College and Career Readiness

Pathways to Careers

Are you ready for an exciting career but your lack of a high school diploma is holding you back? It's time to jump start your career with Pathways to Careers through College and Career Readiness.

What is Pathways to Careers

Pathways to Careers gives you the opportunity to earn a high school diploma, college credits, and industry credentials:

  • Earn your high school diploma while you complete a job training program in a high demand field at the same time — you will be co-enrolled in classes to receive a high school diploma or equivalency.
  • Receive up to 12 hours of college credit.
  • Gain valuable resume and interviewing skills.
  • Tuition may be waived for eligible students.

Program advisors will help you select the training program that matches your interests and needs.

Learn About College and Career Readiness

Why Choose Central Piedmont

Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness offers programs to develop students’ academic skills, earn a high school equivalency (GED or HiSET) or adult high school diploma, learn English as a second language (ESL), develop employability skills and participate in various work-based-learning experiences, or explore career and post-secondary educational opportunities. Many programs are free or at a very low cost for qualified participants. 

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

Additional Information

  • Who Can Enroll?

    To be eligible, you must:

    • be 16 years of age and older
    • no longer be enrolled in public/private school
    • lack a high school diploma
    • have a minimum of one year of NC residency
    • meet program academic metrics (to be discussed during information session)

    For the majority of training programs, you must score at a high school level on the placement tests. If you score below a high school level, you will be placed in pre-requisite courses to prepare for enrollment in Pathways.

    If you who already have a high school diploma, you may be eligible to enroll in Pathways if scholarship funding is available. If you earned a high school credential outside the U.S., you might qualify for this scholarship.

    If you are 16-17 years old, you must petition to enroll (review the requirements for minors).

    Pre-Requisite Courses

    Have you always had a problem with math? Or maybe you've been away from school for a while and your reading skills are a little rusty. Do not worry. We want to make sure you succeed. That is why we offer free pre-requisite classes to help you get started. Based on your College and Career Readiness placement test results, your advisor will recommend one of four levels of reading and/or math classes that are just right for you. If you score below a high school level (9.0), you will be placed in pre-requisite classes to build your skills. After completing level four, you will be prepared to enter one of our high school completion programs.

    Which Pre-Requisite Courses Do I Take?
    • To enroll in Pathways to Careers, you need to score a 9.0 on the placement test in reading and math.
    • If you score below 9.0, you will be placed in pre-requisite courses in reading and/or math until your placement test scores reach 9.0.
    • Most pre-requisite courses last for eight weeks and meet 10 hours per week; day and evening classes are available.
    • A computer lab is available for additional instructional support or if you need a more flexible schedule.
    • Adult high school classes are offered at the Central Piedmont Central Campus and online.
    • GED and HiSet classes are offered at the Central, Cato, and Harper campuses, as well as at several community sites.
    • To ensure success, you must attend class on a regular basis and adhere to the department’s attendance policy.
    How Long Will it Take to Complete Pre-Requisite Classes?

    The time it takes to finish the pre-requisite courses depends on the amount of time and effort that you dedicate to your studies. Typically, students who actively participate in the learning experiences will complete the courses within the shortest period of time.

  • What Training is Available?

    • free GED®, HiSET® and Adult High School instruction
    • resume and interviewing skills
    • CompTIA IT Computer Certification A+
    • air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration
    • computer-integrated machining
    • construction
    • developmental disabilities
    • early childhood education
    • housekeeping
    • office administration
    • welding technology
  • What Does it Cost?

    • All GED®, HiSET®, and Adult High School instruction is free. GED® and HiSET® testing fees range from $50—$80, but test vouchers may be available to offset those costs.
    • GED®, HiSET®,  and Adult High School students receive tuition waivers for up to 12 credit hours for their occupational training programs. Scholarships may be available to cover books and fees. However, these may be costs the student will need to cover if scholarships are not available.
  • How Long Will it Take?

    • The majority of occupational training programs are 16 weeks long or fewer.
    • Most Pathways programs require full-time attendance.
    • A typical weekly schedule would include four days a week from 8:30 a.m. — 3:30 p.m.
    • While you take your occupational training classes, you will also be co-enrolled in your GED®, HiSET®, or Adult High School classes as well as work readiness courses.
  • How Do I Enroll?

    Your first step will be to attend an information session. Information sessions are for students who do not have a high school diploma and are interested in completing this goal. Students new to Central Piedmont must complete program testing before attending an information session. Check our page often for updates on when sessions will be offered. Call 704.330.6129 for details.

    At the end of the information session, you will be given additional information towards taking steps to be considered for a scholarship, e.g. program application, etc.

    Parking is free in all Central Piedmont student decks.

  • Explore Careers

    Central Piedmont Career Coach

  • Related Programs

    • Adult High School
    • Career Development
    • Caseworker Training: NC Fast and DSS Human Services
    • English as a Second Language (ESL)
    • ESL Plus
    • High School Equivalency Exam (GED® or HiSET®)
    • Independence and Literacy Education for Adults with Disabilities (I-LEAD)
    • NC Works NextGen (Work and Learn)
    • Rise 2 Work