Year Up Charlotte students the opportunity to learn in-demand skills and make an impact in corporate America,” said Elise Ford, site director for Year Up Charlotte. “We are thrilled to continue partnering with Central Piedmont and Bank of America as we work to empower more young people to redefine what talent looks like and where it comes from.”

    In their second semester, Year Up Charlotte students enter a full-time, credit-earning internship at Bank of America or another corporate partner. There is no cost for students to participate in the program. Bank of America’s advocacy and strong leadership role, coupled with Year Up’s outcomes, have led other Charlotte-area companies to extend workplace-learning opportunities for the involved student population.

    When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in spring 2020, Central Piedmont and Year Up provided laptops and personal Wi-Fi hotspots so students could continue their instruction online. Bank of America provided the interns with the same technology their employees use so they could work remotely.

    “Central Piedmont is honored to receive the Distinguished Partners in Excellence Award with Bank of America and Year Up,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “When the

    Year Up Charlotte program was launched at Central Piedmont in 2019, it was the largest opening class of students in Year Up’s history. From that point forward, with Bank of America’s generous support and intense engagement, Year Up Charlotte has been a superb, high-quality program that is transforming the lives of students. Central Piedmont’s goal is to help ensure the Year Up Charlotte program continues to be a model for other schools and cities to replicate.”

    Of the partnership’s first cohort, 70 percent of graduates are now working at Bank of America full-time; 10 percent are enrolled in school full-time.

    Year Up is a national nonprofit organization that serves more the 5,000 young people annually.

    Learn more about Year Up.

    Learn more about Central Piedmont.

  • 2021 Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award and Young Alumni Award of Excellence Nominations Being Accepted

    Do you know a Central Piedmont Community College graduate who is making a tremendous difference in the community? Nominations are currently being sought for the 2021 Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award and the 2021 Young Alumni Award of Excellence. These awards recognize Central Piedmont graduates who have significantly benefited from their experiences at Central Piedmont and whose efforts have helped the community.

    Nominations are being sought for individuals who have:

    • demonstrated community involvement/professional involvement, social responsibility and impact
    • acquired scholastic and learning skills that have led to continued personal and educational growth
    • improved his or her economic status and social capital as a result of attending Central Piedmont
    • invested in the lives of others and is seen as a role model
    • graduated within the last 10 years (Young Alumni Award of Excellence only)

    Individuals interested in applying should note:

    • attendance at graduation is preferred
    • political candidates may not be selected or honored in a year in which they are actively pursuing election or re-election

    The college will present the award to this year’s winners virtually or at Central Piedmont’s commencement ceremony, depending on the status of the global pandemic. In addition, a one-year scholarship will be granted to a Central Piedmont student in an area of study reflective of the winner’s background.

    Nomination forms are available on the Central Piedmont website.

    Completed nomination forms should be submitted online; or mailed to Christa Newkirk, Office of Alumni Relations, P.O. Box 35009, Charlotte, NC, 28235. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 12, 2021, at 6 p.m. For more information, email Christa Newkirk or call 704.330.6808.

  • Bank of America, Central Piedmont, Year Up receive 2021 Distinguished Partners in Excellence Award

    The N.C. State Board of Community Colleges has awarded Central Piedmont Community College its 2021 Distinguished Partners in Excellence award for its successful partnership with Year Up and Bank of America.

    The State Board’s Distinguished Partners in Excellence award honors an exemplary employer, business, or industry group that has demonstrated decisive involvement and a firm commitment to the professional development of its employees and/or to the development of North Carolina's workforce through its partnership efforts with one or more of the 58 community colleges.

    Central Piedmont’s partnership with Year Up and Bank of America represents the award’s criteria well. The Year Up program – which also receives support from the Duke Endowment and the John M. Belk Endowment – strives to prepare low-income, minority students throughout the Charlotte region for economically mobile careers.

    Launched in 2019, Year Up offers first-semester students the opportunity to take credit-bearing technical courses taught by Central Piedmont faculty along with professional skills classes taught by staff of the national non-profit Year Up. Students earn a stipend and have access to the college’s many services, including its library and tutoring resources.

    In their second semester, students enter a full-time, credit-bearing internship financed by Bank of America. There is no cost for students.

    When the pandemic hit, Central Piedmont and Year Up provided laptops and personal Wi-Fi hotspots so students could continue their instruction online. Bank of America provided the interns with the same technology their employees use so they could work remotely.

    Of the partnership’s first cohort, 70 percent of graduates are now working at Bank of America full-time; 10 percent are enrolled in school full-time.

    Learn more about Year Up.

  • $500,000 grant to create and name the Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont

    The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte has awarded Central Piedmont Community College a $500,000 grant to develop a new licensed practical nursing program at the college that will provide students with an accelerated path to a meaningful, family-sustaining career in the healthcare industry and address the employment needs of Charlotte’s healthcare sector. Thanks to the Foundation’s generous gift, the program will permanently be named the Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont.

    “This gift will provide us with the resources we need to create a quality program,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “The funds will not only allow us to provide financial aid to our most in need students, but also enable us to hire full- and part-time faculty, develop challenging course content and purchase program-specific material and equipment that will produce quality graduates prepared to enter the workforce.”

    Licensed practical nurses serve an important role in the healthcare delivery system, ensuring quality care for patients. They assist physicians and registered nurses in providing critical, essential services, including monitoring patients’ vital signs and supervising nursing assistants and collaborating with other members of the healthcare team. Licensed practical nurses are employed in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, private practices, medical offices and with home healthcare agencies.

    Central Piedmont’s licensed 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 licensed practical nursing salary is $48,055, which offers a viable economic-mobility pathway for low-income residents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

    “The Foundation values and appreciates Central Piedmont’s important education and career training role in our community,” said R. Stuart Dickson, chairman of the board of directors for The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte. “The college is a critical resource in expanding opportunities for the citizens of Mecklenburg County. This grant addresses two of The Dickson Foundation’s priorities – education and healthcare. We are pleased to partner with Central Piedmont to begin and name this new program.”

    The Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont will be based on the college’s Central Campus and will focus on patient data collection and subsequent care, safety and hygiene, medications, use of medical records, nursing procedures, applying anatomy and physiology, professional behavior, and healthcare law and policy.

    The first cohort of licensed practical nursing students is expected to begin classes in fall 2021 and graduate in summer 2022. Upon completing the program, all of the program’s graduates will take the National Council Licensure Examination in Practical Nursing to become a nationally-certified licensed practical nurse. It is anticipated the program will begin with 18 students in its first year and grow to 40 students in the second year.

    Central Piedmont will have the option to add students in subsequent years to meet student and workforce demand.

    The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte is a longtime supporter of Central Piedmont and of healthcare and education in the Charlotte area. The Foundation’s grant will help the college further progress toward its Powering a Stronger Future campaign goal of $40 million.

    Individuals interested in learning more about the Dickson Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Central Piedmont can contact Jeanette Cheshire, associate dean of nursing and nurse aid at Central Piedmont, at 704.330.6451 or at jeanette.cheshire@cpcc.edu.