Peggy and Bob Culbertson of Charlotte have committed $1 million to Central Piedmont Community College to provide scholarships for financially needy students. The college will use a significant portion of the gift to establish the Peggy and Bob Culbertson 49erNext Scholarship Program to assist students in the newly created 49erNext Program. The Culbertson gift also will fund scholarships for Central Piedmont students pursuing career-focused technical degrees and preparing to enter the workforce.
49erNext is a new co-admission program to facilitate degree completion and student success by creating a seamless pathway for individuals who want to start their degree work at Central Piedmont and complete their degree at UNC Charlotte. This innovative co-admission approach allows both Central Piedmont and UNC Charlotte to engage in a fully integrated, proactive advising model, ensuring students' progress toward the timely completion of a baccalaureate degree. As participants in the 49erNext Program, students are eligible to transfer into more than 75 undergraduate degree programs (130+ majors) at UNC Charlotte, as long as they earn an associate degree at Central Piedmont with a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
The Peggy and Bob Culbertson 49erNext Scholarship Program will provide two-year, full-tuition scholarships to full-time students with financial need who are in the 49erNext Program. News of both 49erNext and the Peggy and Bob Culbertson 49erNext Scholarship was shared today at a signing ceremony held by UNC Charlotte and Central Piedmont at UNC Charlotte's Center City Building. John Culbertson spoke at the ceremony on behalf of his parents.
"We are big on upward mobility and believe education is absolutely the best answer," Culbertson said. "Our goal is to give those who need financial assistance the opportunity to attend school. Central Piedmont is the perfect place for our gift because we can help students training for a vocational career and college transfer students.
A pilot class of 111 students opened the 49erNext program in August. This past year, about 4,000 transfer students enrolled at UNC Charlotte--69 percent came from a North Carolina community college, and 29 percent of those came from Central Piedmont.
"Central Piedmont is excited about the 49erNext program because it offers students a direct pathway to a four-year degree as well as an avenue to greater economic mobility," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "Institutions the size of Central Piedmont and UNC Charlotte sometimes can be challenging to navigate for students. Those students in the 49erNext program will have a clearly marked map leading from one institution to the next. This program will serve the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community well as we seek to produce more individuals with bachelor's degrees to meet our growing workforce demands.