For the fifth-consecutive year, Central Piedmont Community College will participate in the Metallica Scholars Initiative and receive $5,000 in funding to support its career and technical education programs.
Funded by Metallica's All Within My Hands foundation (AWMH), in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Metallica Scholars Initiative (MSI) was created in 2018 to fundamentally improve the earning potential for students who become Metallica Scholars.
Central Piedmont will continue to use the generous grant funds to provide direct support for students enrolled in healthcare career programs who need financial assistance to complete their studies and become licensed healthcare professionals. Central Piedmont seeks to ensure all graduating healthcare students have funding to pay for their licensure/certification exams so they can quickly enter the workforce fully licensed/certified.
The MSI workforce initiative marks its fifth year with an ambitious expansion into new curricula. MSI now directly supports 42 community colleges across 33 states, and by the end of 2023, it will have helped more than 6,000 students pursuing careers in the trades. To date, Metallica and AWMH have invested more than $6 million in the American workforce.
"The Metallica Scholars Initiative is a strong and cooperative assemblage of the nation's best community colleges, creating a supportive climate for participants to communicate directly and share best practices," said Peter Degrosso, AWMH executive director. "As a result, our Metallica Scholars leave the program well-trained and confident. Ultimately, the impact is felt locally and nationally as Metallica Scholars enter the workforce and fill in-demand technical positions."
Learn more about the Metallica Scholars Initiative at Central Piedmont.
Learn more about Central Piedmont's healthcare career programs.
Central Piedmont Community College proudly announces that Shawn Abney has been named one of the 213 Phi Theta Kappa members to become a 2023 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar. Abney, a distinguished student at the community college, will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program is designed to help new Phi Theta Kappa members defray educational expenses while they pursue their associate degrees. This year's scholars were selected based on scholastic achievement, community service, and leadership potential from nearly 1,100 applications.
$213,000 will be awarded this year through the Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is providing $200,000 in funding, with an additional $25,000 set aside specifically for members who are veterans or active members of the United States military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, earmarked for international students through the Global Leaders of Promise Scholarships.
Jane Hale Hopkins, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, said, "The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges. We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa to make it possible for more deserving students to achieve their educational goals and support tomorrow's leaders of the global community."
The funds aid in college completion and allow students to engage in Society programs, enabling them to develop vital leadership skills for future roles in their communities.
Dr. Monica Marlowe, Executive Director of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, noted, "Research shows that Phi Theta Kappa members are four times more likely to complete a college degree than their peers. The Leaders of Promise Scholarships recognize students for what they have achieved already and assure that financial need isn't an obstacle to achieving their academic goals."
Central Piedmont Community College congratulates Shawn Abney and all other Leaders of Promise Scholars on this exceptional achievement and wishes them continued success in their educational pursuits.
For more information, visit the Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program.Read more
Mariam Idris, a dedicated Nursing student and active Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) member at Central Piedmont Community College has been announced as a recipient of the prestigious Hurst Review NCLEX® Scholarship. Idris is among the twelve exceptional students from across the nation who have been honored with this scholarship.
The Hurst Review NCLEX® Scholarship, generously funded by Hurst Review Services, a prominent exam preparation company, is designed to support nursing majors affiliated with Phi Theta Kappa preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX®). As part of this scholarship, recipients will receive comprehensive NCLEX® study materials and a cash award that covers the expenses associated with the NCLEX® exam fees.
Central Piedmont Community College takes immense pride in its Nursing program, which boasts a history dating back to 1965, making it the oldest nursing program in the North Carolina Community College System. Over the last five decades, the program has continually evolved and expanded to the evolving needs of the healthcare industry and the college student community.
The program's consistent success is exemplified by the outstanding achievements of its nursing graduates. In 2022, Central Piedmont nursing graduates who earned The Christa A. Overcash Associate Degree in nursing exhibited an impressive 92% employment rate and an exceptional 98% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN certification exam.
The Central Piedmont nursing program holds full approval from the NC Board of Nursing and accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Mariam Idris' selection as a recipient of the Hurst Review NCLEX® Scholarship is a testament to her exceptional dedication and academic prowess. The scholarship recognizes her hard work and commitment and acknowledges the outstanding quality of Central Piedmont's Nursing program.
Central Piedmont Community College held its 2023 spring commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 11, in Charlotte. Approximately 900 students "marched" and received their college credentials during the morning and afternoon ceremonies. More than 1,500 students were eligible to graduate.
During the morning festivities at the Bojangles Coliseum, Maria "Fernanda" Moreno Tovar, a 2023 graduate, addressed her peers by delivering the commencement address. RaeDeja Sawyer, also a 2023 graduate, spoke at the afternoon ceremony. It has become Central Piedmont's tradition to have graduating students serve as commencement keynote speakers. Both Maria and RaeDeja were graduating with associate in arts degrees.
Maria shared her experiences and challenges as an immigrant from Mexico. She concluded her address by saying, "As I am standing here today, I am confident that Central Piedmont gave me the right tools to continue chasing my academic goals. I am also confident that just like mine, your struggle can make magic if you take the leap of faith."
RaeDeja recounted how she had lost loved ones during her time at Central Piedmont and how the college provided her much needed support. "This journey has been charged with intense emotion. I have experienced elevating highs and depleting lows, but seeing it through has been most valuable and unforgettable. And the truth is, graduation today does not mark the end of our studies, nor does it mark the end of deadlines, decisions, or expectations," she explained.
Students graduating from Central Piedmont with a degree, diploma, or certificate had the option of participating in either the morning or afternoon ceremony. Central Piedmont combined its for-credit and non-credit program conferrals into both ceremonies, giving graduates the choice to "walk" at the time that best fits their families' schedule.
Gardhouse, a Charlotte nonprofit organization, is helping college students receive job experience through paid internships. Through a United Way of Greater Charlotte program, Gardhouse matches underrepresented students with local businesses to provide support for business operations while offering professional networking connections and a place to use classroom knowledge in real-world scenarios. Kaosisochi Duruanyim, a nursing student from Central Piedmont, is an intern with Gardhouse. He has been working with SchermCo, a national social impact implementation firm. Read more about Kaosi and Gardhouse via Spectrum News. Read more
by Hannah McClellan, EdNC.org
The summer after Tyler Jackson graduated from high school, he took two college courses through Central Piedmont Community College's Summer Bridge program, meant to help students successfully transition from high school to college.
After one of the orientation sessions Jackson attended, a college staff member dismissed all participants but the "opportunity scholars." Jackson was not an opportunity scholar at the time and he knew little about the program, but he was curious, so he decide to stay behind and learn more. That decision led to Jackson applying for and eventually receiving the scholarship he says changed his life.
"Central Piedmont has opened so many doors," Jackson said in a college promotional video. "They cared more about who I was as a person. Being able to go to school without having to worry about the cost I'm just grateful."
Jackson is one of nearly 400 opportunity scholars Central Piedmont Community College has served since it launched the program in 2017, according to college data last fall. Through the Opportunity Scholarship, students underrepresented in college receive funding to fully cover tuition, books, and fees for two years. In addition, these students receive a notebook computer and access to one-on-one academic coaching for career planning, internships, and job placement.
This support was key for his success, said Jackson, who graduated with an associate of arts degree in December. During the start of the pandemic and remote learning, college staff members kept him from "falling through the cracks."
"It's been a long time coming," he told EdNC. "And my experience has been amazing. I've always felt welcome. Especially being an opportunity scholar, that opened up so many more doors being able to sit in different meetings, visit different places, and being able to have exposure to these things I wouldn't have probably had if I wasn't an opportunity scholar."
The total number of Opportunity Scholarships offered per year varies based on available funding provided by local donors, the college's website says. You can learn more about the scholarship and how to apply here. You can learn about N.C. Community College System (NCCCS) scholarships here.
'What community college can do'
Many community college students some of them adult learners, low income, or first-generation college-goers experience various barriers that can make academic success more difficult. In recent years, North Carolina community colleges have increasingly added support to help their students stay in college.
Community college leaders say meeting the financial, transportation, and child care needs of students helps them complete their programs.
About 48% of N.C. Community College students complete a degree or credential in six years, based on 2022 data from myFutureNC. That rate is lower for students ages 21-24 (38%), Black students (30%), and part-time students (20%).
In comparison, nearly 150 opportunity scholars have graduated from Central Piedmont since 2017. That's a 53% completion rate for cohorts through 2020-21, each before the six-year completion target used by myFutureNC. This success rate is in spite of the fact that many opportunity scholars face more barriers to completion compared to the general community college population. The majority of scholars in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 cohorts can graduate starting this year.
Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president at Central Piedmont, said the Opportunity Scholarship is one of many ways the college is working to expand its impact on students, the economy, and the wider community.
Central Piedmont adds $827.7 million to the economy each year, according to a recent economic impact study, and supports 11,274 jobs. For every dollar students invest in their education at Central Piedmont, they gain $3.80 in lifetime earnings.
"The college helps students increase their employability and achieve their individual potential," Deitemeyer said in a release. "Central Piedmont provides students with the education, training, and skills they need to have fulfilling and prosperous careers that provide real economic mobility."
Dr. Deninne Pritchett, the college's chair of psychology, understands that economic mobility well.
Pritchett first started college as a teen mother, at 18. She dropped out of college four times and once from Central Piedmont before returning to successfully graduate from the college in 2010 with an associate degree in art.
"When I arrived at Central Piedmont, there was something different here," she said. "Even the first time when I didn't stay, there was something different, which led me to come back."
Pritchett, who went on to earn a doctorate in psychology, is now the creator of the Adjunct Faculty Learning Community and facilitator for the Diversified Teaching Practices Learning Commons at the college. She also earned an American College and University Educators (ACUE) Advanced Certificate for Teaching Effectiveness and is a featured expert in an ACUE course on learner-centered, equitable teaching practices.
"It just seems like this is what I'm supposed to be doing, because this is where my foundation was set," Pritchett said.
Today, in addition to teaching students psychology, Pritchett aims to make them feel welcomed, understood, and empowered.
She believes that one interaction can change everything, because for her, it did. The last time she enrolled at Central Piedmont, it was a kind financial aid advisor who made her believe in herself.
"I'm a representative of what community college can do for you," Pritchett said. "It's like a full-circle moment that I don't sit high and look low, this is a partnership for me to support students to get wherever they want to get to, whatever that goal is."
For Tyler Jackson, his goal of graduating college expanded to studying abroad while at Central Piedmont and joining student government goals he achieved without stressing about money, thanks to the scholarship program. After graduating with his associate degree debt-free, he feels well-positioned to pursue a bachelor's degree in business and media at UNC Charlotte. In the meantime, he's applied to be a substitute teacher at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, in addition to working at his production company and promoting his film, "LoverBoy The Movie." He's also dreaming about becoming a full-time entertainer acting, filmmaking, and directing or a professor in the arts.
For him, programs like the Opportunity Scholarship are important because they help first-generation and low-income students "seek better" for themselves. Today, he also works as a tutor coordinator at TRIO, Upward Bound the program that initially connected him to Central Piedmont's Summer Bridge program where he aims to be like the mentors he found at Central Piedmont to younger students.
Jackson is grateful for where he is following graduation and is excited for his future and his career. But, what if he decides to pursue something completely different?
"I can also always come back to Central Piedmont," he said. "It's a place where I've always felt at home."Republished with permission from https://www.ednc.org/central-piedmont-community-college-wants-to-create-opportunity/. Read more
The Lowe's Foundation has launched the Gable Grants Program to fund programs for skilled trades. Their partnership with Central Piedmont Community College supports students building careers as skilled tradespeople while also filling a gap in the current local workforce.
Learn more via WBTV's report: Lowe's Foundation hopes to address growing need of tradespeople Read more
Two Central Piedmont Community College students have been named 2023 Coca-Cola Academic Team Scholars, in partnership with Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Each will receive a scholarship.
Ashton Leswing has been named a Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar and will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Letrell Grady has been named Coca-Cola Academic Team Bronze Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver, and 50 Bronze Scholars across the nation with nearly $200,000 in scholarships annually. Each scholar also receives a commemorative medallion.
"The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges," said Jane Hale Hopkins, President of the Coca- Cola Scholars Foundation. "We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa to make it possible for more deserving students to achieve their educational goals and support tomorrow's leaders of the global community."
Students are nominated for the academic team by their college administrators. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership, and engagement in college and community service, and this year winners were chosen from more than 2,400 applicants.
Coca-Cola Academic Team members will be recognized in both local and statewide ceremonies and will also be recognized internationally during Phi Theta Kappa's annual convention, PTK Catalyst, to be held in Columbus, Ohio, April 20-22.
Bachelor degree graduates who are considering a career in the elementary school classroom will soon be able to receive teacher licensing at multiple North Carolina community colleges, including Central Piedmont Community College.
The new program makes teacher licensing more affordable and convenient with classes at local community colleges. The seven institutions approved thus far to offer the new licensing program are Alamance, Blue Ridge, Central Piedmont, Fayetteville Technical, McDowell Technical, Wayne, and Western Piedmont community colleges.
Central Piedmont will launch its program in August, with the beginning of the fall 2023 semester. The Elementary Education Residency Licensure Certificate program will offer instruction and coaching for residency elementary teachers seeking licensure. This program will help support students with classroom observations and one-on-one sessions, and assist with the creation of their portfolio in preparation for licensing from the state.
This new path to elementary licensure will expand Central Piedmont's current teacher preparation track, which prepares students to transfer to a bachelor degree education program through completion of an associate in arts or associate in science degree.
For more information about Central Piedmont's new teacher licensing certificate program, email Jennifer Perkins, chair of the Teacher Preparation Pathway Program.
Central Piedmont Community College and Western Carolina University (WCU) announced today the launch of the Catamount Connection Program a new direct pathway to a four-year degree for Central Piedmont students.
Dr. Kelli R. Brown, Western Carolina University chancellor, and Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president, met at WCU to sign a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions that guarantees admission to the university for Central Piedmont associate degree graduates who satisfy certain requirements.
The memorandum launches the Catamount Connection Program. The program's purpose is to create a direct pathway for Central Piedmont graduates to acquire an affordable and accessible four-year degree from WCU. As Deitemeyer announced, "Central Piedmont is excited and proud to partner with Western Carolina University to provide our students a seamless admissions pathway to the university. This program represents a wonderful opportunity for Central Piedmont students."
Brown said she wants to ensure students from Central Piedmont have immediate access to the affordability and quality of WCU. "It is so critical for students to see that if they want to go to a four-year college, but went to a two-year college, they have a pathway to that four-year institution," Brown said. "Western Carolina University is an NC Promise school; the affordability is there and, of course, the quality is always there. There are great advantages for us to have this memorandum of understanding, given that we are a quality four-year institution."
Deitemeyer is equally thrilled to provide WCU as an option for their graduates. "We know our students will be well-prepared here and well-cared for at WCU," she said. "In Cullowhee, they will enjoy challenging classes taught by superb faculty, a beautiful campus and a learning environment that fosters exploration, innovation and excellence. This program offers Central Piedmont students a great destination for pursuing a bachelor's degree."
Students who wish to participate in the Catamount Connection Program must satisfy the following conditions:
- Be a currently enrolled student at Central Piedmont, in a degree-seeking capacity
- Submit a WCU application for admission and records by WCU deadlines
- Submit the application fee or waiver, and fulfill all commitment action steps
- Be in good standing at Central Piedmont and other institutions attended
- Demonstrate good citizenship and conduct
- Earn and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 at Central Piedmont and a minimum GPA of 2.20 in their most recent term
- Earn an associate degree from Central Piedmont in a college transfer program or in an applied program for which an articulation agreement exists
- Enroll at WCU within one academic year of completion of the associate degree
"This transfer pathway also is a wonderful example of higher education partners in North Carolina working together to broaden access to a bachelor's degree and greater opportunities beyond," Deitemeyer explained. "It has been well documented that North Carolina and its workforce and economy need more individuals with bachelor's degrees. The Catamount Connection program addresses this need directly."
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