Titan Solar Power Gives Central Piedmont STEM Grant
Titan Solar Power has given Central Piedmont Community College a grant of $15,000 to assist the college in enriching the experience of underrepresented students in its associate degree STEM programs.
The grant will provide funds for students to participate in STEM exposure workshops, career panels, STEM-related counseling for university transfer, and STEM company visits. The college also will use the grant to hold “STEM Tank” competitions, during which students will propose solutions to STEM-related problems relevant to the Central Piedmont and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.
The grant period will run through June 2023 and be open to as many as 60 students in Central Piedmont’s Associate of Science, Associate of Engineering, and Associate of Applied Science programs.
“At Titan Solar Power, we believe service to others is an essential part of the human experience. Our branches nationwide are empowered and encouraged to select local charity partners that align with their culture and call to their hearts. On behalf of our Charlotte branch, we are thrilled to partner with Central Piedmont Community College to support the extraordinary work it does,” said Sam Jones, Titan Solar Power director of public relations and marketing.
According to the Pew Research Center and Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM employment needs are projected to grow by 9.2 percent by 2029. However, according to the National Center for Education Statistics and American Council on Education, only 18 percent of all higher education degrees are awarded each year in STEM fields. Of STEM degree recipients nationally, only 32.4 percent are female, 12.6 percent are Black, and 16.7 percent are Latino/Hispanic.
At the same time, North Carolina ranks only 26th in the nation in engineers as a percentage of the workforce, according to data compiled by the National Science Board. Studies show states and regions with a high concentration of engineers have a greater capacity for innovation and often lead in key industries.
“Anything we can do to recruit and retain students in our STEM degree programs is important and greatly needed in the Charlotte region and across North Carolina” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “That’s why this generous grant from Titan Solar Power will have such a positive and significant impact. The college thanks Titan Solar Power for its support and partnership.”
Central Piedmont offers more than a dozen STEM programs. Visit the college website for full details.
Central Piedmont’s RN program ranked among the best in North Carolina
RegisteredNursing.org, a nursing advocacy organization, has released its annual lists of “Best RN Programs.” Central Piedmont Community College's RN program is ranked number two among the 20 that were evaluated in North Carolina. The number-two ranking is the highest among N.C. community college programs.
The complete “2023 Best RN Programs in North Carolina” ranking can be found at online. RegisteredNursing.org assessed nursing programs using several factors which represent how well a program supports students toward licensure and beyond. Details about the methodology used can be reviewed online.
Central Piedmont's nursing program is the oldest program in the N.C. Community College System and has graduated more than 3,000 students since its inception in 1965. Interested students can apply to enter three different nursing tracks:
- The Christa A. Overcash Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) Program
- The one-year Dickson Practical Nursing Program
- Nurse Aide Program
To learn more about Central Piedmont’s more than 20 healthcare career programs, visit the college website.
Record $66.3 million raised during campaign
The five-year “Powering A Stronger Future” campaign proved to be a tremendous success, raising $66,316,795 for Central Piedmont Community College. More than 3,270 donors made gifts and pledges to the campaign, with more than half of the benefactors giving to the college for the first time. The campaign opened with a $40-million goal, making it the most ambitious campaign in Central Piedmont’s history. When the campaign closed on June 30, it had surpassed its goal by more than $26 million, setting a new, all-time fundraising record for the college.
Among the larger gifts received were:
- $10 million from an individual benefactor to support the arts and humanities
- $5 million from an individual donor for scholarships
- $4 million from the Foundation for the Carolinas to support the college’s early Childhood Education Program and students
The campaign’s priorities concentrated on assisting students, ensuring instructional excellence, and providing for faculty and staff development.
“The Powering A Stronger Future campaign has enabled the college to establish 81 new scholarships; enrich the student experience through increased access to academic support, mentoring, and advising services; serve Charlotte's most under-resourced and fragile populations through accelerated adult learning and expanded programming for early childhood educators; and enhance our annual fund to sustain essential operations and services that ensure student success,” explained Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president.
“The college sincerely thanks everyone who made a gift or pledge during the campaign. Their generosity is helping Central Piedmont transform lives by providing pathways to opportunity, career success and greater economic mobility. We also thank our campaign chairs, campaign committee, and the Central Piedmont Foundation Board of Directors. Their dedication and love for the college made this a wonderfully historic effort,” Deitemeyer added.
Leading the campaign were Pat Rodgers, honorary chair; Weston Andress, Linda Lockman-Brooks, and Carl Showalter, campaign co-chairs; and campaign committee members Benton Bragg, Edwin Dalrymple, Claudia Heath, Jonathan Ishee, Susan Jamison, Christine Katziff, Christian Robinson, Caldwell Rose, and Glenn Sherrill.
Central Piedmont celebrated the close of the Powering A Stronger Future campaign at a Sept. 15 dinner, held on Central Campus, in the new Parr Center.
Health Career Grads Score Well on Certification Exams
Central Piedmont’s heath career programs continue to prepare students well to meet critical workforce needs in Mecklenburg County.
Students graduating in 2022 from Central Piedmont’s Cytotechnology, Dental Hygiene, Medical Laboratory Technology, Ophthalmic Medical Personnel, and Polysomnography programs all achieved 100-percent certification exam pass rates. Nursing NCLEX exam pass rates were 98 percent, and Dental Assisting grads earned a 96-percent pass rate. Job placement rates are at or trending to 100 percent for all Central Piedmont health programs.
To learn more about Central Piedmont’s more than 20 health careers programs, see the college website, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 704.330.6496.
Bank of America Gift Enables Atrium Health Meaningful Medicine Opportunity at Central Piedmont Community College
Thanks to a $10 million gift from Bank of America last month, Atrium Health has brought its Meaningful Medicine program to Central Piedmont Community College with the opening of a community-based virtual clinic. The clinic will provide health opportunities for students and staff, in addition to providing career pathways for students at Central Piedmont.
“Atrium Health’s belief that care should be ‘for all’ is taking place at Central Piedmont Community College with the opening of this new, community-based virtual clinic,” said Dr. Scott Rissmiller, enterprise executive vice president and chief physician executive for Atrium Health. “With the generous gift from Bank of America, Atrium Health’s Meaningful Medicine supports improved access to health care and expands health equity and helps grow our next generation of health care workers in our community.”
The new virtual care clinic at Central Piedmont aims to unite the best innovations within health care, social impact and workforce development to directly target health equity and economic mobility goals within Charlotte. With improved access to health care, the clinic will help mitigate disease progression, reduce missed class days due to illness and optimize access to primary care and a medical home.
Utilizing innovative technologies and digital diagnostics, the clinic will offer a variety of services, including: evaluation and treatment of common medical concerns; point of care testing and sample collection, such as strep throat testing, COVID testing, etc.; electronically prescribe medications to a pharmacy that’s convenient to the patient; care coordination and support for patients to establish or reconnect with a medical home; coordinating follow-up appointments with primary care providers; and, connecting students and families to a host of community resources through Atrium Health’s Community Resource Hub – from food pantries to housing and financial assistance needs.
“Atrium Health’s Meaningful Medicine program is a wonderful partnership that will create accessible, community-based virtual-care sites at Central Piedmont Community College and YMCA locations,” said Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “We are excited the community-based virtual clinic at Central Piedmont will be available to students, their family members, college employees and our community neighbors. We believe the clinic will provide a much needed and appreciated service.”
Meaningful Medicine is a highly collaborative program uniting the best innovations within health care, social impact and workforce development – all with the objective of directly targeting health inequality in Charlotte. The Atrium Health, Bank of America and Central Piedmont partnership will allow for the evaluation and development of a replicable, scalable and successful model for other cities across the United States. This investment will serve two valuable purposes: providing health care access to our most vulnerable communities and offering a pathway to a health care career for students and, for many, providing the opportunity to end the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
College dedicates Pauline Dove Gallery
Central Piedmont dedicated the Pauline Dove Gallery, located in the college’s new Parr Center, on September 8.
Pauline, affectionately known as “Polly,” taught art at the college for 30 years, before retiring in 2000.
A world-renowned artist, her work has been exhibited across the globe, including in Canada, India, Germany, Finland, Kenya, and Peru. Today, her paintings can be viewed on billboards across the Queen City, promoting ARTPop, an Arts & Science Council initiative that showcases local artists’ work in public places to make art accessible to all people in the Charlotte community.
Honeywell makes $1-million gift to establish STEM Scholars Academy
Honeywell, a global leader in aerospace, building technologies, performance materials, and technologies, has made a $1-million gift commitment to Central Piedmont Community College to establish the Honeywell STEM Scholars Academy at the college. The gift will come to Central Piedmont in annual installments of $200,000 over the next five years.
The gift and the creation of the Honeywell STEM Scholars Academy were announced during a Sept. 6 event , at Honeywell’s global headquarters, in Charlotte.
The Honeywell STEM Scholars Academy will boost diversity among students enrolled in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) programs at the college who are pursuing a certification, degree, and careers in a high-demand STEM-related field. The college plans to involve 100 students in the academy, beginning in fall 2022, and seeks to engage 125 additional students each year, over the next four years.
“Many thanks to Honeywell for this generous gift that will help the college transform even more lives while filling a real need in this community — graduating more students with a background in STEM,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “The STEM Scholars Academy will seek to recruit and retain students from populations currently underrepresented in STEM fields. This will help Central Piedmont better address the local workforce’s demands and prepare our students for greater economic mobility and career prospects in the future.”
As a Honeywell STEM Scholars Academy student, participants will have the opportunity to focus on one of three STEM academic pathways at Central Piedmont – engineering, health sciences, or information technology – and have access to a variety of Central Piedmont’s student support services, including tutoring, coaching, peer mentoring, career counseling, and more.
"Honeywell’s investment in STEM education is about helping to advance economic mobility for minority students by removing financial barriers to education and guiding them toward in-demand careers,” said Karen Mattimore, chief human resources officer and senior vice president for Honeywell. “Honeywell is a key employer in STEM fields because we understand investing in education will contribute to a strong pipeline of career-ready graduates.”
In addition to having the opportunity to take advantage of Central Piedmont’s many academic resources, academy students will receive STEM education and training opportunities through the Carolina Youth Coalition, a non-profit organization that prepares high-achieving, under-resourced students to enter, excel in, and graduate from college so they can become full participants in society.
Central Piedmont named to Forbes’ List of ‘America’s Best-in-State Employers’
Forbes partnered with Statista to compile its annual list of “America’s Best-in-State Employers.” Central Piedmont is ranked #81 among the top 100 North Carolina businesses.
The ranking is based on a survey of 70,000 American employees, representing 25 different industries, who offered their feedback on the organization’s employee experience, specifically its working conditions, salary, potential for growth, and diversity. Individuals directly affiliated with the college, as well as those who are indirectly associated with Central Piedmont, were surveyed. View the complete list of honorees.
“This recognition reinforces Central Piedmont’s reputation as an employer that provides abundant opportunities and a positive and inclusive work environment,” said Mark Short, the college’s chief of staff and leader of talent development. “Of the thousands of employers eligible for this designation, only a select few were awarded in each state. This supports Central Piedmont’s commitment to its faculty and staff members and their overall professional development.”
Central Piedmont is an attractive option for individuals seeking employment. The college is recognized as a Mecklenburg County resource for workforce development, academic excellence, and cultural enrichment. At present, some 40,000 students attend Central Piedmont. With eight locations, it is one of the largest community colleges in the Carolinas and serves 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.
To learn how to join the Central Piedmont family, visit the college’s Human Resources Web page.
Central Piedmont dedicates $113.4 million Parr Center
College leaders, local elected officials and the benefactors for whom the building is named all took part in Central Piedmont Community College’s dedication of the 184,000 square-foot Parr Center today.
The Parr Center is the largest building constructed in the college’s 59-year history and serves as its first-ever student union. With its prominent location on Elizabeth Avenue, the Parr Center is the new front door to the college’s Central Campus and its signature building. Named for college benefactors Wilton L. and Mary W. Parr and their generous support of Central Piedmont over many years, the Parr Center is located on the footprint of two previous college structures – the Terrell Building and the Hagemeyer Learning Resource Center. The Parr Center’s positioning allowed the college to expand the size of the main quad and provides striking new architecture along Elizabeth Avenue, the main street through Central Campus. The center opened to students and the public on July 5.
“We believe this building will help students be successful,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “The services they receive here, and the space provided where they can study, collaborate, mediate and, yes, rest, will help them persist and stay on the path to completion.”
The Parr Center was constructed with Mecklenburg County bonds funds. George Dunlap, chair of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, remarked those funds were well spent. “The Parr Center is a wonderful example of the county using its resources to help those institutions that serve this community,” Dunlap said. “Working together – the county and the college – we have achieved this, and we all have a reason to be proud.”
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said she was pleased the college designed the facility with students as the focus. “When I look at this magnificent new facility, knowing that it was conceived and built to serve students and enhance the student experience at Central Piedmont, I know it is another example of the college staying true to its mission,” Lyles said.
Approximately 200 people attended the outdoor ceremony, which paid tribute to Dr. Richard Hagemeyer, Central Piedmont’s first president and the namesake of the new Hagemeyer Library, located in the Parr Center. Also honored were Wilton and Mary Parr for their decades-long support of the college.
“I am proud of my association with Central Piedmont Community College. I truly enjoyed taking classes here; they were fantastic,” Wilton Parr said. “It’s my hope that current students and those to come all have a great experience as I did. I’m truly honored to have the Parr name on this wonderful building.”
Other speakers at the ceremony included Linda Lockman-Brooks, chair of the Central Piedmont Board of Trustees; Matthew Hart, principal architect with Morris-Berg; Pat Rodgers, president and CEO of Rodgers Builders; and Kay Mahoney, Central Piedmont Student Government Association president.
Parr Center Details:
Square Footage: 184,000
Project Cost: $113.4 million
Source of funding: Mecklenburg County bonds and other county funds
Project Managers: Rodgers and R.J. Leeper Construction
Architects: Morris Berg and Moody Nolan Architects
Parr Center Features:
- the Hagemeyer Library, a 21st-century library with an outdoor reading room, and abundant study spaces;
- a Student Union, with Welcome Center, Admissions, Students Services, Testing Center, Advising Services, Student Life, Mentoring & Bridge programs, and International programs;
- Academic Learning Center;
- a theater with seating for 450;
- the Pauline Dove Art Gallery;
- student commons with a collaborative stair;
- food services, featuring Catalyst Coffee Bar, grab-n-go items, and a dining area;
- multiple outdoor/rooftop terraces;
- six multipurpose rooms;
- collaboration/group-study rooms – available for use by students, faculty, and staff; and
- enlarged outdoor quad space, designed for outdoor programming.
College Kicks Off Fall 2022 Semester
Thousands of students from Mecklenburg County and beyond converged at Central Piedmont, on Monday, Aug. 15, as the college kicked off its 2022 fall semester.
Throughout the day, Student Engagement teams and other staff members were stationed at information tables across all six Central Piedmont campuses to guide students to classes, answer their questions, and provide them with important college information, such as valuable campus resources, parking guidelines, and available extracurricular activities.
Central Piedmont’s president, Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, was also on site at Central Campus, welcoming students as they continued or took their first steps toward earning a real-world, affordable, hands-on education.
College representatives at Central Campus were particularly excited to share with students that the college’s new 183,000 square-foot Parr Center -- home to a student union, theater, art gallery, and the Hagemeyer Library -- was now open and available to meet all of their learning, hospitality, entertainment, and student support needs going forward.