Cato Campus is located in Charlotte's University area 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 and Associate in Applied Science degree programs.
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. Cato II opened in 2007, doubling the number of classrooms and offices at the campus and adding a general library to campus amenities with state bond monies. 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. In 2011, Cato II was renovated to add a learning lounge, café, Student Life Center and 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 campus size and adding needed services, including a library, American Sign Language Interpreter labs, a Student Life Center, and College and Career Readiness Intake. Included was expanded parking, accessible via a bridge across a creek and protected green space.
High Schools Near Cato Campus
The high schools located close to the Cato Campus are iMeck Academy, Vance High School, Garinger High School, Charlotte Engineering Early College, and Rocky River High School.
The Middle College High School at Cato
The Middle College High School at Cato Campus reached its legislated capacity of 100 juniors and 100 seniors each of the past several years, with a waitlist generated annually. Under Principal Alicisa Johnson since 2014, Middle College at Cato students earned distinctions, scholarships, and college acceptances beyond their Mecklenburg County peers. Starting Fall semester 2016, students can remain with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools at the Middle College at Cato Campus for a 13th year to accumulate more college credits at no cost to complete associate degrees. Several Middle College at Cato graduates have received Central Piedmont associate degrees along with their CMS diplomas. For more information, please visit the Middle College at Cato Campus website.
Major Programs/Courses Offered
A wide variety of courses are offered on the Cato Campus. Students can enroll in college transfer and general education courses, College and Career Readiness courses, and Corporate and Continuing Education courses. With a wide variety of general education classes, students will obtain a two-year degree or transfer to a four-year university. The College and Career Readiness program allows students to enroll in adult English as Second Language courses or prepare for a High School Equivalency exam. Corporate and Continuing Education courses are available for those who need career training or would like personal enrichment. Programs that are housed at the Cato Campus include Horticulture Technology, Interpreter Education, Business Administration, and Turfgrass Management Technology.
Students at any Central Piedmont campus can find the service they need at any campus, including information about applying to the college, getting guidance on what classes to register for, support about program selection, and information about how to be a successful student. These support functions include, but are not limited to: admissions, academic advising, registration, career services, library services, cashiering, financial aid/veteran’s services, Military Families & Veterans Services, student life, disability and access services, tutoring, security, and a food pantry. Food service is available and provided by Compass Group. The Bookstore is managed by Follett and will supply educational materials.
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. Cato II houses food services and the bookstore.
The Horticulture compound houses classrooms, offices, a greenhouse, an equipment storage building, outdoor horticulture and turfgrass classrooms, and fields for design training. The bond package supported constructing 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 a self-checkout food and snacks retail spot on the ground floor. The first floor provides classrooms, a security office, a family restroom, study spaces, and the Patty and Bill Gorelick Art Gallery. The College and Career Readiness Registration Center, classrooms, and faculty offices or workstations 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 Business Administration Division, and Campus Administration. The Rodgers amphitheater offers an outdoor study space and 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.
Executive Director of Campus Affairs
Executive Director of Campus Affairs, Cato Campus