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.
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 https://www.registerednursing.org/state/north-carolina/#rankings. 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 at https://www.registerednursing.org/rn-ranking-methodology/.
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.
For information on financial assistance available through Central Piedmont Foundation scholarships for nursing students, visit our scholarship portal.
Nominations are being accepted now through October 31 for the Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award and the Young Alumni Award of Excellence. These awards recognize a Central Piedmont Community College graduate who has significantly benefited from their experiences at the college and whose efforts have helped the community.
Nominate an outstanding alumnus using our nomination form.
If Jahmicah Miller qualifies to sit for and passes the N.C. State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors (BEEC) exam later this year, she could be the youngest licensed female electrician in the state of North Carolina.
How did Jahmicah accomplish so much within her area of interest in so little time? She took classes through the Rebuilding Opportunities in Construction (ROC) program which boasts a Career & College Promise pathway in construction technologies at Central Piedmont. As a result, she was able to simultaneously graduate from Philip O. Berry High School and complete the ROC program in May 2021 with 49 free college credits and valuable hands-on experience.
"The knowledge I gained through the ROC program gave me the confidence I needed to serve as an apprentice for a Charlotte area electrical contractor after high school graduation," she explains. "After completing the company's apprenticeship program in fall 2021, I earned two professional certificates in electrical technology. I decided to return to Central Piedmont - after receiving the Culbertson Endowed Scholarship - to complete my education and obtain my associate degree in electrical system technology. It was a logical next step; the college's student support system, resources, and instructors are simply extraordinary."
At Central Piedmont, Jahmicah is fulfilling her life-long dream of working in a profession that allows her to both work with her hands AND give back to the community. These two concepts are important to the 19-year-old, who decided to pursue a trade after Hurricane Maria impacted Puerto Rico in 2017.
"Originally I thought about studying physical therapy or sports medicine," says Jahmicah. "But after seeing the devastation Hurricane Maria caused, I decided to start taking trade classes to better prepare myself to help with disaster relief. Helping others is important to me."
The Charlotte native plans to graduate from Central Piedmont in spring 2023 and is appreciative of all the support the college has given her over the years. "I have bounced from home to home and school to school," she explains. "But Central Piedmont has been a constant in my life. This college has made my goals, its goals. It's unlike any other higher education institution, and I'm honored to be a part of its community." Read more
Jules Omakinda is a hardworking student who dreams of becoming a pilot one day.
Jules is currently pursuing his associate degree in cyber security at Central Piedmont Community College. "Central Piedmont has a positive reputation and offers many opportunities that students can take advantage of," says Jules. Jules enjoys feeling like he is a part of a community. As he explains it, "Central Piedmont is a place that truly feels like home, and I appreciate how the community works together to help me succeed in my career."
Jules knew as early as he could remember that he would like to be a pilot someday. For him, Central Piedmont is the ideal place to begin his aviation goals. As a result of his cyber security associate degree, he plans to attend another institution to obtain his master's degree in cyber security. His goal is to secure a high-paying job that will help him pay for aviation school.
One thing Jules would like anyone reading this to remember would be to, "keep your goals at the forefront of your mind and utilize all that Central Piedmont provides you to reach your next chapter in life." Read more
Derrick Miller is a first-generation student and a Merancas Technical Scholarship recipient who has a true passion for helping individuals with disabilities.
After spending years away from school and having three adult sons, Derrick was hesitant to return, but his passion overruled his trepidation, and he is now studying Human Services Technology, concentrating in Developmental Disabilities.
"In my meeting with Dr. Sherina Dubose Tilman, chair of the department, she was incredibly persuasive and encouraging. There was never any doubt in her mind that I would not succeed in this program," says Miller. While pursuing his AAS degree, he also obtained a Community Health Worker Certification (CHW) from Central Piedmont.
Derrick admires the professionalism of Central Piedmont's faculty. As he explains it, "The staff here have genuinely demonstrated that they care about the wellness and education of all students."
Derrick and his family faced financial difficulties during the pandemic. In the nick of time, he received an email informing him that he had been awarded the Merancas Technical Scholarship.
Miller's greatest joy is serving others. Central Piedmont has opened up countless opportunities for him, and he is extremely grateful for them.
"You can do it," says Derrick, echoing the words he was told at the beginning of his educational journey. "Taking advantage of Central Piedmont's resources and opportunities will help you succeed." Read more
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.
View photos of the event.
View our campaign highlight video.
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 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.
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.
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