The history of Central Piedmont Community College (Central Piedmont) centers not so much on bricks and mortar, books and computers, or programs and classes, but points more to the many people who have played a role in developing the college and the many students who have found success as a result of their experiences.
Central Piedmont has provided educational opportunities since 1963, when the North Carolina General Assembly passed the community college bill. Opening as a fully integrated institution, under the direction of Dr. Richard H. Hagemeyer, the founding president, the college combined the programs of the Central Industrial Education Center on Elizabeth Avenue and Mecklenburg College on Beatties Ford Road and sold its property on Beatties Ford Road to develop a campus around the old Central High School complex. Starting with 3.94 acres, the college bought the surrounding property, demolished buildings, and closed streets to build the beautiful, tree-shaded, 32-acre Central Campus that students and faculty now enjoy.
From the start, the college was innovative in its teaching methods. Central Piedmont soon garnered national recognition for its individualized instruction and computer-assisted instruction. Central Piedmont has grown from a small college with a dozen programs serving 1,600 students to a college with nearly 300 degree, diploma and certificate programs at six campuses and online with an array of credit and non-credit offerings.
After Dr. Hagemeyer’s retirement in 1986, Dr. Ruth G. Shaw became the college’s second president. Under her leadership, the college began a multi-campus plan that was actualized under the leadership of the college's third president, Dr. Tony Zeiss.
Now under the leadership of Dr. Kandi W. Deitemeyer, the college is the county's premier workforce development resource. Central Piedmont has launched a strategic plan that maintains the college’s fundamental commitment to student success while courageously responding to the region's economic opportunities. Central Piedmont works to enhance the lives and success of individuals and employers, making Mecklenburg County stronger and more prosperous.
For a more comprehensive review of the history of Central Piedmont Community College, consult the following resources:
Central Piedmont Archives
Oleson-Briggs, S. (2013). Central Piedmont Community College: Legacy and Promise 1993-2013. Charlotte: CPCC Foundation, Inc.
Timblin, C. L. (1995). Central Piedmont Community College: The First Thirty Years 1963-1993. Charlotte: CPCC Foundation, Inc.