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.
Central Piedmont Community College and Bank of America today hosted a virtual event featuring Dr. Tim Renick, executive director of Georgia State University's National Institute for Student Success, who presented, "Georgia State's Journey to Eliminating the Racial Equity Gap." Attendees included Central Piedmont employees, board members and student leaders; Bank of America executives, and Charlotte city and county government officials. Also participating were local higher education partners and community nonprofit leaders in education, workforce development and college and career readiness.
For more than a decade, Dr. Renick has used Georgia State's data to drive sustainable change and eliminate the racial equity gap at his institution. As a result of his work, Georgia State - which is also home to Perimeter College, a major provider of associate degrees and student transfer opportunities in Georgia - annually graduates more African-American students than any other public or nonprofit higher education institution in the country and ranks ninth in the nation for advancing social mobility. Dr. Renick has emerged as a national expert on how colleges and universities can decrease disparities in their graduation rates and achievements based on race, ethnicity, and income.
"At Georgia State, we're motivated by a desire to make an impact, not only in the lives of our own students, but also in the lives of students across the country," said Dr. Renick. "That's why our team at Georgia State University has made such a conscious and significant commitment to dedicating our time and resources to sharing with others the important lessons we have learned."
Dr. Renick's accomplishments at Georgia State complement the equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) goals established and continuously reviewed and enhanced at both Central Piedmont and Bank of America.
Over the past year, Central Piedmont has accelerated its EDI work, hosting a number of events and training sessions for employees and students to attend that support EDI awareness, drive culture change, and reinforce EDI initiatives at all six of its campuses. In addition, the college has looked closely at its talent acquisition and hiring processes to ensure equity and diversity is embedded across all of its areas and departments.
"All of the EDI work Central Piedmont is doing is supported by the college's shared values and strategic goals," explained Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "In 2019, the college adopted a new set of guiding values and strategic goals; the desire to reach a greater level of equity throughout the college is found in both.
"Dr. Renick's presentation and the experience of Georgia State provide a path and a set of best practices Central Piedmont can work to incorporate. We want to do all we can to ensure our students achieve success and our faculty and staff feel valued and appreciated."
Similarly, Bank of America has turned its attention toward advancing EDI initiatives within the communities it serves. Last summer, it announced a $1 billion, four-year commitment of support to address economic and racial inequalities that had been accelerated by the global pandemic. As part of that commitment, it pledged $25 million to support career reskilling programs through partnerships with higher education institutions, including community colleges like Central Piedmont.
"Acquiring an education and jobs skills not only improves an employed individual's quality of life but also contributes to the health of our local economy and community. Access to quality, affordable education and job skills training is key to removing economic barriers facing minority individuals and communities," said Charles Bowman, Bank of America's Charlotte Market president. "Central Piedmont has a proven track record of offering courses and training for roles in the fields most in demand within our community. Bank of America supports the college's focus on helping students of color complete the education and training necessary for entering the workforce and earning a sustainable living wage."
Following his formal presentation to Central Piedmont, Bank of America, and city and county representatives, Dr. Renick individually met with:
- Central Piedmont's leadership team to discuss how the college could best advance racial equality, and
- Bank of America's market presidents, located across the country, to discuss what other partnership possibilities may exist to help colleges nationwide create sustainable change on their campuses.
Fall semester classes at Central Piedmont Community College will begin on Aug. 10, and be taught in multiple formats online, hybrid, blended and face-to-face. (Hybrid and blended courses include both online and some face-to-face instruction.)
For the safety and well-being of the campus community, the college will complete the vast majority of face-to-face instruction prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. After Thanksgiving, remaining class work will be finished online. Fall classes will end Dec. 11.
"Over the past several weeks, Central Piedmont Community College has been preparing for a safe and successful fall 2020 term," said Jeff Lowrance, vice president of communications, marketing & public relations at Central Piedmont. "Through numerous discussions and detailed planning across all units of the college, Central Piedmont seeks to provide a safe environment for its students to learn and faculty and staff members to work.
The majority of Central Piedmont students will come to campus a minimal number of times during the semester, with the rest of their instruction occurring online. The college is updating class schedules and information, so current and prospective students should check the college website periodically for updates.
"Central Piedmont is committed to delivering a high-quality educational experience regardless of the program or courses a student selects," Lowrance said. "The college is working hard to protect the well-being of everyone in our campus community and help students stay on track in their degree, diploma or certificate programs."
For students who attend classes on campus, the college has adopted a number of safety protocols. Current and prospective students should read the college's Student Guide to Returning to Campus carefully. It will be important to know and follow all of the safety practices detailed in the guide. These include wearing a face covering, keeping a social distance from others, washing hands frequently, monitoring possible COVID-19 symptoms and staying home if one feels ill at all.
The college offers nearly 300 programs to get students real-world ready. Affordable and flexible Central Piedmont classes can help students earn the skills to fast track into a career pathway or lay the foundation for a four-year degree. Registration for the fall term is now open. The college looks forward to welcoming new and returning students on Aug. 10.
Since early March, the college has worked hard to remain safe during the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, while also continuing to help students stay on track and complete their programs of study. Central Piedmont employees and students have contributed to these efforts in many ways:
- Central Piedmont has entered the first phase in bringing employees and students back to campus. Starting in May, some health careers and commercial driver's license (CDL) students have the opportunity to resume and complete their spring semester classes that were suspended in March. Student Affairs also plans to have some staff members available in Central High and Levine I at limited times to serve current students. In addition, the college plans to bring some construction technologies students back to Harper Campus in June. While on campus, everyone will be working together to remain safe by following new COVID-19 guidelines. Read more about our return to school and what we are doing to protect the health and safety of our students and employees: https://www.cpcc.edu/news/may-8-2020-update-message-college-coronavirus
- Dr. Jacob Garbini, chair of Central Piedmont's engineering program, and a select group of Associate in Engineering students are working to develop a new face shield prototype for nurses and other health professionals that is based on utility but also includes comfort, cleaning, and assembly: https://www.cpcc.edu/news/engineering-students-help-develop-face-shield-prototype-healthcare-workers-use
- The Small Business Center at Central Piedmont launched a new initiative -- the Small Business Rebound Program -- to provide small business owners impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with access to advisors who can assist with loan opportunities, new business model designs, and budget evaluations. The program will be available May 11- July 3, 2020: https://www.cpcc.edu/news/small-business-center-launch-c-19-small-business-rebound-program
- Opportunities to see art in person is limited during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Central Piedmont is continuing to find ways to provide virtual access to its galleries and events. Many Sensoria events have been adapted for online access and participation (https://sensoria.cpcc.edu/events) and the Gorelick Galleries are being featured in a Happy #FineArtFriday social media blast each Friday afternoon.
In light of recent COVID-19 developments, the Foundation will modify its in-person staffing and institute telecommuting procedures to continue operations and help maintain the safety of staff. Beginning immediately, certain Foundation staff will be present in their offices on a rotational basis during the work week and will telecommute on other days; someone will be available each day of the week answer calls and respond to messages and questions. Other staff members will work exclusively online as a result of public school closures or health concerns.
In accordance with CDC and local guidelines. Foundation events which will gather 50 or more individuals between now and the beginning will be cancelled unless notified otherwise. Please continue to check this site about the status of upcoming events.
During this challenging, rapidly-evolving period, your understanding and patience are much appreciated. Thank you for your ongoing support of the Central Piedmont and students.
For the latest updates and announcments from Central Piedmont regarding COVID-19, please visit the college's coronavirus information information page. Read more
Last month, Central Piedmont Model United Nations Club members attended the UNCC Carolinas Conference, together with high schools and colleges from across North Carolina. The event gave the college's first-time and returning Central Piedmont Model United Nations delegates the opportunity to further develop their negotiating, problem solving, and public speaking skills within each committee.
Students researched, debated, and wrote mock UN resolutions at the conference about a variety of current global topics, such as gender and the role of women in disarmament, the effects of global warming on human health, the rising tensions between China and the U.S., and preventing spillover violence from the Sudan conflict.
"I learned about topics I otherwise would not have been aware of beforehand," said Returning Model UN member Yasmine Outtara.
Three of the newer members of the Central Piedmont Model UN team Katherine Beekman, Emma Hoff, and Christopher St. Hilaire were named Outstanding Delegates for representing South Africa in the Security Council and General Assembly 1st respectively.Learn more here.
To support Model UN at Central Piedmont, click here.
Central Piedmont students will be attending two more conferences in spring 2020: the Harvard National Model UN Conference in February and the Southern Regional Model UN Conference in Charlotte in March.
Beginning this fall, the Levine Campus will offer expanded course offerings of some of its most in-demand classes on weekday evenings, Fridays, and Saturdays to give students more options to complete a two-year, college transfer degree more quickly.
The new course offerings are comprised of more than 40, high-demand courses. The classes will be offered in sequential order and focus on a variety of general education subjects, ranging from biology and public speaking, to psychology and business.
Offering more courses in the evenings, and on Fridays and Saturdays, will allow the college to better accommodate students' busy schedules, setting them up for success both inside and outside of the classroom.
To learn more, please call Edith McElroy, dean of the Levine Campus, at 704.330.4386.Read more
The Summer Bridge program at Central Piedmont Community College helps recent high school graduates adjust to college life and network with other students and faculty. They are able to jumpstart their academic career and avoid "summer melt," the phenomenon in which high school graduates are excited and plan to attend college but never enroll. According to a June 2018 blog post from the U.S. Department of Education, nearly one-third of high school graduates planning to attend college never make it, and summer melt impacts low-income and first-generation students the hardest.
During the six-week program, students can earn up to six college credits. They participate in activities designed to build college-level academic skills and a sense of community. Associate Dean of Mentoring and Bridge Programs Willie Williams says that students learn the differences between high school and college during the first week at Summer Bridge. The small, structured environment helps students with this transition.
Aslhy Isaias is a first-time college student enrolled in the Associate in Arts degree program for fall 2019. She met Mr. Williams while attending the Summer Bridge orientation with a friend. Mr. Williams explained that going from high school to college was a huge step and not always easy, and he convinced Aslhy to join the program According to Aslhy, Summer Bridge has helped her to "transition easier, learn the way around campus and classrooms, and...make connections."
To learn more about the Summer Bridge program, visit Central Piedmont's website. Read more
Central Piedmont is excited to announce that both construction projects at its Levine Campus the new Levine III classroom building and the Joe Hendrick Center for Automotive Technology expansion are complete.
The new 88,000 square-foot facility includes the Georgia Tucker Fine Arts Hall, a new campus library, a new campus bookstore, health and science labs, and classrooms.
Levine III includes:
- Georgia Tucker Fine Arts Hall
- Science Labs
- Health Simulation Labs
- Math Emporium
- Academic Learning Center
- Faculty/Staff Offices
The facility's 2,300 square-foot fine arts hall is named in memory of Georgia Tucker, an accomplished ballerina and choreographer who performed throughout the U.S. prior to coming home to Charlotte. She attended Central Piedmont and taught at the college as a dance instructor.
The Georgia Tucker Fine Arts Hall is a two-story facility with views of the campus lake. The arts space includes:
- A performance space to accommodate up to 200
- A large instructional classroom, with a seating capacity of nearly 100
- Reception space for functions with a capacity of 160 attendees
- A box office and dressing rooms
Joe Hendrick Center for Automotive Technology
The Joe Hendrick Center for Automotive Technology expansion took a little over a year to complete. The 10,330-square-foot expansion helped the college add the following amenities to its campus:
- a new alignment and suspension shop with seven vehicle bays
- a four-vehicle bay training lab with classroom
- a two-vehicle bay training lab with classroom
- additional faculty offices and storage rooms
"Levine's new facilities will significantly enhance Central Piedmont's ability to put students on a pathway to meaningful lives and family-supporting careers and will help prepare the talented workforce needed to support the economic growth of our community," said Central Piedmont President Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer. "They will help to advance the mission of the college by offering access to education and career development for additional students. These new buildings will transform lives and transform this community."Read more
The newest building on Central Piedmont's Harper Campus will serve as home to the latest Bill and Patty Gorelick Gallery at the college. Faculty and staff are busy moving into the new building which opens to students and visitors in August. The building which serves as the new entry for Harper Campus includes a bookstore, library, registration, financial aid, counseling and advising services, student life, center for military families and veterans, and technology labs for electrical systems, architecture, welding and construction management among other spaces. The college's fourth Gorelick Gallery, located on the lower level, offers large arched windows, casual seating, collaboration and study spaces, and 18-foot high ceilings. The gallery will feature works from the collection of Bill and the late Patty Gorelick and paintings by Tom Stanley for its first installation on exhibit from August 2019 until July 2020. By 2021, each of the college's six campuses will feature a Bill and Patty Gorelick Gallery.
For more information about the Bill and Patty Gorelick Galleries at Central Piedmont, or to schedule a visit, please call Robin Glenn at 704.330.6869, or visit blogs.cpcc.edu/cpccartgalleries/pattyandbillgorelickgalleries.
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