Contact Cato Campus by phone at 704.330.4800, or visit the Cato Campus website.
Cato Campus is located in the University area of Charlotte at the corner of W.T. Harris Boulevard and Grier Road. Among Central Piedmont campuses, it has the third-largest number of students with diverse services for a diverse student body. General education classes are offered along with Corporate & Continuing Education (CCE) and College & Career Readiness (CCR) classes. Curriculum classes are offered for Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree transfer programs, as well as for Associate in Applied Science degree programs. The campus also is home to the Professional Careers Division which includes five programs of study: Paralegal, Interpreter Education and American Sign Language, Horticulture, Turfgrass, and Office Administration. Office Administration's faculty are located on the Central Campus in the Levine Building.
Cato I Building, identified by its prominent dome, opened in 2002 with classrooms, offices, student services, computer labs, a bookstore, and a law library. Included was a horticulture building and greenhouse. With state bond monies, Cato II opened in 2007, doubling the number of classrooms and offices at the campus and adding a general library to campus amenities. In 2007, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Central Piedmont opened the county’s first Middle College High School at Cato, providing access to college classes for 200 high school juniors and seniors. The Central Piedmont Paralegal program at Cato received a substantial gift from William K. Diehl, Jr. in June 2010 and was subsequently named in his honor. In 2011, Cato II was renovated to add a learning lounge, café, Student Life Center and expanded the campus' Barnes & Noble Bookstore.
In November 2013, Mecklenburg County voters approved a bond referendum to support further growth at Central Piedmont. As a result, in January 2016, Cato III opened for classes, doubling the size of the campus and adding needed services, including a library, American Sign Language Interpreter labs, a Student Life Center and College and Career Readiness Intake. In addition, the program and administrative offices moved from Cato I and II Buildings to Cato III. Included was expanded parking, accessible via a bridge across a creek and protected green space.
CMS Middle College High School at Cato
Cato Middle College High School reached its legislated capacity of 100 juniors and 100 seniors each of the past several years, with a waitlist generated annually. Cato Middle College students, under Principal Alicisa Johnson since 2014, earned distinctions, scholarships and college acceptances beyond their Mecklenburg County peers. Starting Fall semester 2016, students are able to remain with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools at Cato Middle College for a 13th year in order to accumulate more college credits at no cost with the goal of completing associate degrees. Several Cato Middle College graduates have received Central Piedmont associate degrees along with their CMS diplomas.
Major Programs/Courses Offered
College Transfer and General Education
College & Career Readiness
Adult ESL-English as a Second Language
High School Equivalency Preparation
Corporate and Continuing Education
Horticulture Technology (A.A.S. Degree, Certificates, Career & College Promise Certificates)
Interpreter Education (A.A.S. Degree, American Sign Language Certificate, Career & College Promise Certificate)
Paralegal Technology (A.A.S. Degree, Post-baccalaureate Diploma)
Turfgrass Management Technology (A.A.S. Degree, Certificates, Career & College Promise Certificate)
Cato I and Cato II Buildings house student services, financial aid, registration / cashiering, a veterans resources center, offices and classrooms. As part of the 2013 Mecklenburg County bond package, enhancements include recently renovated science classrooms, a state-of-the-art math emporium, and new student services spaces for First Year Experience and orientation programs. The bookstore was expanded to offer food and coffee service along with textbooks and supplies.
The Horticulture compound houses classrooms, offices, a greenhouse, an equipment storage building, plus outdoor horticulture and turfgrass classrooms and fields for design training. The bond package supported the construction of a new head house (a work center for greenhouse operations) and a small engine repair shop to accommodate classes for this in-demand area.
Cato III building houses Student Life, a student lounge, auditorium, a multipurpose room, a landscape design studio, and the Smart Market (a self-checkout food and snacks retail spot) on the ground floor. The first floor provides classrooms, a security office, a family restroom, and study spaces, as well as the Patty and Bill Gorelick Art Gallery. The College and Career Readiness Registration Center, classrooms, and faculty offices or work stations are on the second floor, along with a second family restroom and a quiet room available for reservation. The top floor of Cato III houses the Library, ASL Interpreter Education labs, offices and classrooms, a conference room, the Professional Careers Division, and Dean's offices. The Rodgers amphitheater offers outdoor study space as well as a venue for theater, music, and classes. Landscape design projects, some designed by students, enhance several areas of the campus.
Public transportation is provided to Cato Campus by the Charlotte Area Transportation Service (CATS). Route 3 (east/west) and Route 29 (north/south) run regularly Monday through Saturday. Pick up and drop off stops are on the Cato Campus near the Cato III building.
George A. Henderson
Dean, Cato Campus / Professional Careers Division
Services Offered on this Campus
Academic Learning Center (tutoring)
College and Career Readiness (CCR)
Copy Machines / Printers
Corporate and Continuing Education (CCE)
Financial Aid / Veterans Affairs
Orientation for New Students
Outreach and Recruitment
Public Transportation (CATS Routes 3 and 29)
Student Computer Labs
Student Life / SGA
Student Success Center
Tour for Prospective Students
Transfer Resource Assistance*
Vending Machines & Smart Market Vending
Veterans Resource Center
(asterisk denotes part-time service)